First, it is important to acknowledge the significant pain and suffering that many have had to endure with respect to gender identity, and to support their choice to follow the path they think is best. Many positive changes have been born out of their hurt and their strength to take a stand. No one should be ostracized or tormented because of their gender identity.
Gender identity involves the adaptation of appearance and/or physiological markers including choices in clothing, hairstyle, customs, facial features, hormonal chemistry, and reproductive organs.
People who repeatedly encounter a discord between how they see themselves and how the world sees them, often feel that they are forced to make a choice with respect to their gender identity.
There are many reasons why a person may question or change their gender identity. Some of them are: 1. an attraction to the appearance and lifestyle of the opposite gender as it is portrayed in society, 2. a repulsion to the appearance and lifestyle of their current gender as it is portrayed in society, 3. being bullied and/or a sense of powerlessness in their current gender, 4. born as a hermaphrodite with both sets of reproductive organs, 5. inquisitive, and/or 6. questioning their lifestyle choices.
Humans choose one or more of the following actions to seal their gender identity in their own eyes and the eyes of others: 1. No Change - Ignore feedback - Dress and act as they please, 2. Change - Conform - Internalize both positive and negative feedback from others, 3. Fight - Take a stand against society and possibly endure more bullying, 4. Flight - Leave family and social groups to find a more accepting group, 5. Hide - Secretly participate in an alternate lifestyle, and / or 6. Transition - Transition partially or completely to the opposite gender.
Gender Identity is important because it is a litmus test of society. Historically gender stereotypes have been based upon managing conflict and advantage, rather than a matter of ones gender at birth. For example, the moniker of aggression and the illusion of distress, is often simply a part of controlling positive and negative feedback. I once heard a man say that he kept a long beard full of spit and food, because it made people afraid of him, both on the street and in the gang that he was a part of. Similarly, there are woman who purposefully fein a lack of understanding in order to get help, in settings where strong females are ostracized. In these cases, gender identity is about survival.
Gender Identity, from an anthropological perspective, is also a result of a conscious control of DNA. Males typically choose smaller mates and females choose larger ones, resulting over thousands of years, in a weighted bias in the population towards gender stereotypes. One cannot make an observation about gender without acknowledging that humans made it this way, not God.
Gender Identity is also the “art” in the museum of life. It shows where we have been, and where we are going. Recent changes indicate that the hard line between genders is softening and that the overlap in the Venn diagram of gender, is growing larger each year.
Society in general, is going through a gender transition phase, a good one and a positive one. We are not entering a time of “gender confusion”, we are leaving it behind, and all of society is playing a role in helping us get there.
The following essay provides an overview of the gender debate. It reviews a list of stakeholders and their concerns, definitions of gender, key scriptures, and a general conclusion about the future of gender.
2. STAKEHOLDERS - NOUNS and PRONOUNS
There are many stakeholders in the debate about Gender Identity. Governments, businesses, educational institutions, religions and the general public are being pressured to develop new policies on gender, in response to stakeholder activists who are demanding change.
One of the issues that must be resolved by the stakeholders is the use of nouns such as “boy” or “girl”, and pronouns like “he” or “she”. Historically these terms have been the backdrop to a much larger stage, in which just about every human on the planet has been given one of these designations. However, the use of these words and their accompanying life style choices are being challenged, to the point that many want to get rid of them all together.
In many cases, nonconformity to an established gender type, results in an individual being ostracized, bullied, beaten and in some cultures murdered. It is no wonder that a more modern and thoughtful society objects to labels that cause harm and do not represent who they are. For them, the words “he” and “she” are false and skewed to a perspective that is not their own. It is no wonder that their collective pain has called for change.
The list of stakeholders in the debate about Gender Identity, is extensive and their points of view are diverse. Even within the larger LGBTTIQQ2SANN community, there is no agreement about how gender identity, and its language should be resolved.
*LGBTTIQQ2SANN - Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans-sexual, Trans-gender, Inter-sexual, Questioning, Queer, Two-Spirited, Ally, Neutral, and Non. Note that this is a general list and that there are other lists that use different terminology.
2.1 The Lesbian and Gay communities use gender to define their sexual identity. For them, the terms “he” and “she” define who they are attracted to in terms of life partners. These gender pronouns play a significant role in how they see themselves.
