The other day I stated on my facebook a question, "Why are Taylor men passive?" Two people who were not from Taylor commented. (My lovely sister Sarah Pulliam Bailey and not so lovely looking Eddie Burris) Thank you to both of them for commenting and I hope they continue to dialogue with each other on this issue.
The reason I asked this question was because Taylor men are quite passive. The most recent evidence is regarding the number of males who applied for Lighthouse trips next year. For those of you not familiar with Taylor or Lighthouse, Lighthouse is a campus organization that sends out students on short-term mission trips for J-term every year. Approximately 25% of the applicants were males.
Men are a minority on campups so there should be less male applicants then female applicants simply because there are less men on campus but why is it so low?
Eddie Burris blames the feminist movement, Sarah disagrees. I'll let them debate that point.
I think that there are deeper reasons for this serious problem. I strongly believe that it comes down to two issues: gender relations and identity.
First, gender relations.
Men on campus don't see themselves as authorities or examples to women. Some think this is linked with how women see themselves and men, but ultimately, it comes down to how men see their relation with people. Guys don't want to be leaders and those who are leaders are often hurt by people's rejection of their authority. If you want to insult a guy, don't listen to him, acknowledge what he says or respect one of his requests. This doesn't obeying a every guys wish, but boy it is extremely insulting when you ignore a guy who is in a leadership position. (This is not to say that this excuses men. God calls men act like Christ [and women]. Christ took insult all the time, but did not quit or become passive. Men have no excuse!)
A man's identity is a really big deal, a really, really, really big deal. If a man loses his identity (generally) or does not have one, he will more likely be passive and counter-productive. Furthermore, if he doesn't have a strong identity or a stable identity the same result will occur, passivity. (Generally speaking of course.) Especially with young men, there needs to be a battle for us to fight, and it has to be one which we think we can win! (So don't suggest to a guy that he defeat world poverty.) Fighting a battle can be a major part of a guy's identity. I do not mean by "a battle" literally fighting or picking up a big cause. I mean holding to something that is seen as important and worth sacrificing for. More importantly, most of the time, a male's identity is more then likely trapped in an addiction. Specifically, a lot of men are addicted to pornography and sexual sin. There are more and more studies coming out on the addictive nature of pornography. There are other substances that are addictive in nature to men, but I want to specifically point out pornography because it is becoming more of an issue for the church.
So that is what I think about that. I would be especially interested in hearing people's comments and observation about this problem. By the way, I can't go on lighthouse because I have school.
passing note: people often point out video games are the problem, I think that they are a consequence of the problem, not the problem itself.