Wasn’t Joseph a Virgin Too?

"Joseph a Virgin Too" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward
“Joseph a Virgin Too” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

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13 Replies to “Wasn’t Joseph a Virgin Too?”

  1. So woman’s status being more determined by her being a virgin than it would be for a man in that culture and that affecting to a large degree her ability to attract a marriage partner. On the other hand, a mans status being more determined by how much money he had, his position in society etc. largely influencing his ability to attract a marriage partner.

    So while Joseph and Mary might very well have equally been virgins it would perhaps been more of an issue culturally then for her reputation with her being pregnant. So the arm around Joseph invalidating his feeling sad for himself is more of a 21st century take on it.

    Perhaps in an attempt to be more empathetic towards women and express emotions, many contemporary men have let their feelings control them in a way that might not be the most helpful to either men or women.

    Maybe we are at a time now where considering embracing traditional male roles of self – sacrifice, protection, and provision an honouring men that have the courage and humility to be as such might benefit the self esteem of men and provide the potential to be of better service to women than what is currently being afforded.

  2. Jack: I think that here, in the States, all the ‘traditional roles’ are opening to men and women.

    Men can certainly chose to the provider… but so can the women. Men can be the protector; so can the women.

    I know that we are both older and prior military. I think our unconscious bias is towards the traditional roles. Those ‘male gender’ roles seem quite ‘right’ to us… and we naturally assume some are better for men, and perhaps for women.

    However, the next generation has taken a different approach. Men can even stay home and be the primary care-giver, and the wife the primary earner/provider. I ask the man, ‘Aren’t you aware of the gender reversal, and its pressure?’ And his reply, “Only a little. I can handle it.”

  3. As someone who by admission leans towards rampant domination with “equality” it is perhaps not surprising for you to talk of interchangeable between men and women and otherwise be socially constructed. And the movement that supports this is not without a voice elsewhere than the states. None is suggesting that women can’t be self-sacrificing, protecting, and providing or men can’t be care givers or nurturers.

    The same principle of equal opportunities exist here for these as in the States, at least in principle.

    However, many women are coming out now and saying they don’t want the responsibilities that have traditionally been filled by men and where’s the “equality” when women’s feelings are favoured over men’s as frequently happens?

    As a man, I am used to a woman’s feelings coming before my own. It’s what many men are accustomed to. We might keep our feelings to ourselves because we don’t want to cause the women in our lives to worry and therefore be concerned about how women we care for feel to deal with on top of anything that might be troubling us. Rather, address whatever is troubling us so we are relieved of concern and we don’t have to cause the women in our lives worry.

    Some women don’t like that and would rather men talked more about feelings rather than be “strong”. If that is the case then rampant and dominant equality must surely dictate attentiveness and support for men’s feelings. If equality is to happen, having it both ways with men talking about feelings with not being supportive but invalidating feelings can’t be acceptable.

    You mentioned unconscious bias and you may haver a point about that if all that is involved is what is socially constructed. I’m not convinced that is all that there is, I think biology has a part to play between men and women and biology affecting the way we cognitively process things and therefore are differing as men and women. I think differing is a good thing and that some attempts at equality that have defined it as being the same have been well intentioned but contrived to the detriment of both men and women.

    I think given equal opportunities there will be a natural inclination for many towards traditional roles and that this is healthy, has nothing to do with any artificial social construct but is natural and comes out of biology and now might be the time to be having open discussions about this kind of thing without having to face the fear of being labelled misogynistic for doing so or with feeling fearful of any threat to equality.

    I think if we are able to do this without any animosity towards anyone with differing views then we can have some great conversations and it can only work out well. For all of us!

  4. Interesting question David.

    Please understand I’m not suggesting traditional roles for everyone. Please accept that I don’t want anyone to feel all that has been achieved by progress in equality be taken away. Please also believe that I am dipping my toe into the water with this and not being emphatic with now being the time but offering it for consideration.

    All I am offering is that perhaps thinking of these in the light of Joseph being portrayed as inconsiderate in focussing on his feeling in the context of your cartoon with the differing status awarded to women being virgins in that particular culture might be worth considering. As mentioned, I think giving this attention may be beneficial towards self esteem for men and could free men to be of better service to women.

    In answer to the first part of your question I think now might be a good time to have such conversations because I think we are more open to this than ever before. In my experience it’s not unusual to encounter women who are frustrated and feel treated unequally and men who have checked out and all but given up on romantic relationships with women, perceiving that society has given them a raw deal.

    Rather than be divided into different groups that are then adversarial to each other I wonder if there is the opportunity now to consider constructive dialogue between movements that have otherwise been at each others throats. If we can’t do this then what hope is there? As for timing, I hope that enough of us would rather try to find at least some common ground where there ae passionate disagreements an would prefer that to demonising the other to make this a worthwhile consideration. Some people might call that idealist and na├»ve but what else might be a valid approach in an increasingly divided society with competing allegances?

    I think there is a natural inclination towards differences based on biology and this affecting how we are as men and women. This is not to say that women can’t be great at roles traditionally held by men and vice – versa but to suggest that biology is a factor in how we are with each other and not that it is all down to what is socially constructed.

    Do you disagree?

  5. In that case then it’s perhaps unlikely we are going to be able to have a discussion about roles without regarding biology affecting us as men and women being considered as inclining towards misogyny.