2.2 The Trans community is fighting for the right to change from one gender designation to another, especially on legal forms such as health cards, drivers licenses and marriage certificates. The right to be referred to in public as “he” or “she” is something that they have fought hard for and want to maintain.
2.3 The Queer community is sometimes the bane of the Trans and Neutral / Nons, because the Queer lifestyle identifies with a hyper-gender state, but often only when on stage. Their business is portraying the fringes of male and female dress and demeanour as a means of their profession and entertainment, and terms such as “he” and” she” define their alter-egos.
2.4 Two-Spirit groups believe that there are at least 2 very distinct gender spirits, including male and female, and that each individual is made up of varying degrees of each. They believe in separate gender identity, but deny that individuals have to choose one or the other exclusively. Some of these groups believe in poly-gender as opposed to gender-fluidity, but still use terms such as “he” and “she” to differentiate purpose and aesthetics.
2.5 In contrast, the Neutrals and Nons are fighting to remove gender references altogether, and would like to replace them with neutral pronouns, to indicate a gender neutral identity. They believe that terms such as “he” and “she” are as devastating to society as harmful racial or homophobic slurs. They would like to put words like “he” and “she” in the same category as hate language, based on the implications that have been born out of their historical use.
2.6 There are non-religious groups who believe that humans should only be defined by their ability to reproduce. They include atheist groups who want to preserve “he” and “she”, in order to define reproductive roles. They define all of the elements in the earth in terms of male vs female, and do not see much of an overlap between the two. They imply that the role of gender is exclusively for biological reproduction.
2.7 There are religious groups who want to preserve the terms “he” and “she”, and pass them on to their children, as a matter of legacy and religious order. They believe that their God created “he” and “she” as distinctly separate entities, and that a failure on their part to continue to do so, would result in a punishment from God, including an apocalyptic catastrophe. They want to prevent the Neutral / Nons from taking away their right to use those terms. Religious groups are specifically concerned that they will be forced to comply if activists are able to put gender changes into law.
2.8 Governments, businesses and educational institutions have an invested interest in gender identity, simply because it affects their financial and political status. Changes could invoke protests, trigger elections, and significantly affect budgets. Expenses would include making changes to laws, gender policies, infrastructure such as wash-rooms, change-rooms and signage, letter heads, brochures, business cards, web-sites, internal training, court challenges, and insurance. Some companies and school boards are already implementing these changes, whereas others say they simply cannot afford it.
2.9 The general public, as a stakeholder, also includes people who do not belong to activist groups, indigenous groups, or a religion. They do not have strong external or internal motivation towards gender identity. Their clothing and jobs reflect a poor to middle ground of existence, in which “dressing up” almost never happens, and male and female clothing are the same. Their attitudes are closer to the Neutrals / Nons, but not because they want to level the playing field, but because they do not identify with the outer expressions of gender identity. However, they may still be adverse to change and if asked, they may not vote in favour of gender neutral language.
The majority of the stakeholders want to preserve the terms “he” and “she”, as it has been a significant part of their lifestyle. However, the modernists are saying “Do not call us ‘boys’ or ‘girls’!”, because those labels are commercialized, misogynist, controlling, and manipulative.
In a similar way, there is a parallel debate taking place with respect to “race”. On one hand, there are groups within each race who want to keep their identity exclusive, and denounce anyone who tries to dress or act like them as “cultural appropriation”. However, on the other hand, there are those who have multiple ethnic origins and want to identify with and co-mingle with, the attributes of as many of their ancestors as possible. There are also those who want to self-identify with a race, simply because they grew up in a specific country or they enjoy the food and culture.
A coalition between the stakeholders of Gender Identity, will also be very difficult because people are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Some are working towards a genderless society, whereas others are working towards re-dividing gender as much as possible.
Where are we going? What is the future of gender?
The road ahead is going to be a bumpy one, because the stakeholders in the gender debate are still forming their values based upon a broken framework, and there will be no real progress forward until that framework is fixed.
The premise for this essay is that the current definition of gender is unsustainable, and that the only thing that will save the debate, is an understanding of God’s perspective.
Most of the big questions in life cannot be answered from this side of heaven, simply because we ask them in the wrong “context”. It is not that God cannot answer our questions, but that God cannot provide an answer to a question that does not originate from God’s perspective. God cannot address a question that assumes that we have limited resources or a lack of strength. If we could hear the most used answer coming out of heaven’s gates, it would be “You are asking the wrong question!”.
