For a number of years, an increasing disdain for the wonderful differences between men and women has led to a number of inventions ranging from unisex clothing to gender-neutral names (which have increased by 60% in the last ten years1). In most cases, the blurring of the sexes is not a conscious challenge to God’s wisdom in creating two genders. It is, nevertheless, surprising in that celebrating the differences between men and women has been has been the healthy norm historically.
Why Not One Blended Gender?
But society’s changes seem to be asking this: “Why not move toward making ourselves androgynous2 beings instead of having the two genders?”
A Jewish insight understands a need for two genders: “The answer is that in order to maximize giving, the recipient must be different from the giver. If the two are identical, giving can occur, but it is limited. One would give based on his or her own needs, since the receiver would have the exact same needs. To truly be a giver, the person must take into account what the receiver needs and not only what the giver wants. By giving to someone with different needs, a person is trained to think and give on terms other than his or her own.”3
Summarized from a Christian source: “’Being man’ or ‘being woman’ is a reality which is good and willed by God.”4
Trends Making it More Difficult to Distinguish Between Male and Female
Thus, there seems to be no reason to oppose the manifestation of two distinct genders unless one has an agenda. Unfortunately, they exist.
It can arise from a resignation as a result of society’s faults: “Strange as it sounds, this simply states what religious rhetoric assumes; that the men form the legitimate body of the community, while women are allowed to participate only when they assimilate themselves to men.”5
In some cases, it springs from a dislike of marriage as the Communism has: “The Party did all it could to push women into industry. The bourgeois family as a social unit was to be made obsolete .”6
It can simply come from a clothes designer who has no concern for the ultimate well-being of those who are unsure of their “gender identity” but profits from it under the guise of a desire to prevent the stifling of artistic imagination.7
“This book will train you to think … like a guy. Because dating has always been a guy’s world, until now.”8
Or it can originate from a trend with no logical purpose: “Gender neutral makeup is on the rise. Brands like Enter Pronoun are leading the unisex cosmetics category with their selection of concealers, bronzers and eye liners.9
Reasons Given for Blurring Gender Distinction
“…masculine names are often associated with success, for instance, which might explain why parents historically chose androgynous names for girls.”10
“Additionally, a study from Clemson University showed that women with more traditionally male names made more successful lawyers and judges than women with more feminine names.”11
“SE Hinton (Susan Eloise), DC Fontana (Dorothy Catherine), PN Elrod (Patricia Nead) and KA Applegate, to name but a few, have all ditched their first names to improve their chances of success in genres dominated by male writers.”12
“You see, I’ve learned that you can’t land a man by reading all those female-empowerment books or women’s magazines. In fact, you have to avoid those all together. The way to land a guy is to think, act, and react … like a guy.
“Have you ever seen a man get all goo-goo gaga over a baby in a grocery store line? No!… Have you ever been three dates into a relationship and had a guy tell you his real desire in life is to quit his job and be a stay at home dad? Absolutely not!”8
“Because I felt that being a woman was an obstacle, I wanted to become gender-neutral. It became my way of tricking the system.” 13
“Millennials are an open-minded and accepting group, and they don’t want their children to feel pressured to conform to stereotypes that might be restrictive.”1
Some Unintended, But Very Real Negative Consequences
To reiterate, most who have joined the gender-neutral parade aren’t intending to challenge the natural complementary design of men and women. However, the absence of bad intentions cannot insulate us against the inevitable consequences of attempting to redefine the inherent natures of the genders.
Psychologist Dr. John Gray, first renowned for his book, “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus,” wrote follow ups including the book, “Mars and Venus on a Date.” In this one, he included the developing practice that many men and women reverse roles in dating. These men are under the false impression that women should be pleasing them instead of the other way around.
As he wrote: “A man hungers for the opportunity to make a woman happy. Her happiness is his happiness… In relating to her, whatever will make her happiest makes him happy. If he detects that her mission is to please him, he will also focus on how she can please him… If she wants to pursue him, he will happily sit back and passively receive what she wants to give… Whenever a woman pursues a man more than he is pursuing her, he will pursue her less. Why should he risk failure when she is happy to pursue him? Automatically, he will relax more and become more passive about the relationship. Instead of thinking what she may want, he begins thinking more about what he wants. This turnaround is very confusing for a woman because her assertive approach is successful in the working world but backfires on a date. “14
Negative effects of a “non-traditional” family environment:
An environment which teaches sexual norms different from Natural Law accelerates the incidences of disordered behavior. Father Mitch Pacwa, S.J. noted this a couple of years ago on EWTN radio. Homosexuals comprise about 2.5% of the U.S. population. However, children of same-sex parents have a 25% rate of homosexuality. Thus, environment can be a much more powerful force than genetics.