    I think that’s a shame.

    What is implied about men in the cartoon as ineffectual and inappropriate is something that for many men is getting old and not reflective of a lot of decent, honourable and self – sacrificing men that are still around.

    I’m not sure where this leave us with where we can have any fruitful discussions on issues of this nature or if indeed any mutually respectful constructive dialogue can be had between us given our differing perspectives.

    But please know that it was never my intention to disrespect you, Caryn or the nakedpastor brand in the dialogue we have had here or in any similar conversation, only to offer what I hoped would have been helpful. By the same token, out of not intending any disrespect to myself, I would reject any claim explicitly or implicitly that anyone would want to make of misogyny in any of the above comments I have made above or similarly at any point in time.

    It seems a change may be needed if there is adversity to be avoided in future. I give my assurance of endeavouring to take my part in any change or avoidance of issues needed to facilitate cordiality.

  6. Just one last thing here. Next time a man says he is struggling about something, maybe, just maybe it might not be that he has ’emotional credit’ but could be taking a risk in sharing a very real need, possibly even being suicidal.

    At that time perhaps you or Caryn might like to consider that possibility having fun at his expense or pointing the finger with rampant domination with equality might be worth giving a thought about.

    The guys that end up taking their own lives often are the ones that do so quietly and as a shock to everyone, not that Ines that talk or shout about problems.

  7. Jack: You asked my opinion about arguing for biology to determine roles, and I said I didn’t think that was on the table anymore.

    I didn’t say that out of having fun at anyone’s expense or pointing the finger. Just stating my opinion.

  8. David, – I wasn’t alluding to your opinion about biology.

    You have had fun at my expense when I said I was struggling before – it wasn’t cool. I don’t expect you to be perfect but I do hope on a site that is satirical and about the kind of issues discussed here I would hope to have some empathy and support when struggling and be able to have some fun and for you to own it when you get things wrong.

    Pointing the finger was an allusion to what Caryn does by her admission and not dissimilarly her saying to me don’t tell women the lamb should lie down with the lion or you will destroy women was unnecessary, could be taken to imply misogyny where none existed and not cool. I don’t see Caryn owning that either.

    Having just come recently from a difficult work situation where I experienced distress and accusation of a conduct issue for “self appointed advocacy” when among other things acting in support of a vulnerable colleague who was receiving unwarranted criticism, the last few months have been a vulnerable time for me. When my colleague tells me she is being bullied I take it seriously and doing what I think was right in that work situation cost me my position.

    So when Caryn perceived I have and emotional balance and describes women she knows in terms of emotional bankruptcy her perception was not accurate about me. Obviously I cannot make an informed comment about the women she knows.

    I wish I could laugh along with you and Caryn with the joke being made at Joseph’s expense but in the light of recent events for me, where I am at, at present emotionally as a result and your and Caryn’s interaction at other relevant times this for me has not been possible.

    Rather, than having a sense of belonging I have felt marginalised at such times. And now I have shared this, I am anticipating responses along the lines of being treated suspiciously, getting me mixed up with someone else with subtle exclusionary comment that could be taken to imply misogyny. Perhaps even an invitation to write comments such as this on my own blog, not unlike the invitation to resign that I received at work not so long ago.

    Given this has happened at work and here it seems there is one common denominator – me. In the light of how your illustrated and commented on David, about personal freedom vs social acceptance, it seems that I have challenges to face regarding both having a thick skin at times such as these and limitation on my own personal freedom and expression in order to find belonging wherever I am.

    I thin what I have to offer does have some value, and can be rare like the black rhino. But unlike the black rhino is, I think, more likely to become extinct because black lives matter.

    I’ll leave you to be free to do the do the #Idrinkmenstears #metoo routine.

  9. I’m not sure why you’re feeling attacked by Caryn… or me. We’re just disagreeing or presenting a different point of view. Just because I don’t agree with you doesn’t mean you’re not free to think what you believe is true.

  10. It seems that explaining with the intention of gaining understanding and being understood has not resulted in the outcome I had intended. David, when your respond to comments that are perhaps offer a different view it quite frequently gets personal with you and Caryn.

    So I’m sorry – I can’t agree with what you say about “just presenting a different point of view”.

    Ordinarily this might be no big deal but at a time of vulnerability it can hurt. Perhaps it’s not a good time right now for me to be involved in discussion and it be better for me to recover somewhat from recent events I have described.

    I will have a think about that.

    I think this post you made is a kind of a play on when issues are brought up about women’s suffering, there being things mentioned about men too. Some people like to pretend to be virtuous and imply misogyny when talking about difficulties men face at such times. I don’t think that is equality, I think that is superiority and intolerance.

    To give an example of you having been personal, you have made the claim that I have acted suspiciously when doing something along this line when talking about 80% of suicides in the US being male.

    It seems to me that either we can have discussions about this without getting personal and ricking adversity. Or we can retreat to exclusive groups like the Christian feminist group Caryn was invited to where the male and humanist perspective are not allowed ore men’s rights activist groups where a discussion can be had about for example male suicide while being supported and not treated with suspicion.

    Perhaps here and more widely in culture is not ready for that more publicly for this kind of discussion but rather likely consciously or unconsciously to result in othering.

    My hope is that some day there will be enough grace and love given and received that we all can enjoy interconnection and mutual thriving and the world can heal from division.

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