Monday, December 11, 2017

Noticeable Increase in Effeminate Sounding Men

More than ever men use an effeminate cadence, style,  mannerisms, and vocabulary.  I didn't grow up hearing it.  In my adult life, I remember starting to hear it.  Now it's everywhere.  It's not just tolerated in evangelicalism, and even in fundamentalism, but accepted.  I see an even larger percentage among professing Christians than I do in the world.  I don't like it.  Should it be accepted?

To understand the seriousness of effeminate behavior for men, we should consider what the Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10:
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, . . . . shall inherit the kingdom of God.
Certain appearance and behavior in scripture are said to be either like a man or like a woman.  God's Word assumes that we can judge the differences between these.  Differences between the genders are to be kept.  A man sounding like a woman is against nature, that is, against the natural laws that God creates and sustains (cf. Rom 1:26, 1 Cor 11:4).  Women also shouldn't talk like men.  That is happening too, but it is even more grotesque for men to take on female characteristics.

I know that society says there is nothing wrong with a man sounding like a woman.  It is even preferred.  The public schools like effeminate behavior in their boys and are encouraging it.  In part, they see effeminate boys a lesser discipline problem.  Effeminate men pose less a threat to women or are less likely to be violent with all people.

This post is not intended to diagnose what went wrong in order to have so many effeminate sounding men.  The underlying cause should be understood and addressed.  However, this is just to admit that it exists and that it is a problem.  Men need to know that they are sounding this way.  They need counsel to stop it, but they aren't going to get it if we don't inform them that it's happening and it's a problem.

A certain effeminate way of talking is so prominent and so well understood, even in secular society, that people have other terminology for it, such as "gay lisp."  Since people know what it sounds like, technical terms have arisen, such as "linguistic profiling."  Studies have shown distinctive patterns of phonetic variation that allow listeners to detect sexual orientation from audio-only samples of read speech.  Those listening in the studies recognized homosexual men to sound less masculine than heterosexual men.

Most of you reading, I think, know what I'm talking about.  You know when a man sounds effeminate.  He takes on certain qualities.  I recognize that just because a man sounds effeminate doesn't mean that he is a homosexual.  Even if he isn't, it also isn't right, according to scripture, for a man to behave effeminate.

At one time, society as a whole policed itself against effeminate qualities in men.  A boy would grow up with effeminate qualities and other boys would make fun of him.  I'm not saying this is the best way for a boy to stop acting like a girl.  However, it often had that effect.  It was the right instinct and reaction to reject it.  Rejecting effeminate sounding boys or men was normal.  Now what we hear is that instead of being a normal rejection, an effeminate sounding boy is being bullied by his classmates.  It is now called misogyny and sexism by the homosexual lobby.  Toleration alone is now acceptable.  You're in trouble if you were to tell someone that he sounds effeminate and needs to work on and change the way he talks.

Should effeminate sounding men be allowed to lead in churches?  Should they be held up as positive examples?  Can it be judged?  Is it even wrong?  If scripture prohibits it, then why is it being accepted?

Many articles have been written and research has been done on what makes effeminate sounding speech for men.  It has to do with the way the consonants are pronounced along with a kind of both pitch and rhythmic pattern.  Depending on the degree, one could add the way the eyes, lips, head, and hands work.  A man can move his eyes and gesture in an effeminate manner.  Each could be described.   Also, certain word usage is associated with girls.  One such that equals an effeminate hesitation and lack of certainty is the extreme overuse of the word "like."

The renowned, contemporary linguist, Jame McWhorter, lists three modern popular usages of the word, "like."  Frequent use  of "like" is effeminate.  He offers three sample sentences with the three uses:
This is, like, the only way to make it work.
There were like grandkids in there.
And she was like, "I didn’t even invite him."
The first communicates unwelcome news or discomfort.  The second of these means actually.  It indicates surprise.  The last is used to initiate a less than exact quote.  It is used instead of the words, saying or said.  I contend there is a weakness in each of these uses that do not characterize manhood in its strength.  I don't think women should use "like" such as this either, but when men do, it is effeminate.  Women popularized the popular usage of "like," and men should not take on what started as female speech or even very girly speech.  Now we hear it from forty year old men.

I bring the use of the word "like" as one example of certain effeminate vocabulary, separate from the mannerisms, style, patterns, and cadence.  Masculine verbiage is strong, confident, assertive, and commanding.  It isn't disrespectful, but it also isn't overly sensitive and with a strong emphasis on feelings.

When someone says "effeminate," can anything be effeminate anymore?  Can a man look or sound effeminate?  He can, but we have to recognize this is true.  It is bad for a man to look or sound effeminate.   If he does, he needs to stop.  If he wants to stop and he doesn't think he can stop, he needs help.  He won't get help if no one will admit it.  We need to admit it.  We need to point it out.  We need to do something about it.  If we don't, then plan on the growth and spread of effeminate sounding men.  It's going to get worse if we won't do anything about it.


Tyler Robbins said...

Heh - just take a look at the guys who do the intro for the popular "Bible Project" videos, on YouTube.

Kent Brandenburg said...

I haven't seen them, but it's not hard to imagine, because it's all over the place. It reminds me of the music issue. Scripture doesn't say what "effeminate" is, so we can't judge effeminate. They are effeminate, but you can't say, so it's a liberty.

Bill Hardecker said...

Tyler...that was funny. #SMH Never heard of them till you said something. Now, where is my mental floss.

Steve Rogers said...

Here’s a perfect example in Mark Lowry, who hates fundamentalists Independent Baptist yet his music is embrace by PCC and many others. He disdains separation and equates it to phariseeism, all while lisping and prancing around like an effeminate sodomite!

Joshua said...

I remember a relative reading me a John Chrysostom (349-407AD) sermon where he explained how a preacher of the Gospel ought to walk. Not with the mincing gate of a woman or sodomite, nor with the rushed gate of the uncertain and ill-prepared, but with steady measured strides like a man. We both cracked up laughing at this "unbiblical nonsense".

I'm not laughing now. If our sons are to quit themselves like men, our culture will give them zero pointers and will actively encourage them in the other direction. Direct instruction will be required. New converts will need to be taught.

Pastor Brandenburg - I don't know if you've subscribed to The Masculinist, but a fascinating chap called Aaron Wrenn has it as a newsletter and it contains some excellent stuff for men. I knew by gut a lot of what evangelicalism had taught me about manhood was bunk, but he is extremely good at putting his finger on the exact problem. I've emailed you his archives if you find yourself in need of a good read some time.

Alex A. Guggenheim said...

The Brita, specifically England, ministers trained themselves in the 1800's to pronounce the "th" sound as a "v" and mute their "r" sound. There are a couple of other characteristics of pseudo-politeness adopted by ministers so as to not offend the ears of women with forceful consonants. This is where this came from, particularly the "th" tp a "v" still regularly heard.

That feature is not part of the cockney English, though it is used with cockney ad it is heard commonly outside of cockney.

The point being, of course, is the degradation of normal masculine derivatives being pruned in order for a man or men to achieve broader social acceptance can be found this long ago as a modern precursor to its more sophisticated or developed undeniably emasculated current style.

Much of this can be traced to a failure of developing and eventually fully passing on, by parents, a matured identity in their children so that as they enter adulthood they have a strong foundation and compass with clear boundaries and well established practices and confidence as to their fundamental identification.