Could You Love This Genderless Person?

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WARNING: Adult material (sexuality and homosexuality)

Please don’t read ANYTHING I say below out of context.  Please read the whole article to get the gist of what I’m trying to say.  At some points, I’ll go heavily into speculation, so bear with me on that.  I’m just thinking “out loud” here.

This article is not a recommendation list.  I mention these dramas to prove points in this article.  Watch all things at your own risk.  

 

Many of you know I’m fan of Korean (and some Taiwanese) dramas.  On the whole, the evidence that South Korea is a primarily Christian nation shows in their TV.  The dramas I watch tend to be BBC-type 16-20 episode stories – wholesome, modest and have basic Judaeo-Christian values.  Creative, formulaic, and pleasant, they appeal to me much more than our overly sexualized, bad-language-ridden, or just immature American TV.  I like live-action Korean dramas much more than anime even.  It fits my personality and story style.

However, in the last couple years, I’ve been sorry to see the experimentation Korea – and Taiwan – are taking in gender fluidity.  While out and out gay couples aren’t shown – as Korea, thankfully, has not accepted such things yet – I think it’s only a matter of time.  😦

The trend is “gender bending.”

It’s nothing new, really.  We did it in the States – for KIDS – in Mulan.  Japan’s done plenty of it.  Matter of fact, there’s been a transgender individual in almost every Japanese show I’ve seen, which is why I don’t like live-action Japanese TV. Just about every time I watch what would normally be a family-friendly G-rated show, there’s a cross-dresser. They’re inundated with it over there in Japan.

It concerns me that I see it coming to Korea.

Gender-bending shows, like Coffee Prince, You’re Beautiful, Hana Kimi, and the latest, Taiwan’s Bromance, are fan favorites internationally.  In all of these shows, heterosexual, beautiful girls dress up like boys and live or work among men due to various reasons.  None of the reasons make a lot of sense, and all seem to be very contrived, but thus lies the problem in romantic comedy (rom-com) plots: got to create some unbelievable circumstances to force the couple to be together.  In Coffee Prince, she needs a male-only job to make more money for her family.  In You’re Beautiful, she has to sing in a male k-pop group in her miscreant brother’s place.  In Hana Kimi, she infiltrates a boys’ only school to convince her idol to get back into track and field.  And, in Bromance, a fortune teller told her parents she would have bad luck unless she pretended to be a guy until her 26th birthday.  All pretty lousy reasons to fake masculinity, if I do say so myself.  😛

Can you tell which one is the female in each?

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In almost all of these shows, with the exception of You’re Beautiful where he knows she’s a girl, one of the leading men in the story – Mr. Macho Masculinity himself – falls for our boy-girl not knowing she’s a girl.  Mr. Leading Man is staunchly heterosexual, and is surrounded, usually, by a cast of other handsome males whom he has never had feelings for.  His affection for the weakling, feminine-faced new guy (our cross-dressing girl) confuses the living daylights out of him.  And, at some point, he has to accept “being gay,” or at least looking like it, in order to embrace his deep love for the girly-guy, who must exude some sort of strong feminine pheromone, even though the entire world can’t tell her gender.

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Now, if you’re a straight male reading this, you’re cringing.  I don’t know a single guy who’d say that his ideal love story involves falling for his best guy friend, whom he didn’t know was female.  It insults men on every level.  And the guys in the dramas are hurt.  They’re hurt when they think they’re becoming gay over their bestie.  They hurt when they found out how deeply she’s lied to them.  They’re broken down, confused, and hung out to dry.  It’s painful to watch.  Yet they get back up and keep loving her.

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This stuff hits women hard in the warm fuzzies. 

And I started to think about why. I’m convinced there’s a much deeper spiritual longing going on here.

As “Occupiedterritories.tumblr” said, in a Coffee Prince exposé,“K-dramas depict love as an overwhelming totality so ecstatic that it transcends just about everything and approaches the realm of the metaphysical.  Love transcends not just sexuality (which it embraces and folds into itself) but, more precisely, sexual identity (which it dissolves and makes moot).

Because our male leads haven’t fallen in love with a woman.  They haven’t fallen in love with a man.  They’ve fallen in love with a genderless soul: what is assumed to be a person at their deepest core.  Many of them swear off sex, because, as heterosexual men, the thought of sex with their “male” lover revolts them.  Instead, there is a chasteness to the relationship that is rarely seen on TV (or in real life!)  Except for a kiss or two, they bond on a much deeper level – one of friendship, camaraderie, and dedication.

