There is a difference between being a man, and masculinity. There is also a difference between what a culture has concluded and the truth.
I could have a son. Fully man. In all biological ways. And he could be almost completely feminine. He could wear pink, and be sexually attracted to men, and still be a man. Now, the culture I grew up in would be awkward about my son. In traditional Australia, boys wear blue, men like girls, and grow beards, and speak in certain tones and be quite focused. Now there are large exceptions to this rule, but if I was to present my son to the world in pink, he would largely be mistaken as a girl.
This is not wrong. This is just how our culture has agreed will be the common colour for boys and girls. The common behaviour of boys and girls. The common everything, as culture is just that. The unconscious or very conscious agreement of communities of people. Symbols, labels, language, ideals.
I have known some very masculine women. They have feminine features, and behavioral traits, but on the whole, they are a more masculine person than many men I know. ‘Society’ then pushes these people away from certain things. We typecast, we box them into what we think masculine women should be boxed into, and we leave it at that, because we are inherently lazy and judgmental. This also comes about with many other labels.
In my travels, if you vote a certain way politically, then that writes you off from certain respect, or sometimes even gains you certain respect. And thats the box. You can be a complete social miscreant, but if you vote republican in the states, or liberal in australia, or blue party in Europe, then… your label is quite good.
If you dress a certain way, you get labelled.
I skated to an x-ray clinic once to get my wrist x-rayed. And the look in the doctors eyes meant that he clearly thought i was an idiot who deserved all the pain i got. When I had a rats tail, (a tiny braid on the side of my head) I would get many looks, both of awe and of disgust. That rats tail label kept me from many friendships, but it also gained me a lot of friendships.
It seems to all come down to our communal agreements and decisions of what is in and what is not. Blue is for boys, and the masculine trait for boys is a conclusion that our culture comes to. and i am not arguing that one is good or bad, I am just pointing out this inbuilt need in us humans to label things, to box things, to make reading and interacting with our world simpler. Because if we took in every piece of information that daily assails us, we would go insane. So our brains pick and choose, and simplify our decisions with over-generalization of certain behaviour and social traits. and usually these decisions are trained into us at birth. Hence why racism is usually family wide and occasionally hard to retrain without outside influence.
Say all that to say this. Jesus calls us to simplify even more than our tiny brains already do. He calls us not to simplify to colours, or fashion choices, or skin colour, or gender traits. He calls us to simplify our love to EVERYBODY!
When we meet people, our over generalization should be:
‘Here is someone I CAN and WILL love, because they have been made by a loving father to be loved’.
We shouldn’t react to a christian musician communicating that they are gay with the easily simplified ‘Well… they are a sinner soo… BOO’ We love that musician and we continue to enjoy their music because we CAN and we WILL.
We shouldn’t get all racist and anti-arab because a couple of people with Arab blood kill a bunch of people. Its too easy to then simplify that ALL arabs must be terrorists. We love Arabs and we continue to enjoy their company because we CAN and we WILL.
We should LOVE as our default position.
We should love first and ask questions weeks later, but only after knowing that there is a much larger story going on behind peoples choices.
We are all a bundle of good and bad choices brought together by a God whose Son made the greatest choice of all, who never gave up on us, and who still doesn’t give up on.
So why would we ever give up on others because of some generic label our stupid culture came up with?
Our culture is love.