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French Friday: The Real Masculinity Crisis


There's no denying that American men are struggling. Depression, drug use, and suicide are on the rise, and there are plenty of voices on the far right eager to blame feminists, the LGBT movement, #MeToo, and the left in general. They say our culture has made traditionally masculine traits "toxic" and stolen from men the one thing they need most—respect. David French explains to Skye Jethani why this diagnosis is wrong. He argues that the real crisis isn't that men lack respect, but that they lack "virtuous purpose." Plus, French and Jethani revisit the war in Ukraine one year after the Russian invasion. While the Biden Administration's support for Ukraine has gotten stronger, overall American support has weakened. What does that mean, and how will this conflict eventually end?

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1:04 - Theme Song

3:00 - Men need purpose more than respect

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29:47 - The crisis of masculinity

34:20 - Christianity and consumerism


43:00 The War in Ukraine

1:02:22 Next Presidential election

1:08:20 - End Credits

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6 Comments


Some thoughts and reactions to this episode and the discussion of the "masculinity crisis"...


French focuses on purpose but also alludes, though seems to gloss over, the corresponding element of community. In particular the fact that the military relies on the joining of purpose within the context of a community. The same applies also to Jethani’s example of the older generations, which is not simply a loss of purpose but of relationships, community, belonging.


To me, this reminds me of the early church in the fact that they were literal communities, living and acting together. This is something that the modern US church (as a whole) has tried to replicate with church programs, activities, and small groups, which may serve…


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I will also add that "Love and Respect" is not based on research AT ALL. He cites one study by one author that was very poorly designed. That author even admits in her book that her research consultant said the survey was bad and that she decided to use it anyway. Basically, her survey had two main flaws.


First, the survey question had two possible responses, so we don't know if men were responding to the respect vs love part of the survey or the other part(I don't remember the other details right now). That's a big survey research no-no, and her advisor told her so but she used it anyway.


Second, she only surveyed men. She didn't ask wome…


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Do you all ever connect with Sheila Wray Gregoire and the rest of her crew over at BareMarriage.com ? They Talk about "Love and Respect" and other harmful Christian books regularly. They also mention the Holy Post occasionally. I remember several of the authors saying that the Holy Post helped them not to leave Christ entirely when they were struggling. Holy Post and Bare Marriage have difference emphases, but I think they are alike in spirit and are both so beneficial.


Here's a link to one of Sheila's blog articles on the "Love and Respect" book:

https://baremarriage.com/2020/01/open-letter-focus-on-the-family-love-respect-emerson-eggerichs/

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Jessica Deese
Jessica Deese
Feb 27, 2023

I have begun to wonder if Jesus selected 12 men, not because they are extra special, but because they need extra help in developing/maturing fully - finding true purpose, which as Jesus shows us, requires sacrificial suffering love for the sake of others. This article elaborates on this idea and why this is particularly more difficult for men to live out than women. This reality is baked into women in a way it's not for men - they have to opt in. (Painting in very broad brush strokes here) https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/simcha-fisher-do-women-need-ascesis/

Of course, men/patriarchy have flipped the script and basically claimed Jesus' gender as self-evidence of male superiority/privilege. What would Christianity have looked like if it really was a tradition jus…


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Tyler
Tyler
Feb 27, 2023

I'm going to admit, the opening conversation really threw me off where you basically said the need for respect is a toxic codependent vestige of shame/honor culture, until around minute 14 where you talked about honorifics like "sir" and "ma'am", and I realized your southern-origin definition of respect is nothing like the northern / Midwest definition of respect. Respect in the South, as you defined it, is apparently treating people according to their social status in society.


I mean, yes, there's some level of "respect your elders" in the North, but nothing on the level you were describing. Respect to my northern mind is treating people as human. Calling a person by the name and pronouns they desire. Not using…


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S R
S R
Mar 01, 2023
Replying to

Agreed, they're talking about respect as deference, but that's how Matt Walsh and Emerson Eggerichs (author of Love and Respect) define it. Aside from the South/North of America, respect has been interpreted by many, if not most, cultures throughout history to mean, as you say, 'treating people according to their social status in society', as Skye and David touched on. I *love* your definition in your second para, but I would hazard that it's a relatively recent way of defining respect.

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