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A woman wants to think that, at her least attractive – even looking like a man –  that her personality, her friendship, and her soul would be desirable enough to change a man’s sexuality.  That he could get past anything to love her.  That it’s not really about sex at all.  That it’s not about her body at all.  In a culture that tells you you have to be a certain cup-size, a woman wants to think that a man will love her if curves and a female reproductive system don’t exist at all.  That he loves her deepest soul – a part of who she is that makes her unique, individual, and transcends her physical self.  

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Every woman’s dream.

Every human being’s dream really.

All of us are looking for a relationship, love, and passion that cannot be attained on earth.  Even the hardest, coldest, bad boy needs to feel like he’s loved for who he is – even if that lover is him loving himself.  We look for it in many, many places, but, most popularly, in other people.

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Human beings are sinful.  They’re selfish, physically-oriented, small-minded, and weak.  We get sick, we die, we change our minds, we reject, we abuse, and we distort.  We’re not telepathic and we see the world only through our own eyes.  Our understanding of the spiritual worth of a human soul is limited at best.  And, when we find out the ickiest and nastiest about people, it tends to turn us off from that person.  People “fall out of love” every day, with divorce rates at its highest in the last decade.  Bullying is impossible to avoid in most school and work settings.  Finally, more and more, human beings are turning to experimenting sexually, with homosexuality being at its peak in the U.S., with experts guessing at around 10% of the population.

I want to say, firmly, that I stand with the Bible that homosexuality is a sin.  It isn’t natural, it isn’t something you’re born with that you can’t choose to avoid, and it is wrong in God’s eyes, Biblically.

The gender-bender premise is dangerous. In an effort to spiritualize love, like we should be doing, we fall short when we take God-created gender out of the equation. Instead of being a squeal-worthy comedy-fest of true heterosexual love succeeding against the greatest of odds, gender-bender shows introduces dangerous new ideas, like:

  1. Myth: Men don’t appreciate femininity. Women should shake off things that make them female, and should strive to be just like men.  Androgyny is more attractive than embracing the way God made us.

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I have had many guy friends in my life, yet I am one of the most girly people I know – all of my friends will tell you that.  I’ve never upset a guy because I was girly.  I truly think most think “viva la difference” between us.  They like my perspective, and I value theirs.  A girl once told me that my husband needed a tomboy girl – one that played basketball with him, didn’t wear makeup or jewelry, and stuck to blues, grays, and masculine clothing.  He couldn’t possibly appreciate a pink-loving, girly-girl.  Well, turns out, this is the same man who buys me new high heels every year, and likes seeing me in skirts, and long hair dyed pink.  He said it would be pretty boring if I was just like him.  No matter how you dress, your husband married a woman because he wanted a woman!

God created us to complement eachother.  That’s “complement,” like being an opposite matching puzzle piece.  I’m not sure if you’ve had close friends of the opposite gender – although you should have one if you’re married!  The bond can be strong, coupled with the fact that hormones were created to get in there and add spice to the pot that doesn’t exist with same-sex friendships.  It’s so easy to let your relationship with the opposite gender get too close and go too far.  Why?  Because we’re created to be close like that.  We’re created to have ONE spouse, of the opposite gender, who complements, intrigues, attracts, and interests us.

I sure love my girl besties, but none of them will ever compare with the bond I can only achieve with one man.  There’s just something about it.  God created it.

  1. Myth: Gender doesn’t matter.

People want to claim that gender and sexuality matters as much as a pair of shoes.  Wear one pair today, toss ‘em and change to something else tomorrow.

But it seems that gender is intrinsic to our personality and soul – much more than human beings would like to admit.  Even God identifies SOLELY as a He.  Jesus was clearly born male, and He still sits at the right hand of God – male.  And God the Father is inherently male.  Father = male.

Once I heard someone wonder if we would be genderless in heaven.  The concept sat very badly with me.  Maybe I don’t have much of an imagination, but I can’t see how I’d still be RJ Conte in heaven without being female.  Even if my heavenly body isn’t as physical as this one, I think that, if God is male, I will still be female.  God could totally do something miraculous and create new genders or abolish them, but we see no precedence for this in Scripture.  We see commands to embrace our maleness if we’re male, and our femininity if we’re female. We see different roles, different strengths, and even occasionally different commands for males and females, husbands and wives.  We hear of dead people and angels referred to by gender.