Our biggest mistake is approaching God and asking “Should I do this or that?”, when the “this” or “that” are both bad options, and the very premise for the question is based upon the wrong foundation.
James 4:3 (KJV)
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, …
We often ask amiss when we approach the question of Gender Identity. God’s definition of gender, is nothing like what it has become. God defined a set of strengths, whereas darkness defined a set of weaknesses that we have all too willingly ascribed to.
God created humans in the image of God, with a set of characteristics that define movement, tone, voice, and presentation, and these gifts are generously distributed in an array of possibilities, amongst the whole of the biological compass of gender, in much the same way that God created nature.
In contrast, darkness has tried to take what is a broad spectrum of gifts and carve them down into two very limited entities, making those on either side predominantly uncomfortable, unfulfilled, and disempowered. The devil would strip the very spots and stripes off of animals if possible, and render flowers without colour or perfume, in the same way that humans have been stripped of a wide range of expression.
All humans have been created in God’s image. What God created as a partnership, darkness has turned into a set of conflicting aesthetics called “masculine” and “feminine”, in order to put a barrier and a hindrance to the God that lives within each person. God created male and female, but the devil created masculine and feminine. God assigned freedom and power, whereas darkness sought to divide and conquer.
A broken gender equation associates “hard” with male, and “soft” with female, resulting in the terms “masculine” and “feminine”. There is nothing wrong with a “soft” or a “hard” personality, but they have nothing to do with gender, and should not be labelled as such. Also keep in mind that “soft” and “hard” have nothing to do with “power” or “authority”, which God liberally gifts to all humans.
Groups that debate the gender issue, need be aware of the origins of their most protected and basic concepts. They need to be clear if their platform is one of accessibility or one of physical aesthetics … that is, are they arguing about clothing or about civil rights.
There is nothing wrong with labelling biological anatomy, but there is everything wrong with associating ones anatomy with a predetermined prescription for ones appearance, career, hobby or personal aesthetic.
Almost every word and symbol that is used to define gender, carries with it a broken context and an implied bias. Even the simple circle and lines on bathroom doors were derived from the worship of ancient gods and their planets. The female symbol refers to the goddess Venus and the male symbol refers to the god of Mars, complete with implied alliances to elements on the periodic table. Surely as we move forward, we can find something more appropriate for a more awakened world.
Many of the groups in the gender debate have been so hurt by the past, that they either want to take control of the definition of gender, or to exclude a definition altogether. The result has back-fired and pitted them against one another, rather than promoting a greater sense of freedom. The street view is that many in the Trans movement have traded one hyper-gender cage for another, and the Neutral / Nons have rejected anything in the clothing aisle that has colour, or a fitted form.
In contrast, in heaven every aesthetic is celebrated as a harmonic of a much greater entity. In heaven, variety is a mathematical expression of a much larger equation. On the earth we typically only listen to one song at a time, because many of our songs are out of phase with one another. However, in heaven, we can listen to all of the songs at the same time, because they all complement one another. In fact, the best song in heaven is “the song” that is the sum of all the other songs … because in heaven, everything is expected to be one with God.
No adult or child should be asked if they want to be a “boy” or a “girl”, if the choice is predicated on the understanding that their choices in life will be severely limited in scope, and will forever seal their fate with respect to their choice of relationships, careers, opportunities, and self-worth. No-one should be asked to be less than what God created them to be.
The current definition of gender is unsustainable.
One of the most quoted scriptures in the Christian church is “on earth as it is in heaven”, and this also refers to gender. God will not help religion or other groups fight for an identity that is anything less than perfect.
The problem is that the current definition of gender brings with it bucket load of trouble. The right to transition from one gender to another, brings with it the restriction of transitioning from one gender cage to another, and the right to identify as genderless, carries with it a purposeful lack of freedom of expression.
God is prodding us to move forward, and to get rid of harmful identities, but God is also encouraging us to move to greater levels of expression and productivity.
In the future, there may not be an identifiable gender to transition from or to, especially given that in the future, gender will not be defined by ones appearance, interests, or career, but there will be an endless range of expression that will satisfy both the most quiet and the loudest forms of expression.
