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.

Article 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 April 2014
Ecology and Justice:
That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick: That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.



Comments


More Living Faith

John's Paul II's Doctor: I don't know how he survived the shooting Watch

Image of Pope John Paul II miraculously recovered from assassination attempt. After his recovery, he forgave his would-be killer, visiting him in prison.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The doctor to Bl. Pope John Paul II has explained that he doesn't know how the assassin's bullet intended to kill him did not do so. He also talked about the Holy Father in his last days, as he worked amid failing health. "I don't know how he survived the shooting," ... continue reading


Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action' to end global hunger Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis helped launch a worldwide movement to end hunger through prayer and action. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Catholic Online with Your Catholic Voice Foundation is participating, along vwith Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Charities USA and the ... continue reading


Coptic priest added as Pope Francis' second personal secretary Watch

Image of Some say that the appointment of a Coptic Catholic priest is a sign of  Pope Francis' commitment to dialogue with the Arab and Muslim world.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Coptic Catholic priest Yoannis Lahzi Gaid has been personally chosen by Pope Francis as his second personal secretary. Lahzi Gaid is currently working in the first section of the Vatican Secretariat of State and is also one of the "translators" who reads the ... continue reading


From an Ancient Easter Homily: Jesus Christ, the Source of Resurrection and Life Watch

Image of

By An Ancient Anonymous Preacher

Thus the passion of our Savior is the salvation of mankind. The reason why he desired to die for us was that he wanted us who believe in him to live for ever. In the fullness of time it was his will to become what we are, so that we might inherit the eternity he ... continue reading


TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH: Pope Francis delivers powerful Easter message Watch

Image of Pope Francis enters with his candle symbolizing the light of Christ.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis urged Catholics to share their faith "to the ends of the Earth" during a baptism ceremony at St. Peter's Basilica. The solemn ceremony reminds us that we are called to serve amid the joy of the resurrection. The most enduring call of Christ is for us to ... continue reading


Rome already crushed with pilgrims for historic canonization of Pope John Paul II and John XXIII Watch

Image of Hundreds of thousands packed into Rome for the beatification of Pope John Paul II. This time, the numbers will be far greater.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Rome is well-packed with throngs of pilgrims who have begun a week's long vigil awaiting the most historic canonization in world history. Next Sunday, Popes John Paul II and John XXIII will be canonized by Pope Emeritus Benedict and Pope Francis. ROME, ITALY (Catholic ... continue reading


BREAKING THE RULES or IS HE? Pope Francis washes women's feet and those of undetermined religion Watch

Image of This year, Francis arrived at a center for the disabled and elderly in Rome. Francis kneeled down, washed, dried and kissed the feet of a dozen people, some in wheelchairs, other with grossly swollen and disfigured feet.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has shown little regard for rules in regards to his papacy. The latest controversy now surrounds his washing the feet of 12 disabled and elderly people, some of who were women and non-Catholics. The pre-Easter ritual, Pope Francis is designed to show ... continue reading


'Priestly joy is a priceless treasure,' Pope Francis says Watch

Image of The pope, presiding over the first of two Holy Thursday liturgies, blessed the oils that will be used in the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, ordination and the anointing of the sick.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If a priest wants to overcome moments of sadness, exhaustion and boredom, in addition to discovering his true identity, he must head for the exit sign, going outside himself to be with God and his people, Pope Francis said during the Chrism Mass at St. Peter's ... continue reading


Who's ready for the most historic canonization in modern history?

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Are you ready for the canonization of Pope John Paul II? Vatican officials are busy preparing for the historic canonization of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII. As they prepare, it's time for use to get ready as well. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - on April 27, a ... continue reading


Pope Francis encourages people to kiss crucifix and recite simple prayer Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis is encouraging people this holy week to pick up a crucifix, kiss it and recite the simple prayer: "Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Lord." He wishes to remind others that Christ's passion "isn't the happy ending of a beautiful fairytale, it isn't the ... 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, Acts 3:11-26
11 Everyone came running towards them in great ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 8:2, 5, 6-7, 8-9
2 even through the mouths of children, or of babes in ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 24:35-48
35 Then they told their story of what had happened on ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 24th, 2014 Image

St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen
April 24: Franciscan Capuchin martyr. He was born Mark Rey is Sigmaringen, ... 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