The Battle of the Sexes

I recently saw the hit movie Barbie. While many people have a variety of opinions, it made me think about the battle of the sexes.

The movie presents an antagonistic relationship between men and women. While the movie does this for exaggerated comedic effect, it expresses a philosophy that is present in the world today.

There is a way of thinking that looks at men primarily as the oppressors of women. A male-dominated society leads to the subjugation of women and prevents them from positions of power. On this view, society is a patriarchal hierarchy that must be dismantled in order for there to be justice. Men and masculinity are seen as suspect or even toxic.

However, I have also noticed a new and growing misogyny which is embodied by those like Andrew Tate. For those who don’t know, Tate is an online influencer who projects a strong masculine presence. However, he clearly speaks about how he treats women as objects to be seduced and used for a man’s pleasure. Sadly, this way of thinking has also taken hold among some. Thus, more and more men and women view the opposite sex as the adversary.

But this is not how God intended it to be.

First of all, we are both made in God’s image and likeness. “God created mankind in his image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27). We are both equal in dignity. This does not mean we are exactly the same. There is a reason God created us as two sexes.

When God created Adam, the man was incomplete. God creates the animals, but none are suitable partners for him. God is far above man. The animals are too far below. But when God makes the woman Adam says, ““This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh…” (Genesis 2:23). Adam finally found someone who was at his equal level. Men and women should treat each other as such.

And any rivalry between the two should be the result of the desire to improve each other through our complimentary natures. A world with only men would be a nightmare. A world only with women would also be lacking. We each have within our nature that which completes the other. We are naturally drawn to each other. God has written this in our souls, but also into our bodies.

A priest once pointed out that your respiratory, circulatory, digestive, and all other systems of the body are complete in themselves (that is they have everything they need to perform their function) except for one: the reproductive system. In order to create new humans, we must seek out another; and not just another, but one who is opposite.

When God makes Even He says he wants to create a helper for Adam. The word for “helper” used here in Hebrew is “ezar.” This does not denote a master/servant relationship. The word “ezar” describes the kind of help that is urgent to a person, like the help in saving a life. Eve saves Adam from loneliness. That is what men and women must do for each other. We must reach out beyond ourselves to the other.

It is true that God says to woman that “Yet your urge shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16). But is important to note that this occurs after the Fall. God is explaining how the human relationship is broken because of Original Sin. Thus, His Divine Design for male/female relationships has been obscured by that defect. In Christ, we are called to reclaim that original vision.

Our fallen nature continues to tempt us towards an antagonistic relationship between men and women. But God calls us to reclaim the harmony He always intended.

We should do all we can to declare peace and end the battle of the sexes.

Copyright 2023, WL Grayson

W.L. Grayson

W.L. Grayson

I am a devoutly Catholic theology teacher who loves a popular culture that often, quite frankly, hates me. I grew up absorbing every movie, TV show, comic book, science fiction novel, etc. I could find. As of today I’ve watched over 2100 movies and tv shows. They take up a huge part of my life. I don’t know that this is a good thing, but it has given me a common vocabulary to draw from in order to illustrate whatever theological point I make in class. I’ve used American Pie the song to explain the Book of Revelation (I’ll post on this some time later) and American Pie the movie to help explain Eucharist (don’t ask). The point is that the popular culture is popular for a reason. It is woven into the fabric of our lives and imaginations, for good or ill. In this blog I will attempt to bring together the things of heaven with the things of earth. Of course this goal may be too lofty for someone like me.

Leave a Reply

next post: Social Conflict and Christianity

previous post: The Acid of Resentment