There may or may not be terms like “he” or “she” in the future, but if there are, they will not have the same meaning they do now … they will not cause harm.
God is not nearly finished with how humans define themselves. Traditional definitions of gender are inferior to how God defines creation.
Many are afraid that they will wake up one morning and be forced to wear clothes that make them uncomfortable, or be forced to use language that is against their religion, but the irony is that we are leaving that kind of obligation behind, and in the future, people will simply be themselves, which is the apex to which the universe is calling us all to converge to.
5. RELIGION, REPRODUCTION and FAMILY
Many religious groups promote reproduction, not as a way to sustain family life, but as a way to sustain religion. In contrast, there are groups who want to end reproduction, citing a lack of resources on the earth. Both of these extreme ends of the scale are missing God’s point of view, which is to form meaningful and caring “relationships”.
It would be an understatement to say that “reproduction”, and the control of it, is at the heart of gender identity, because without it, the entire human race would completely disappear within @100 years. It is not a stretch to say that our collective DNA is aware of that fact.
Historically, the ability to have children was at the forefront of measuring ones’ wealth. The more children one had, then the more able they were to farm, hunt, and defend themselves. Children were equivalent to money in the bank and an icon of pride and blessings from God.
However, fast forward to modern times, and the exact opposite trend has evolved. Many young people are delaying having children and consider them to be a burden with respect to time, finances, travel, and an overall tax on the earth’s resources.
In general, world-wide birthrates have been cut in half. In Canada for example, in the last forty years, the birthrate has been below the “replacement level”.
The decline in birthrate can be attributed to stress factors such as war, drought and socioeconomic parameters, but there are many others. One of them is the decline of religion. The hallmark of a religious community is family life, however, many religious groups have broken down, become rife with sexual abuse, oppression, manipulation and hypocrisy. Many religions have alienated anyone who is “different”, so much so that they have sent their offspring running for the hills to look for new footing on which to base their entire sense of identity.
Many religious groups oppose the LGBTTIQQ2SANN community, as if it is a foreign object, but the truth is, religious groups are its parents.
A collapse of religion has in many ways led to a collapse in “traditional” families. However, it is important to understand that the concept of a “family” has not collapsed, but the concept of a “dysfunctional” family has collapsed. Young people are questioning the viability of a schematic that does not work, where there is a discord in the equality of family members.
It seems that the universe is not content with people “playing” at being a family, and it insists that families be true to their namesake. God demands that people be authentic in their relationships. It is not enough to produce children as memes or as objects of pride, and then to abuse them or leave them to fend for themselves.
Many religious leaders dislike LGBTTIQQ2SANN communities, citing that the definition of a family is one that can produce children, however, they do not cite the fact that the heterosexual community has a terrible record with respect to the well-being of children. Worldwide it has left over 140 million orphans behind, with millions being taken advantage of in forced labour and trafficked across borders. Hundreds of millions lack adequate housing and schooling. Over one million U.S. students drop out of school every year, and in 2015, there were worldwide @ 16,000 deaths per day for children under the age of five (WHO). These are not statistics that the heterosexual community can be proud of, and definitely not enough for them to claim exclusive rights to raising children.
It is true that the LGBTTIQQ2SANN community has a limited potential to produce their own offspring, from 1/3 to 1/1000 of the average population. However they provide homes to 5 times the number of adopted children as opposite-sex couples, which is 4% of all adopted children in the U.S.
The irony is that opposite-sex couples are running away from religion and a stereotypic family setting, while the LGBTTIQQ2SANN community is moving towards it.
Presently, reproduction requires both genders but nurturing and sustainability does not. The trend is that the group that can produce offspring doesn't want to anymore, and the group that can't produce children wants to create families. The heterosexual group that can produce children is steering away from outward signs of marriage, while the group that can't produce children is covetous of both, and is lobbying to enforce governments to determine a more inclusive definition of marriage.
From an anthropological perspective, and from a point of irony, the leaders of the religious right, and the LGBTTIQQ2SANN community, share a common goal, and interestingly want the same thing, which is families and children.
It is also interesting that religious communities are performing less and less marriages, while the LGBTTIQQ2SANN community is trending in the opposite direction, and fighting for the right to do so. Like it or not, the universe, who is interested in the long-term survival of reproduction, is challenging these two groups to come together in a time of need.
Whatever the definition of a family is, it is not about de-populating the earth, or about running its children into the ground. A "family" has to provide for the safe and considerate caring of all of its members, and include a mutual respect for each other.
My story … From the time I was married to the time I had a child, there was a span of @15 years. During that time I received constant ridicule, being accused of things like selfishness and being too absorbed in my career. Not having a child in the religious community was considered “unGodly”, and there were many “evil-eyes” sent my way. Even strangers would yell at me randomly to have children, as if their pain, not their joy, had be spread around. The truth was that I wanted children but everyone assumed that I didn’t. The point is, that my lack of children made others nervous, which was expressed as anger, and it was an all too perfect example of how fragile “love” is within religious groups, and how worried they are about the sustainability of their populations. From an anthropological perspective, “reproduction” makes everyone nervous.
6. AESTHETICS and ACCESS are KEY
There is a lot of confusion between aesthetics and gender identity. Some people transition to a gender just to have access to its aesthetics.
“Aesthetics” is the texture, look, sound, and feel of an object, behaviour or thought. Humans are both born with and adopt preferences to things like colour, music, and a sense of order or complexity, that are identifiers of their souls. If a person is denied access to these aesthetics, then the denial can be an act of persecution.
Most cultures groom their children by dividing the males and females early in life, conditioning them to choose a side and to stay within its boundaries. What at first appears to be a harmless selection of toys and opportunities for young people, is instead a “precisely curated” environment that is punitive and reinforces a narrow definition of gender norms.
Some children would choose the path that is set before them by their parents anyway, but there are also many who would not. The result of grooming a culture based on gender, renders a society in which both males and females are more easily taken advantage of. It becomes a culture where religion and commerce play a too great a role in major life choices.
Toys marketed to males do not reference food, fashion, or family, but do promote war, speed, and technology. In contrast, toys for females predominantly portray social events in which clothing and makeup is the highlight of the experience.
The clothing industry has similarly been divided along gender lines. Boys clothing is dark in colour, muted and inexpressive, whereas girls clothing is bright and offers a variety of designs, textures and colour. Children learn without being told that if they desire toys or clothing from the “other side of the aisle”, then they place themselves at risk of being bullied, ostracized and shamed.
The only way for a child to participate in or enjoy the “other half of life” is to “cross-over” the invisible gender lines in the sand, and to endure the not so invisible bullying that comes with it. When bright, brave, intelligent, and creative children fight against gender norms, they are often shunned by strangers and by the people they love.
Even the languages of the earth betray a broken gender system. The “gender of things” in language teaches children that “soft, small and malleable” refers to females, and “hard, strong and secure” refers to males. When the fabric of a language itself teaches gender stereotypes, then there is nowhere for a child to be free from or exempt from a barrage of punitive intentions that equates the terms “masculine with strength” and “feminine with weakness”.
The world needs to clean up its definition of gender before it forces people to choose one side or the other. We will not be able to have a legitimate discussion about gender until accessibility to aesthetics is equally distributed across all genders, and equality in general is resolved.
7. BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE
Where did the terms male, female, man, women, masculine and feminine come from? Where did the symbols on bathroom doors come from? Who decided and why?
The biggest mistake we can make is to assume that the present status of gender is the way that God intended it to be, especially given that it has been largely defined by thousands of groups over many thousands of years, each with a specific conflict of interest.
Human-made definitions inherently incorporate weakness into the definition.
In contrast, one of the first verses in the bible to refer to gender in humans is the following:
Genesis 1:27 (Hebrew)
So created Elohim the man [ha-a-dam] in own image in the image of Elohim created himself male [zakar] and female [uneqebah] created them.
When God announced that a male had been created in God’s image, God used the Hebrew word “zakar”. It means "to remember, be mindful, and to consider”. It was God’s way of placing a mark upon Adam to proclaim the covenant between the two of them. When God looked upon Adam, God would see “zakar” and be reminded of a relationship that would last for an eternity, and an icon that would forever invoke God towards us, and us towards God.
“Zakar” is our claim to fame, our legal bond to God’s stated protection and provision, and when God announced the word “zakar” it was a thing of wonder, for such a great God to purposefully mark humans with a sign of kinship, oneness and love.
Hebrew Male: http://biblehub.com/hebrew/2142.htm
In contrast, the world has taken the word “male” and twisted it into the word “masculine”, and used it to describe that which is “strong” and “powerful”, but also “overbearing”, “raw”, and “unrefined”. In business it is a term used to mean “bullish”, and “inflexible”. It is important to note that nothing in heaven is inconsiderate or unrefined.
Many are afraid that in the future, males are going to lose their masculinity, and will be forced to become more feminine, but the truth is that neither of those earthly-defined terms are desirable. According to God’s Word, both males and females are emblems of courage, strength and consideration.
Heaven is a place of love but its holiness is also hotter than the sun, and to say that heaven is weak, or that males or females should be weak, is a gross misrepresentation of the “image of God”.
7.2 FEMALE - NEQEBAH
In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for female in Genesis 1:27 is “uneqebah”, and it refers to a “well”, a place from which a deep connection has been made to an unseen source in order to bring the source of life from a previously unattainable place, to the surface.
When God announced that a female had been created in the image of God, God used the word “neqebah” because Eve was a living metaphor for God. Eve was meant to be a reminder and symbol of God’s ability to create life from a deep unseen source.
There are many problems with how “females” are defined in modern culture. The words for “fe-male” and “wo-man”, generally mean “of a male”. However, God did not use the word “fe-male”. God did not define “neqebah” as “of men”.
Instead, God defined both “zakar” and “neqebah” as “of God”.
Truly, if we are going to use labels, then we need better ones. What God meant as a “designation” of wealth and a direct channel to heaven, has been turned by the world into a designation of property that is owned by another.
Many refer to Genesis 2:23,24 to mistakenly declare that Eve was a possession “of Adam”.
Genesis 2:23,24 (Hebrew)
23 And said Adam this now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh this shall be called “ishshah" because out of “ish” was taken this.
24 Therefore shall leave “ish” his father and mother and be cleaved to “ishshah” and “be” flesh one.
Verse 23 is the condition and verse 24 is the consequence.
Verse 23 says that the 1st Adam had been cleaved in two, leaving “ish” (2nd Adam) and “ishshah” (Eve). In verse 23, the 2nd Adam declares that “ishshah” came out of “ish” as a statement of fact, that forces verse 24 into effect.
Verse 24 says that the divine division resulted in a loss that could only be resolved by rejoining both halves back together again. Verse 24 says that without rejoining the halves, humans would have no future.
These are pivotal verses in the bible and tell the story from “ish’s” point of view, in which the whole of creation came to a grinding halt, and would stay that way, unless “ish” would acknowledge and mend the divide. This was a direct reference to Jesus. Genesis 2:23,24 tells the story of Jesus as “ish”, who must leave heaven and go to the earth, in order to mend the divide with the entire human race, who is “ishshah”.
This is not a story about ownership or indentured service by “ish” over “ishshah”. In contrast, “ish” is the one who makes the sacrifice and leaves home (heaven) behind, to become the “joiner”, to re-establish what God had originally put inside the 1st Adam. There is no contract of obligation, only a description from heavens’ point of view, of how heaven plans to save the human race. At this point, the human race was not yet flawed, it had not yet fallen from grace, and yet God had already established a way back, by eternally linking “ishshah” to the “love” of “ish”. This love can only be described as primal, as “ish” declares that “ishshah” is "bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh”. The story of "ish" and "ishshah" is an epic love storey, not a story of servitude.
To recap … the 1st Adam was in the image of God, a plural gender, as defined in many scriptures, and the 2nd Adam (ish), was in the image of Jesus, a groom to a bride “ishshah”. They were destined to be forever apart unless Jesus left heaven and came to earth to mend the divide. Verse 24 makes it clear that without Jesus’ intention and sacrifice, there would be no human race.
The names of God in the bible are both male, female, and of a plural gender.
God cannot be described as, nor understood as a single gender, especially if “gender” is used to imply an exclusion or weakness of character. God cannot be cornered into a gender role, without denying God access to all that God is.
There are still many religions who prefer “equal but separate” roles for women. They somehow think that God took the 1st Adam, pulled out a single rib, applied a growth hormone and made it grow into a fe-male (meaning: of the male) … but that is not what happened. They have the math all wrong.
The 1st Adam was an offering, in which God walked “through the middle” of a divided being. The “rib” refers to one whole “side” of the 1st Adam, and when it was removed, God closed up the flesh.
