Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Joseph Rogers

12/20/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

An epidemic of negativity towards masculinity creates a vacuum in our culture

For centuries a man's masculinity has been strongly tied to what he does most often as leader of his family and career choice. While what a man does is important, a true understanding of masculinity requires we first know what it actually is.

Highlights

By Joseph Rogers

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/20/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: masculine, feminine, gender, sexuality, femininity, masculinity, Feminine Genius, Joseph Rogers


LONG ISLAND, NY (Catholic Online) - Oscar Wilde once said "The true perfection of man lies, not in what a man has, but in what a man is." Just what is a man then? Blessed John Paul II gave us a thoughtful piece about the spirituality of femininity which ultimately became known as The Feminine Genius. It helped me to appreciate and understand the spiritual beauty of woman.

I was disappointed, however, to find that there was no specific treatment of the  "Masculine Genius!" Some effort has been given to address the subject by others, but it is hard to compare these efforts  to the depth revealed in the late Pope's work.

It is anyone's guess as to why the late Pope did not specifically talk about a "Masculine Genius." He certainly addresses the topic in other sources such as his extraordinary work referred to as the "Theology of the Body". His apostolic exhortation on St. Joseph entitled "Guardian of the Redeemer"  also gives us insights into the subject. However, there is no direct writing of the late Pope dealing with the "masculine genius".

My theory for the omission is that the Pope was banking on Christ's entire life and passion as a direct example of masculinity, rightly understood. The entire New Testament is based on Jesus Christ who most certainly represents the "Masculine Genius" in His sacred humanity.

However, there is still a great benefit and moral imperative, to shine light on the specifics of a "Masculine Genius." For centuries a man's masculinity has been strongly tied to what he does most often as leader of his family and career choice. While what a man does is important, a true understanding of masculinity requires we first know what it actually is.

The importance of clearly defining and understanding the "Masculine Genius" cannot be understated. The media and even some politicians have used the public forum to define masculinity by some of its worst stereotypes. Defining masculinity by its worst stereotypes instills doubt in a man's identity and affects his ability to be an effective leader.

Even more troubling is that we also inadvertently encourage a self-fulfilling prophecy.Back in May, one NY Times columnist wrote an article about the recent Secret Service prostitution scandal. One sentiment that infuriated me in the article was the notion that "boys will be boys."

For starters, boys DO NOT hire prostitutes and neither do real men. Throwing out clichés like "boys will be boys" sends the message "this is what boys do." It is a counterproductive message that degrades men (and women) by setting the bar for authentic masculinity unacceptably low.

We should have instead used the scandal as a teaching moment to say "this is NOT what real men or women do and it brings shame to every individual involved." If clichés are going to be used then it's high time we call out our modern society for trumpeting "how low can you go."

An epidemic of negativity towards masculinity creates a vacuum in our culture. Just recently Susanne Venker declared there is a "war on men" based on men's disinterest in marriage. The points Susanne Venker made could have been much better stated, but the sentiments of the men she interviewed are exactly why a spiritual consideration of masculinity is critical.

Due to ever changing expression of gender roles, as men we can no longer define ourselves so rigidly by what we do. Careers, awards, fame, and fortune are all material things. They do not define human being. These things only describe what a human being chooses to do with their life and how successful we are at doing it. Men need a spiritual revolution to ground us in something that cannot be taken away, an understanding of the spiritual side of our masculinity.

Lastly, there are pundits out there that argue that femininity and masculinity are just social constructs to force conformity. They sell the unfortunate line that in order for a truly equal society we must do away with all gender specificity. The truth is men and women are different but equal in value! Science has proven this repeatedly by the observation of differences in male and female brains. These differences in the brain have an effect on behavior.

We need both female and male brains. They complement each other. The pundits can argue all they want about what a person says about their gender identity. At the end of the day, however, the male and female brains are defined by nature and behave differently. It is by working together, however, that we realize the beauty of both in each other and ourselves!
-----
Joseph Rogers is a 26 year old Catholic man from Long Island, NY studying Material Science. Philosophy, history, and theology to feed his curiosity about understanding the human person. Christ is his greatest inspiration and strength in learning how to better serve those around him. His Catholic faith is important to him and has opened many doors in his life.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More Living Faith