With the increased popularity of gender-neutral concepts, should we be surprised that we also have an increase in gender-confused individuals?
Exacerbating the situation are those who deny the human track record that most adolescents will outgrow these feelings on their own or with moderate intervention.15 Sadly, states and cities have passed ordinances prohibiting any counseling for those experiencing disordered emotions.16, 17
Ironically, there’s a comical side to the unintended consequences of gender-neutral trends when it comes to naming children. It has been the tradition for a multitude of generations to name children with names from recent ancestors, saints or names which had special meaning.
The current trend encourages applying traditional boys’ names to girl children — which have meanings the parents probably would have avoided had they done some research. Examples:
Addison (son of Addy), Campbell (crooked mouth), Carson (son of Carr), Drew (manly), Finley (fair-haired warrior) 18
Dana (from Denmark or fertility goddess), Madison (son of Matthew or possibly son of “Maddy” [Maud]) 19
Bailey (bailiff), Cameron (crooked nose), Dylan (great tide, Welsh god Dylan was son of Arianrhod), Emerson (son of Emery), Kelly (warrior woman), Logan (little hollow), Mackenzie ([Gaelic] son of Coinneach), McKenna ([Gaelic] son of Cionaodh), Monroe (from the mouth of the Roe), Remy (oarsman), Ryan (little king), Whitney (white island) 20
Charlie (free man), Paige (page to a lord) 21
Andi (brave, manly), Hayley (from the hay meadow), Parker (forest ranger), Quincy (born fifth), Torey (from the craggy hills) 22
Kennedy (helmeted chief) 23
Brinley (hill or mound, from the Welsh “Bryn”), Bristol (place at the bridge), Harlow (dweller in a rocky hill area), Sloan (little raider) 24
Without a doubt, men have historically had disproportionate advantages over women in some aspects of life. However, the only effective way to remedy this is through a better awareness of the dignity of ALL humans. Attacking the problem of disrespect solely with a treatment of the superficial aspects of life has only created new problems.
Take the case of the “unfairness” that women are at greater risk of “difficulties” (i.e. pregnancy) because of sex.
The secular humanistic solution was not to increase the cooperation between men and women and a mutual understanding of the reproductive cycle in order to be prudently open to life.25 Rather, it decided to develop chemical and mechanical means to block conception so that women could be more like men in their approach to on-demand sex.
The result? As Pope Paul VI predicted in his encyclical Humanae Vitae almost fifty years ago:
“Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.” 26
In addition, we see birth control leading to increase in some female cancers and a decrease in some.27 Want to gamble?
Lastly, the significant decrease of commitment on the part of men toward women has resulted in many more of babies being born out of wedlock — creating the dysfunctional families which devastate society far more than guns can.
The lesson is that re-engineering the natural world is not going to achieve social and economic fairness with the sexes. Rather, we need to use our supposed superior intelligence to solve the root problems directly with honest communication and leave the natural order of things to the Creator.
1 – “Unisex baby names are nothing new, but they are officially the hottest trend of 2016.
“To prove this, Nameberry combed through U.S. Social Security data and found that gender-neutral monikers have increased by 88 per cent in the past 30 years — in the past decade alone, unisex names have risen by 60 per cent.” From “Baby Names 2016: The Most Popular Unisex Names Revealed,” by Isabelle Khoo, http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/08/22/unisex-baby-names-2016_n_11652540.html, 8/22/2016.
2 – “1. Biology Having both female and male characteristics; hermaphroditic.
- Being neither distinguishably masculine nor feminine, as in dress, appearance, or behavior.
3 – “Men & Women: Jewish View of Gender Differences,” by Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller, http://www.aish.com/ci/w/48955181.html
4 – From paragraph 369 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 25th printing, November 2013.
5 – A quote from Elaine Pagels in her book “The Gnostic Gospels,” (1979; New York: Vintage Books, 1989) as listed in “The Da Vinci Hoax, by Carl E. Olson and Sandra Miesel, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 2004.
6 – Quote of Bella Dodd (1904-1969) who was an “open [Communist] Party leader taken from page 44 of “Takedown,” or how the left has sabotaged family and marriage, by Paul Kengor Ph.D., WND Books; Washington, D.C., 2015.