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I think we wonder about gender in heaven because there will be no marriage.  I personally don’t think that means there won’t be gender.  There’s no need for marriage, because intimacy in heaven will be complete.  No sexual act with a spouse here on earth will compare to the spiritual – and perhaps physical, mental (telepathy, anyone?), and emotional intimacy we will have with God and other people in heaven.  Marriage will seem like a cruder, less effective method of trying to bond with people.  What about when you can know them completely in a new form?  What about when every moment in God’s presence is pleasurable? Sex will be pointless.  Can you imagine being intimate with God? 

 

I think that’s the point of our pitiful attempts to create the perfect love story.  It can’t compare to the love of God.  He loves our very soul.  He inhabits our body.  He embraces and partakes with us of our emotions. He knows every single thought we’ve ever thought or will think. He doesn’t care what gender we are – His love is the same.  He died for us.  He is the ultimate author of passion.  He is the ultimate lover.  He fills you from the inside out.  He defines your true worth.

There is no intimacy like being inhabited by Christ. 

There is no intimacy like knowing the God of the universe and being known.  Like being died for.

You’re just not ever going to find that in a human man.  Even if you dress up like one.

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RJ Conte writes about love and the Christian life for young adults.  Her latest novel, a romantic suspense, will be released in February on Amazon.com

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We Are Losing Our Men

First, my disclaimers, which will be in bold so no one misses them.

YES, I harp on women on this blog. YES, it might not look fair. Here’s the thing. I *am* a woman. So I talk to women. It makes no sense if I sit here and lecture men on everything they’re doing wrong. It would just make me look bitter and arrogant. I really don’t feel qualified to lecture men.  I write about things I’ve learned the hard way or things that motivate me into action. I write to women. Men have responsibilities in relationships too, but I’m not going to talk about those in this article.  That being said, MEN, if you want to send this post to the women in your life, feel free to do so. I hope that I represent the issue well, and that this helps in your relationships.  WOMEN, if you want articles that talk about how men fail in relationships or life, the Internet is full of those. You’re just probably not going to find those on this blog, because I have enough failures of my own without having to point fingers at the men. If this helps any of you dear women, then God will have already used my mistakes. ❤

You’ve heard it, over and over again: don’t treat your guy like your girlfriends. Wait. You haven’t heard that? Okay, back up. It’s true.  Your husband or boyfriend or father or brother is not “one of the girls,” ladies. It doesn’t mean that he can’t go clothes shopping with you or appreciate how you do your hair. It just means that he’s not a girl and should not be expected to fill that role in your life.

HOWEVER, I think we’ve taken this to some extremes.

We’ve decided “not a girl” means “not a human.” And we think they’re impervious to the emotions and hurts and needs we women feel every day.

Let me explain.

How many of your homes look like mine? Husband walks in the door after a long day, and is met with a wife that hugs him, kisses him, and then begins animatedly talking about her day. She starts out trying to be positive, but soon it’s all about “Bertha, the neighbor, who said something stupid and hurt my feelings” and “Sally and Susie, the toddlers, got into this and that,” and “Great nephew Sammy is a mess and it breaks my heart!”

Weeping goes on against his shoulder, and the wife’s needs are met, her heart strengthened and relaxed. He has been her rock yet again.

Then he turns to her and says, “This blasted technology is acting up again, and it makes me so mad. Can you tell Sally to please be quiet for fifteen minutes so I can think?”

“Honey, honey!” Wifey scolds. “How dare you be frustrated? Sally is two. She needs your reassurance and compassion. She won’t understand. You’ve hurt her feelings. And how silly to be so angry over technology! What’s wrong with you? You’re usually so patient.”

And, if the husband is anything like mine, he bravely shuts his mouth, sucks in his negative feelings, and lets the wife’s hypocrisy burn right through him.

Because it isn’t fair.

Studies have shown that men feel guilt, embarrassment, shame, pride, depression, and stress just as much as women. They simply don’t always feel the need to show it so obviously, or feel safe and secure enough with another human being to want to. (Warning, this link has adult comments on sexual things) http://www.yourtango.com/experts/galtime-com/men-have-feelings-too#.VCh_qhYaxM0

This stigma about expressing oneself may contribute to the fact that, across the

world, suicide rates for males are anywhere from two to SIX times higher than it is for females.

We are losing our men.

Our husbands are not to be our punching bags, to suck it up and take our emotional tidal waves every time they’re with us. They are humans with full emotional capabilities, needs, and fears as well. Because they may not always want to or feel safe enough to volunteer their vulnerabilities does not give us the right, as women, to assume they have none and to walk all over them with our own problems.

In a culture of easy sex, breakups, and too many sequels of James Bond, men have this assumption that they’re supposed to be tough, emotionless, and unattached. Because they don’t feel the need to express their emotions the way women do, that they simply don’t exist. That they are super-human or different from women in so many core ways, instead of fallen, emotional beings, who have needs to be loved and respected and cherished – something God does for all of us, and what we’re commanded to give our husbands.

Here’s a good test: Something has upset you and you’re crying about it. Can you go a full twenty-four hours without sharing it with your husband? Can you pray about it first? Can you spend a full day just talking to God about it, or do you feel like you’re about to explode unless you get yourself some manly arms and a listening ear?

THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH TALKING THROUGH PROBLEMS WITH YOUR SPOUSE. There is nothing wrong with leaning on the emotional support a husband can bring. But is it all about us?

Have our husbands simply become disaster hotlines?

Is there a give and take between listening, comforting, and sharing God’s truth between both of you? Or has your marriage become a husband-counselor/wife-counselee scenario only?

Do any of you have distant husbands? Husbands who seem apathetic or uncaring? Husbands who seem closed off and changed?

Have you ever, ever considered it might have something to do with you? Have we, as women, ever shut up long enough to listen to our husband’s heart? And waited, maybe months, if need be, to gain his trust back so that he thinks we care again to hear his heart?

Can we purpose to go to God first and approach our husbands with our problems second? Can we choose to go last during “talking time” and ask the right questions to get our men to be able to share their own concerns with us? Or have hours gone by with only the wives having shot their mouths off about Friend X and Student Y, leaving your spouse weary and ready for bed?

Do you have your husband’s heart? If not, is it because it’s been about you for so long?

Listen to your conversations between your husband and yourself. Is it mostly you talking? Does he only open his mouth one third or one fourth of the time? Having a quiet husband is no excuse. I have one of the world’s most introverted spouses, but, when I ask a few questions, give him eye contact, and just listen – because I’ve already gone to the Lord about the irritating situation that came up Blanche’s birthday party, I find that it’s just not more important than hearing how my husband made the work basketball team, and that he’s as excited as a little boy at Christmas.

Once again, I am NOT advocating that you tell your husband less. I am advocating PERSPECTIVE. Selflessness. Wait on the Blanche’s birthday party conversation until your husband has talked first. Make sure you’re in a better, unemotional state. Don’t let all your pent-up anger out on him.  Don’t always be looking for Hubby to pat you on the back and raise your ego. Wait a day or two until he’s talked his 50% of the time. There can be majorly important things from his soul that you’re missing because you’re busy whining about someone you’ll never see again who happened to be at your friend’s party.

Grab your man back gently by being mature, by letting him know he’s not God in your life, and he’s not required to solve all of your problems within the hour they happen.

“Do to others what you would have them do to you.”  Matthew 7:12

Would you want a man who walks in the door every day and goes, “Peter was so nasty to me! Wait until you hear about our entire two hour conversation word for word! Just a minute. I can’t talk while I’m sobbing! What a mean man! Will you speak to him for me and make him stop! Oh, I’ve just had it. I need chocolate. Wait here. This is going to be a looooooong night!”

I don’t think so. Yet we’ve made these same men put up with this, day after day, from us.

Instead, I’ve started asking, “How do you feel about what happened at work today?”

Like any normal man, he snorts, and goes, “Feel? Me?”

And I look him straight in the eyes and say, “Yes. You. You’re no alien. I acknowledge that you have valid feelings too.”

And you know what? He does. Turns out he was pretty disappointed about something, that he would’ve stuffed down if I looked right past him and babbled on about how Sally and Susie dumped salt all over the living room.

Have we snubbed their emotions in the past?  Do we laugh at them when they tear up at a girly movie?  Do we get irritated at the goofy teenage-boyish ways they show love?  Do we snort at the way they define “romance”?  Do we make them feel humiliated when they admit a fear?  Do they just not even feel like trying any more?

Later, maybe the next morning, he asks, “Why is there salt on my coffee table?”

And, with a fresh new attitude and a good night’s sleep, I can laugh and go, “You’ll never guess what the girls did!” And he’s laughing too. There are fewer tears. Everything is viewed in its proper perspective when there’s a little bit of time, prayer, and sleep under my belt.

“But enough about salt spillage, which is (mostly!) cleaned up now,” I say. “How did you sleep?  Did you dream?”

And, what do you know?  He did. And it was such a sweet dream that I’m glad I got to hear about it.

For further study, an excellent article on INTPs, that probably applies to many men, which describes the emotional circles frustrated husbands and wives get into stepping on each others’ toes and assuming that men are unfeeling: Dating an INTP

Should Married Women Vote Against Their Spouse?

Blogger’s Note: After this post went viral all over the Internet, due to the emotional responses I received, I thought it important to change my “hook” title to say what I really mean.  Also, this is not a sin issue in Scripture, just an opinion from a Christian woman who wants to apply all of Scripture to all of her daily life.  This is just food for thought, but is ultimately up to you and your spouse to decide.  There is no judgment cast on those who don’t agree with me.  Thanks for reading!

From a Christian perspective, in a perfect, biblical society, I think married women should not have needed the right to vote. 

I first heard that statement expressed by people close to me and I was aghast, sputtering.  This marked a huge victory in our history!  Women are equal citizens of this countryyour_vote_counts!  We raise the next politicians!  We should have a say!

But these people went on to explain and they really convinced me.

Stick with me and make sure you read to the end.

This doesn’t apply to single adult women, as they have no head of their own home, and many are out in our workforces and living on their own. 

This thought is for married women.

God has placed women to be under their husbands.  He said, in the Garden of Eden, “Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”  Genesis 3:16

He also stated it clearly in the New Testament: “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, His body, of which He is the Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.”  Ephesians 5:22

Submission only works because Christ also told men to love their wives and sacrifice for them, to treat them with respect like they would their own body.  So this is not a post to bash men, or to complain about their leadership, or to discuss men that are hard to submit to.  Simply put, it’s about what women’s role is according to the Bible.  And, like it or not, your husband is to be your leader and you are to submit to him.  God compares it to the church submitting to Christ!  That’s a lofty comparison!

Therefore, by giving married women the right to vote, I think that our country placed, in women’s hands, the right to go against their husbands in a very grand way.  By having an equal vote, they can oppose their husbands and technically nullify their vote.  A woman who votes against her husband’s vote, in my opinion, as I interpret Scripture, is out from under his authority.

If Christian women are not supposed to say to their husbands, “Forget you.  You picked this pastor and this church, but I disagree, so I’m going to a different church,”  (Now, feel free to appeal to him and pray hard if you feel like the church is a bad choice!) and if Christian women are not supposed to say, “I don’t like your rules in this house, so I’m giving the children opposing rules and you can just live with it,” then I don’t think it’s Biblical for them to be able to say, “I don’t trust you to elect the proper leaders for our country.  I’m supposed to be under you, and you’re under the government, but I don’t trust you to elect the right boss for yourself and our family.  I come out from under your leadership to nullify your vote by voting against you”?!  That seems like such a high insult to me, and makes your husband’s opinion and vote worthless.

Married ladies, since we DO have the right to vote and we need more Christians and conservatives voting, I suggest the Biblical way is to vote the same as your husband, or, if you disagree with him, refrain from voting.  But talk to your husband and see what he wants you to do.  Talk to your husband about voting and appeal to him if you feel like he’s wrong.  Ask him what he feels comfortable with.  Ask him if nullifying his vote by opposing his has hurt him as the leader of your home.  I think that we have been given extra power to vote and support our husband’s leadership for our family and influence on this country.  We can change the nation together with our combined votes.

What are your thoughts?  And have you discussed this topic with your husband to see how he feels and if he cares about how you vote?  Have you searched God’s Word and prayed about this topic?  And do you vote regularly with your spouse?  It’s an honor to have this privilege.  Let’s use it for God’s glory!