Take the Catholic Online Thanksgiving Challenge! Watch

Image of Reaching out to others is precisely the way to show that we are thankful for what we have.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Thanksgiving is supposed to be a holiday filled with family and food, often spent on televised parades and football, and naps after lunch. Kids play in the yard or the streets as everybody generally has a good time. However, this is not the case for millions of ... continue reading


Pope says he's willing to speak to Islamic State - says nations are likewise guilty of 'terrorism' Watch

Image of After addressing the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, Pope Francis also told journalists that the threat of terrorism was not the only horror weighing on the world.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Asked about the possibilities of discussion with Islamic State, Pope Francis said, "I never count anything as lost. Never. Never close the door. It's difficult, you could say almost impossible, but the door is always open." The Pontiff went forward to say that ... continue reading


Unborn, terminally ill and elderly are treated as objects in Europe, Pope Francis says Watch

Image of If we uphold the dignity of the person we are acknowledging the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Despite talk of human rights, too many people are treated as objects in Europe: unborn, terminally ill, and the elderly," Pope Francis said. Speaking at the European Union Parliament in Strasbourg, the pontiff said that "We're too tempted to throwaway lives we ... continue reading


Church recognizes six new saints as Pope Francis canonizes in Sunday ceremony, speaking about how we too shall be judged Watch

Image of Indian well-wishers gather at the Vatican for the Canonization ceremony.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has canonized six new saints, two Indians and four Italians, praising their lives as "extraordinary" and reminding us all that we will be judged by how we treat others. VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis recognized six new saints on Sunday, ... continue reading


Pope says church must extend help to immigrants, 'so that all may be treated as children of God' Watch

Image of The world must now recognize the advantages of migration. Host countries get new workers to meet production needs,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Speaking to the 300 participants in the Vatican-sponsored World Congress on the Pastoral Care of Migrants, the Pope says that the Catholic Church "is a mother without limits and without borders." He says that the church must welcome and assist all of God's children, ... continue reading


Feast of Christ the King and Advent: What Does it Mean? Watch

Image of The Church really IS the Mystical Body of the Risen Christ. That Body is inseparably joined to the Head. Jesus Christ is alive, he has been raised, and he continues His redemptive mission now through the Church, of which we are members. As we choose to actually live our lives liturgically, not just go through the motions, we can move through life in the flow of the liturgical calendar. We can experience the deeper mystery and meaning of life, now made New in Jesus Christ, the One who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. (John 14:6,7) Jesus Christ is King! Jesus Christ is meant to become the Lord of our whole lives, and inform the very pattern of how we live them.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

On November 23rd we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. It is one of many opportunities the Catholic Liturgical Church year offers to each of us consider the creature which is called time, receive it as a gift and begin to really live differently. Yet, for ... continue reading


Two bishops dine and dialogue with peace activists

Image of War doesn't decide who is right, just who is left.

By Tony Magliano

During the recent U.S. Catholic bishops fall assembly in Baltimore, two bishops decided to forego the military chaplains dinner sponsored by the U.S. Army Chief of Chaplains Office, and attended instead a simple supper and discussion on peacemaking. On the evening of ... continue reading


'God always forgives, but the earth does not,' Pope warns Watch

Image of The Pope urged the world's leaders to rein in their greed and help the hungry.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A doomsday scenario in which Mother Nature would exact her revenge is possible, even likely, Pope Francis warns. The pontiff was speaking out against the exploitation of natural resources for profit. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Pope urged the world's ... continue reading


Pope Francis' special message: Why Poverty? 'And while we speak of new rights, the hungry remain'

Image of When we give our loaves and fishes to Christ, there is no end to the Good that can come from it.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has asked the world to do more to help those who suffer from hunger and malnutrition. Despite gains made in infrastructure and outpourings of food, too many people with plenty have done too little to help. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - With ... continue reading


How do you raise a good, upstanding child? With daily prayers, weekly church attendance and the knowledge of God Watch

Image of Billy Graham, now 96, has reached out to millions with his joyous words of the truth of God and Jesus Christ.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Reverend Billy Graham, the world famous television evangelist and founder and chairman of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, has said that the reason the world seems to be in such dire straits is that children are not being raised right. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Revelation 18:1-2, 21-23; 19:1-3, 9
1 After this, I saw another angel come down from ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:2, 3, 4, 5
2 serve Yahweh with gladness, come into his presence ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:20-28
20 'When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 27th, 2014 Image

St. James Intercisus
November 27: James was a favorite of King Yezdigerd I of Persia and a ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter