Me Tarzan, You Jane

Written by Father Bill 2 Comments

Me Tarzan, You Jane, Them Bad GuysMany “gender truths” found in general revelation have a high degree of “Duh!” connected to them.  They are so blindingly obvious (see below) that it’s comic to find someone spending gobs of time and money to articulate something like this:

“ … women feel dependent on men.”

“Females are smaller and weaker than males so, women and their offspring are prone to being the victims of predators, and violence.”

“It is that instinctive need to rely on a man which makes women so afraid of abandonment. Perhaps that is why women are more attuned to their partner’s moods and curious about tiny aspects of his life. And they are much better than men at spotting liars.”

Do you suppose the person who expressed these ideas was some knuckle-dragging patriarchalist?  Nope.  It was Dr. Nick Neave, evolutionary psychologist at Northumbria University in Great Britain, that nation of patriarchalist chest-thumpers.  And he published these thoughts in that reactionary, patriarchalist, woman-hating rag called The Daily Mail.  Read all of it here or here

Now, when you consult the entire article, you find Dr. Neave falling all over himself with apologies for having to convey such radically non-PC, seemingly contra-feminist ideas.  Tsk tsk.  The risks some men take for science! 

It reminds me of the labors of sociologist Dr. Stephen Goldberg, whose 1974 book entitled The Inevitability of Patriarchy met 67 rejections from publishers before he found one willing to risk printing it.  When he published a revised version of the book in order to answer the challenges his first effort generated over the next 20 years, he re-titled the book Why Men Rule: A Theory of Male Dominance.  The readers’ reviews of the first and second versions of Goldberg’s work are predictable and funny to read.

Two points to make on this occasion:

General revelation does not tell lies.  One may ignore it, of course, as secular and religious feminists must.  And, one may misreport the message of the cosmos, as secular and religious feminists ordinarily do.  Goldberg and Neave – insofar as they take the data of Mother Nature at face value – should be commended for listening to Nature rather than constantly correcting her. 

The Book of Nature is intelligible only when read in light of the Book of God.  Goldberg and Neave attempt to explain the data of human relationships (i.e. that they are stubbornly – Goldberg would say “inevitably” – patriarchal) by recourse to an evolutionary dynamic, a kind of scientific determinism that may be described but never overturned.  Contradicting this view is the account of the patriarchal nature of human relationships found in the Bible.  At best, Neave’s and Goldberg’s account is “inevitably irritating” (one Amazon reviewer’s characterization of Goldberg’s work) to egalitarian sensibilities.  Only the Bible’s account is comprehensively coherent, for it amounts to the Creator’s commentary on His own work. 

Those who embrace both the data of general revelation and the Bible’s account of it will find men like Goldberg and Neave helpful, for they testify to the “hard-wiring” of human relationships as God designed them.  Also, they have no Christian or Biblical axes to grind and cannot be charged with Christian or Biblical bias in their reporting of what Mother Nature tells all of us, even if it’s really regrettable news to an egalitarian. 

BACKDATE:  Joe Garagoli of the San Francisco Chronicle made a similar report back in August, 2006, which may be read here and here. He begins his story with these words:

Louann Brizendine’s feminist ideals were forged in the 1970s, so the UCSF neuropsychiatrist is aware that some parts of her new book, “The Female Brain,” sound politically incorrect.

Could it be that the feminist parts of Brizendine’s book are, like Neave’s and Goldberg’s, ignoring the contra-feminist implications of their research?


  1. Ralph   |  Saturday, 09 December 2006 at 11:59 am

    So, who do you think designed that picture you have of Tarzan and Jane? 🙂

    As I’ve again started to read Grudem’s book Evangelical Feminism, your thoughts about how hard it is to communicate “truth” about our own biological make-up with other Christians is so frustrating, much less trying to agree on Biblical truth. I enjoyed reading Garagoli’s article, it reveals some good things, most of all how one-sided most feminist writing is… do you think this has anything to do with the female make-up, it seems that men are more open to explore both sides of the issue. Why heck, there are more men that just love to come onboard the feminist bandwagon — why do you think that’s the case?

    So now being a single man, I suppose I can’t hug a gal for more than 10 seconds, and only mom for more than 20, huh?

    Enjoy your writing Bill!

  2. Fr. Bill   |  Saturday, 09 December 2006 at 6:08 pm

    Why heck, there are more men that just love to come onboard the feminist bandwagon — why do you think that’s the case?

    Oh, that’s an easy one, Ralph! Feminism is far, far more enriching for men than it ever was for women. It puts the old patriarchal responsibilities for women off their shoulders and onto the backs of the women, who are demanding those burdens for themselves. Here’s the really funny part: those feminist icons who think their moral suasion has carried the day are really indebted to masculine irresponsibility for their victories. And, never was this more true than in the broadly evangelical churches, whose trendy pastors are far more fearful of angering the egalitarians in their midst than they fear the Lord.

    Anthony Esolen over at Touchstone made a trenchant comment in the latest issue:

    Women are beautiful, and men are necessary. It has been the great victory of the feminist movement to make women unlovely by persuading them that men are not needed.

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