Recently Zippy Catholic noted how shocking it was to see how vehemently the pro life movement opposes holding women accountable, or even discussing the idea of holding women accountable:
…just listening to the pro life rhetoric following the Trump gaffe – this was truly, genuinely shocking to me, and I am not easy to surprise – that most of the pro life movement just is pro choice when it comes to the woman who is choosing to abort herself. They may not agree with her choice and they may be against everyone who is facilitating it, but they are against legally punishing her for making it. Heck, they are against even talking about legally punishing her for making it.
I’m with Zippy on this. I’m hard to shock, and yet even I was shocked at the open insistence that women never be held accountable. The sentiment isn’t unusual for modern Christians, but usually great care is taken to deny that this is really going on. Prior to the Trump abortion gaffe, the clearest example of this frame of mind was the absurd lengths Complementarians went to in order to pretend that the push to integrate all parts of our armed forces was driven not by envious rebellious women demanding equality, but by cowardly men insisting that women fight in their place.
But even the absurdity around women in the military is more open than usual. Normally modern Christians are much more diligent about covering their tracks. Normally it isn’t so much a conspiracy of commission, but one of omission. Occasionally we are given rationalizations for this pattern, as Jason Allen explains at the CBMW in 5 Key Ways to Cultivating Biblical Manhood in Your Church (emphasis mine):
…we must be clear about what men must do. Biblical complementarity is not fundamentally about what opportunities women must forgo, but what responsibilities men must take up.
At first glance this seems like a good statement. Men after all must lead. However, the way Christian men are failing the most in our era of open feminist rebellion is by refusing to call out that very rebellion. Allen wants men to lead, but the example he sets is to focus not on confronting the very open feminist rebellion, but on some mysterious and spontaneous change in men*. This is especially ironic because his article opens by citing the gloating book by feminist Hanna Rosin The End of Men.
Rosin has a point, and it is an alarming one. While we recognize the challenges such statistics indicate for a society, as Christians our primary concern is not the country or the culture—it is the home and the church. If the latter are healthy, the former will be healthier.
Many churches are bereft of male leadership, and many congregations exist in a settled fog over what biblical manhood should look like.
Biblical manhood is failing precisely because organizations like the CBMW make their living by carefully avoiding challenging the feminist rebellion in their midst, while holding themselves out as the example Christian men must follow. Men like Allen constantly bemoan the lack of good men, while the CBMW supports Women’s Studies professors Mary Kassian and Dorothy Patterson**.
More often though the omission isn’t even discussed. Instead, great care is taken to frame every issue in a way that won’t offend the feminist rebellion. At times this is taken to comical lengths, as is the case where Jeremy Young repents of his ugly feminism in: Ditch Your Delusions of Grandeur and Love Your Child
Down the hallway I stomped and there I stood in front of my kid on his porcelain throne. This must have been the thousandth time I needed to wipe his rear end. And frankly, I didn’t want to! I looked up to heaven, and threw my hands up and yelled (in my head and heart at least), “Surely God, I was made for something greater than this!”
This bit of unintended comedy reminds me of the joke about the drunk looking for his keys:
A policeman sees a drunk man searching for something under a streetlight and asks what the drunk has lost. He says he lost his keys and they both look under the streetlight together. After a few minutes the policeman asks if he is sure he lost them here, and the drunk replies, no, and that he lost them in the park. The policeman asks why he is searching here, and the drunk replies, “this is where the light is.”
Feminists, including Complementarian Feminists, are very open about their deep aversion to caring for their families in any way which is traditionally female. It is women, not men, who are seething with resentment at wiping butts. But women are in open rebellion while men are not, so it is far easier to call out men for women’s rebellion no matter how absurd the premise; it is also as pointless as looking for your keys where the light is good instead of where you lost them. Change the sexes and make the article relevant, and the CBMW would have a riot on its hands. At some level they know this, which is why so much care is taken to avoid calling out feminist rebellion and instead focus on the weak men who are screwing feminism up.
*Allen is a featured speaker at the CBMW 2016 Preconference, speaking on Complementarity and the Disappearance of Men.
**See Kassian and Patterson explaining how Christians got it all wrong until the feminists enlightened us in the 1960s.