Welcome to the Big Picture Podcast. On this weeks podcast it’s time to check in with the “Late ‘Boomer” to see how he’s doing in his efforts to clean up the societal mess that is the Baby Boom legacy.
The question for the ‘boomer this week is: Does a fish need a bicycle?
Some of you might recognize the root of that question. In the 60’s and 70’s the feminist movement, then know as “women’s lib”, questioned the importance of marriage, and had the motto “a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle”.
Obviously a fish on a bicycle is absurd, and so followed the feminist notion that a woman needing a man is absurd. Now, I realize that it’s a touchy thing for a man to be discussing the merits of feminism. In fact one of the legacies of feminism is that there is no male questioning of feminism.
Sad and tragic as that is, I won’t fight it on this podcast.
Instead I’ll let women do it. Or at least I’ll quote some articles and opinions I’ve come across lately that reveal a lot about the toll our society has paid for buying in to this way of thinking.
Actually I’ll start off with an article from a man who seems to be pretty okay with the whole fish-bicycle analogy. This is from Greg Hampikian from the NY Times article “Men – Who Needs Them?”
“…women are both necessary and sufficient for reproduction, and men are neither. From the production of the first cell (egg) to the development of the fetus and the birth and breast-feeding of the child, fathers can be absent. They can be at work, at home, in prison or at war, living or dead… as men become less relevant to both reproduction and parenting. Women aren’t just becoming men’s equals. It’s increasingly clear that “mankind” itself is a gross misnomer: an uninterrupted, intimate and essential maternal connection defines our species.”
Later on Mr. Hampikian does a ‘cost-benefit analysis’ of keeping males around for anything more than sperm donation, which may not be needed for much longer anyways thanks to science, and concludes that:
“Ultimately the question is, does ‘mankind’ really need men? With human cloning technology just around the corner and enough frozen sperm in the world to already populate many generations… the conclusion could reasonably be ‘no’”.
Nice job, Greg!
So now let’s hear some women chime in; Kay Hymowitz writes about her frustration with adolescent man/boys in a Wall St. Journal article titled “Where have All The Good Men Gone?” She talks about the causes of the modern male’s descent in permanent adolescence and says that today’s typical slacking, juvenile male is:
“relatively affluent, free of family responsibilities, and entertained by an array of media devoted to his every pleasure, the single young man can live in pig heaven—and often does. Women put up with him for a while, but then in fear and disgust either give up on any idea of a husband and kids or just go to a sperm bank and get the DNA without the troublesome man. But these rational choices on the part of women only serve to legitimize men’s attachment to the sand box. Why should they grow up? No one needs them anyway. There’s nothing they have to do. They might as well just have another beer.”
And then there’s this gem from Kathleen Parker in the Washington Post called “The New F-Word: Father” She starts off with a question:
“News that women increasingly are the leading or sole breadwinner in the American family has resurrected the perennial question: Why do we need men?”
She wrote a book a few years back called “Save The Males” and she tells why:
“My argument that men should be saved is that, despite certain imperfections, men are fundamentally good, and are sort of pleasant to have around. Most women still like to fall in love with them;” and “…all children want a father no matter how often we try to persuade ourselves otherwise. If we continue to impose low expectations and negative messaging on men and boys, future women won’t have much to choose from.”
Women need men, she concludes:
“Because, simply, children need a father. That not all get a good one is no argument against what is true and irrevocable and everlasting. Deep in the marrow of every human child bubbles a question far more profound than those currently occupying coffee klatches: Who is my daddy? And sadly these days, where is he?”
So it would seem that the Women’s Libbers of Boomer-time got their wish. They started this ball rolling, and no doubt most of them are pleased.
But is the average woman pleased, the non-radical feminist who just wants more opportunity but who, like these ladies, doesn’t want to give up on men or marriage and family?
There’s hope, I think. I found a little bit more in yet another article I ran across. It’s in the Mail Online and it’s by Rebecca Walker, the daughter of feminist icon Alice Walker, who wrote The Color Purple. The article’s title says it all – “How my mother’s fanatical views tore us apart”.
She says this:
“I was raised to believe that women need men like a fish needs a bicycle. But I strongly feel children need two parents and the thought of raising my son without my partner would be terrifying.”
