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June 25, 2008 / beidson

Country Music Confronts “Manlilessness”

Country music star Brad Paisley is protesting, but unlike a lot of celebrities, he’s not standing up for trees or wildlife; he’s standing up for men.

His latest release “I’m Still a Guy” is a comical song about the feminization of American men, and even though it is a light-hearted tune, it carries some heavy weight truths.  There are a lot of things he may do that aren’t necessarily “manly” such as walk his wife’s “sissy dog” and “hold her purse at the mall,” but as Mr. Paisley insists, in the end, he’s still a guy.

The last verse is especially telling:

These days there’s dudes gettin’ facials
Manicured, waxed, and botoxed
But with deep spray on tans and creamy lotioney hands
You cain’t grip a tackle box
Yeah, with all of these men linin’ up to get neutered
It’s hip now to be feminized
But, I don’t highlight my hair
I’ve still got a pair
Yeah, honey I’m still a guy
Oh, my eyebrows ain’t plucked
Theres a gun in my truck
Oh Thank God, I’m still a guy

Though he’s a little crude in making his point, he does have a point: it’s hip to be feminized.  However, the feminization of men means more than the changing of their physical appearance.  It has lead to an even greater change in their willingness and ability to lead as husbands and fathers.  Marriage is despised by many men and women, in large part because men are not the kind of men that women would want to marry, even if women do not fully understand their reasons for such disdain.  

As a result, many men and women do not even desire to get married, let alone have children.  And even if they should get married, many couples do not want to have children because of the responsibilities and loss of supposed freedoms.  This is where the man has failed to take the lead in making his home a place where children are welcomed and cherished and protected.  Wives do not want to bring children into the world if their husbands are afraid of them, and a lot of men are in fact scared of children.  This is cowardly, and the opposite of biblical manhood.

One theologian has noted that many Christian marriages are “same-sex” marriages, in that the husband is so much like a woman that there is no man in the relationship.  Take a look at popular men’s clothing and you will notice that it isn’t that different from popular women’s clothing.  Even the trendy hairstyles and accessories for men resemble what you would see on a Parisian runway.

Brad Paisley has a point: it is hip to be feminized, but that which glitters isn’t always gold; in fact, it could just be the latest trend in men’s makeup, sparkling on the face of a confused young man.  And even though there is nothing wrong with having lotion on your hands, there is something wrong if men are defined by having “lotioney” hands.  It speaks to a much deeper problem than dry skin.  In fact, it may be the reason why many men don’t carry guns in their trucks anymore: not because they don’t have liscenses to do so, but because they don’t care to do those things which are inherently “manly.”  And even worse, because they see no need to defend anyone anymore (though most men carry guns for sport).

Perhaps men ought to stop highlighting their hair and look to Jesus Christ to know how a real man is supposed to live.  Here is a man who wasn’t defined by his dress or hair, but by his zeal for God, hatred of sin, and love for sinners.  Peter, too, would be a good man to imitate.  Afterall, I’m sure he could pick up a tackle box if he had to.

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