Justice for Girls… or Boys

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There is a chain store in America called “Justice for Girls.” I find the name and idea quite amusing. Feeling somewhat brave, I walk into the store. Well, it is not remarkable. It is a store for tween girls. (For us dinosaurs in Singapore, that means girls between 9-14. Too old for toys and too young for boys. The in-between years.)

I half expect to see female version of stuff that guys would like. (Like a lefty store will sell left-handed versions of right-handed things.) I am taken aback by how girly the things are. They tend to sell things even more girly than regular stores. I guess it is justice for girls because girls want girl things they cannot get at regular stores, suggesting that it is a store that rebalances injustice because girls don’t have it as good as boys.

The store is just another store selling things to girls (justifiable aim), on the premise that girls are deprived of clothes and other things that boys have (highly questionable). I am not so sure girls have been given a raw deal in terms of products made for them. I don’t do a square footage check, but I suspect products for women take up more floor space than products for men. Ironically, it may be more justifiable to have a store called “Justice for Boys.”

The fact that “Justice for Girls” does not sell girl version of boy things is telling. There is no demand for it. Girls want girl-things and boys want boy-things.

In 2009 a professor of psychology at A&M University, Texas, discovered that babies at 3-4 months already have a distinct toy preference. Boys tend to pick trucks and balls, while girls tend towards dolls. This research is followed up and psychologists have discovered even male rhesus monkeys prefer trucks and female rhesus monkeys prefer dolls!

One of my girls had a passing fancy for a flashing gun when she was very little. I am not sure if she like the colors or the gun. I think it is the color because she never showed continued interest in guns after that one incident. My boy is different, he is interested in guns, knives, cars, trucks, and all the typical boy things. I can relate to that.

When I was growing up, a ruler soon becomes a sword, or a modified gun from which I can shoot rubber bands. Paper and rubber bands are quickly reduced to paper bullets and propellant. Green peas become more bullets in a straw. Boys love to weaponize anything at hand.
There was a time when people challenge the conventional wisdom that boys and girls are just different, and they argue that it is upbringing that creates gender preferences. That is now rightly delegated to myth of an era.

God made male and female different. The process God used to make the first man was different from how he made the first woman (Genesis 2:21ff). While the key point of the lesson may be how husband and wife ought to relate to each other, we can establish that God made male and female distinct and different. We have a clue to this difference. Adam was given authority to rule over the animals (seen in the naming of the animals) before Eve was created (Genesis 2:19-20).

The authority to rule immediately turns ugly when mankind falls into sin. Evil did not build up slowly. Cain murdered his brother on a flimsy pretext. From that time, it is clear men are born to fight. Men are more aggressive than women, and battlefields past and present are strewn with the broken bodies of men—not women.

Christian communities almost pretend that God did not ask Israel to fight and win battles. We like to dismiss all these events in the OT as from a different era. Yes, that is true to a point, but it does nothing to explain why men fight – and love to fight.

The entrance of sin into the world clearly had a profound impact on male aggression. But that aggression was there in the first place, even before the fall. That God-created male aggression turned sinful. So what do we do with male aggression? Do we deny the aggression in men and emasculate men? Or should the aggression be directed rather than denied? If men do not fight, who will arise to defend the women and children? Rather than deny male aggression to Christian men, we need to ask where God wants Christian men to direct their aggression.

Pastor Peter Eng

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