She goes on to relate the sad story of how her mother neglected her in her formative years and has since disowned Rebecca for the sin of actually becoming a mother. All in the name of the feminist ideal of sisterhood. This is how she concludes the article:
“The ease with which people can get divorced these days doesn’t take into account the toll on children. That’s all part of the unfinished business of feminism. Then there is the issue of not having children. I meet women in their 30’s who are ambivalent about having a family. They say things like: ‘I’d like a child. If it happens, it happens.’ I tell them: ‘Go home and get on with it because your window of opportunity is very small.’ Then I meet women in their 40’s who are devastated because they spent two decades working on a Ph.D. or becoming a partner in a law firm, and they missed out on having a family. Thanks to the feminist movement, they discounted their biological clocks. Feminism has betrayed an entire generation of women into childlessness. It is devastating.”
Then she makes a really important point:
“Far from taking responsibility for any of this, the leaders of the women’s movement close ranks against anyone who dares to question them – as I have learned to my cost. I believe feminism is an experiment, and all experiments need to be assessed on their results. Then, when you see huge mistakes have been paid, you need to make alterations. I am just so relieved that my viewpoint is no longer so utterly colored by my mother’s. I am my own woman and I have discovered what really matters – a happy family.”
Now obviously Alice Walker was pretty radical, and most women I know who call themselves feminists would disagree with her. But, in the big picture, which we always try to see here, radical feminists like her have had a huge impact on our society.
No doubt a lot of the male-dominated aspects of our society had to change, and most women have taken good advantage of the opportunities opened up to them. But the cost of these opportunities was never considered before radical feminists began a now obvious assault on the very foundations of our society – marriage and family.
So I’m not going to say that feminism was a good thing or a bad thing. I’ll let these women’s words speak for themselves, and no doubt for many women in today’s world that have been likewise affected by radical feminism.
What I will ask is that we break the ranks of those who won’t allow a conversation or an assessment of the feminist experiment, and maybe even consider lifting the male gag order on discussing it.
We need to talk about this, folks!
Because in case you’re wondering how I found all these articles, let me tell you that they’re all over the place. This is a big problem and concern in America today, and the ones most concerned about it are young women who have basically given up on marriage and family because the pool of good, strong responsible men is drying up.
They’re not the only ones, either. Parents are despairing about lost, aimless sons. Married men and women hurt for their lonely single friends and relatives who seem to have no hope of finding love and family, and communities are struggling with the consequences of fatherless children, mostly boys.
These women are right – it’s devastating. Because obviously women DO need men, and so do children. And just as importantly, men need women to mature us, nurture us and help keep us strong and on the straight and narrow. It’s a lonely, miserable world without you, ladies.
And with that the Late ‘Boomer is out.
In closing, it’s time for the Great Cloud Of Witnesses, the segment of our podcast where we meet and hear the stories of those who have given, and some who are still giving, their lives by faith in the promises of God, and of whom the world was and is not worthy (if you don’t know that reference, please check out Hebrews chapter 11-12 in your Bible). Today’s witness is Andrew, an evangelist in Bangladesh:
Andrew stared into the gun, wondering why the man didn’t fire. The assassin grew frustrated, then frightened. And finally, he fled from the room. The phone rang and Andrew found himself talking to the man who had come to kill him just a few minutes earlier.
“The Muslim leaders offered me a big reward to kill you,” the would-be assassin explained. I rode across Bangladesh to come to your office. The reward was mine. I was ready to shoot. But I couldn’t move my arm. I couldn’t pull the trigger.”
The evangelist praise the Lord for His protection. Andrew found it somewhat comical.
“So, what can I do for you now?” he asked.
“Sir, I still can’t move my arm. And it’s because of you. Can you help me?”
Right on the phone, Andrew prayed, and instantly, the man regained full use of his arm. Astounded by the miracle, he returned to the evangelist’s office and began asking questions about this Jesus, of whom the Muslim leaders seemed to be so afraid.
The evangelist patiently explained the Good News of Jesus’ love – even offering tea to the man who had come to kill him.
After 45 minutes, the man prayed to receive Jesus into his own heart. The former hitman’s ministry now is to destroy the works of the devil. To this day, he is a fellow missionary in Bangladesh.
So we have two souls to nominate to the Great Cloud of Witnesses, Andrew the missionary and the un-named Bangladeshi assassin who God so comically, yet powerfully, brought into the Kingdom. They are hereby nominated, and the world is not worthy of them.