7 – “I’ve never personally designed anything with the intention of catering only to those who self-identify within a set gender binary. But as a handmade designer who still sells on Etsy, I’ve noticed there’s no option for posting a skirt or dress or even a body chain that isn’t gendered. Checking that box makes me feel as though I am imposing limits on my designs and those who want to wear them, which I definitely don’t support. “ From “7 Gender Non Conformist & Gender Neutral Clothing Brands To Support Right Now,” by Alysse Dalessandro, https://www.bustle.com/articles/100668-7-gender-non-conformist-gender-neutral-clothing-brands-to-support-right-now, 8/31/2015.
8 – “Dating game: Women should act more like men,” From an interview with Giuliana DePandi, http://www.today.com/health/dating-game-women-should-act-more-men-wbna14450869, 8/21/2006.
9 – “Does ‘Dressing Like a Man’ Lead to Greater Success?,” by Anna Akbari, https://www.dailyworth.com/posts/3021-rethinking-gender-and-fashion-in-the-workplace/2, 10/16/2014.
10 – “What’s In a Name?,” by Sam Kean, http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/28/magazine/28wwln-idealab-t.html, 10/28/2007.
11 – “6 Ways to Pick a Baby Name That Will Make Your Child A success,” by Gabrielle Karol, https://www.learnvest.com/2012/06/6-ways-to-pick-a-baby-name-that-will-make-your-child-a-success/, 6/15/2012.
12 – “Why are female authors still writing under gender-neutral initials?,” http://www.irishexaminer.com/examviral/real-life/why-are-female-authors-still-writing-under-gender-neutral-initials-317458.html, 3/10/2015.
13 – Quote from Heloise Letissier in the 10/17/2016 issue of Time magazine.
14 – Excerpts from pages 43, 178 and 254 of “Mars and Venus on a Date,” by John Gray, PhD, HarperCollins Publishers; New York, NY, 1997.
15 – “Gender identity disorder generally begin [sic] to manifest between the ages of two and four, in which a child displays a preference for the clothing and typical activities of the opposite sex and also prefer playmates of the opposite sex… Most children outgrow gender identity disorder with time and the influence of their parents and peers. Adolescents with gender identity disorder are prone to low self-esteem, social isolation, and distress, and are especially vulnerable to depression and suicide… Both male and female transsexuals may elect to alter their primary and secondary sexual characteristics by undergoing surgery to make their genitals as much like those of the opposite sex as possible… The operation itself is accompanied by hormone treatments that aid in acquiring the secondary sex characteristics of the desired sex. While a number of individuals have gone on to lead happy, productive lives following sex-change operations, others fail to make the transition and continue to suffer from gender identity disorder.” From “Gender Identity Disorder,” http://psychology.jrank.org/pages/274/Gender-Identity-Disorder.html
16 – [New Jersey] “A person who is licensed to provide professional counseling under Title 45 of the Revised Statutes, including, but not limited to, a psychiatrist, licensed practicing psychologist, certified social worker, licensed clinical social worker, licensed social worker, licensed marriage and family therapist, certified psychoanalyst, or a person who performs counseling as part of the person’s professional training for any of these professions, shall not engage in sexual orientation change efforts with a person under 18 years of age.” “New Jersey bans conversion therapy,” by Cristan Williams, http://transadvocate.com/new-jersey-bans-trans-conversion-therapy_n_10039.htm. 8/21/2013
17 – “Today, the Cincinnati City Council became the first city to ban the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy. The historic ordinance imposes a $200 a day fine on anyone practicing conversion therapy on LGBTQ youth.” “Cincinnati Becomes First City to Ban Conversion Therapy,” by Hayley Miller, http://www.hrc.org/blog/cincinnati-becomes-first-city-to-ban-conversion-therapy, 12/9/2015.
21 – http://nameberry.com
25 – “With regard to physical, economic, psychological and social conditions, responsible parenthood is exercised by those who prudently and generously decide to have more children, and by those who, for serious reasons and with due respect to moral precepts, decide not to have additional children for either a certain or an indefinite period of time.”
From Section 10 of Humanae Vitae, given by Pope Paul VI on July 25, 1968.
26 – From Section 17, Ibid.
27 – “Birth Control & Cancer: Which Methods Raise, Lower Risk,” by Kelli Miller, http://www.cancer.org/cancer/news/features/birth-control-cancer-which-methods-raise-lower-risk, 1/21/2016.