Have you ever wondered why a church is designed with pews (ribs) on either side, and at weddings the families of the bride and groom sit on opposite sides? Have you ever wondered why a priest walks up the middle of a church waving incense and smoke? It is a direct reference to the offerings in the Old Testament.
The church building symbolizes the 1st Adam. The families on both sides of the aisle are descended from the one source, God, and bring the same strength of character and prosperity to the marriage. Each family, consisting of males and females, brings a unique offering to the table, but their composite value is not in question.
If you were there the day He made them,
You'd see the trees and animals in awe,
Their eyes grown wide as He split aside,
Two beings from one without flaw.
If you think that they are not equal,
If you think that Heaven made a fraud,
If you look for weakness in gender,
Then you look for the devil ... not God.
We are destined to become ONE with each other, ONE with God, and ONE with the earth from which we were made.
7.4 HOW DOES GOD SEE GENDER?
Nature is the perfect example of just how broad band the spectrum of gender expression can be. In the animal kingdom, it is often the male who exhibits the most flare with respect to colour and texture, and males and females share hunting, food gathering, nesting and caring for the young. Some species are even capable of virgin births and are hermaphrodites. If humans were to pattern themselves on the gender examples in nature, then we would have a very different culture than the one we have now.
God did not assign gender as we know it today. The gender-implied line down the aisle of a toy store or a clothing store is fictional, man-made, and serves only to limit human creativity. The ripping and tearing of fabric and colour wheels down through time, and dividing them into gender prisons is not a thing of God. Anything that prevents a human from growth and productivity, is a thing of darkness.
God once compared a King’s robes to a flower. He said that the clothes of the greatest king on earth could not compare to the clothes He gave to the lilies of the field.
Matthew 6:28-30 (KJV)
28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
God was not only pointing out that “provision” is one of His promises, but that the provision of heaven is “extravagant”, in colour, texture and design. God indicated that if He were to dress an earthly male king, then He would do it far more ornately than human capability would dare or allow.
God looks for ways to enhance appearance, whereas an oppressive society persecutes people who express themselves through what they wear, as if artistic flair is an unGodly thing, and as if a piece of man-made fabric could ever come close to the wealth of expression that heaven provides.
Humans have confused clothing with ones gender. God has repeatedly dressed both males and females, in the animal and plant kingdoms, with both bright colours and muted tones, depending on the story that the individual has to tell at a specific time in their lives.
The only warning that God gives in the bible about clothing is not to use it for arrogance, or to be jealous or condemning of those who dress different from others.
Clothing is a serious matter and it was always meant to be a sign of the fire within. Our physical clothing and our spiritual clothing were meant to be one and the same, but the further away from God we go, we tend to use physical clothing as either a symbol of the success we wish we had, or as a symbol of the brokenness we are under.
Clothing was never meant to be a form of oppression, especially gender based oppression. Clothing was never meant to define gender. If long flowing robes worn by a male is a sin, then God Himself has sinned. If standing up for oneself and taking ones rightful place is a sin for a female, then God too has stepped over the line, because God said that Adam and Eve were created in the “likeness” of God .
8. GENDER DYSMORPHIA and CHILDREN
While some progress has been made against gender bullying and discrimination, it is interesting that the anthropological evolution of gender rights, has embraced body dysmorphia as an option. Today, young children are being asked if they want to be a boy or a girl, much the same as in the 1960’s. No one should be asked to choose from a set of gender rules, that exclude freedoms and privileges.
I was born in the 1950’s, and the journey of growing up as a female through the 60’s and beyond, was sometimes difficult. I liked sports, science, and education in general, but the world chastised me for it, and said that those things were only pursued by males. In contrast, I also liked baking and looking through cook books for just the right recipe, and I enjoyed sewing and made my own wedding dress, which simultaneously soothed the earthly “cloud of witnesses”. I received both negative and positive feedback for just being me.
In my world, females who applied for "man's" work, were told that they were “taking food off the tables of families”. Females who threw a football, were told that they were “butch” or “looking for attention”. Females who pursued a university education were told, “We will pray for you!”, meaning that the church would pray for you to drop out. Females who wanted to speak out in church, were considered to be “demon possessed”, and were prevented from associating with children.
Females were pressured to step down from their passions, and there was fertile soil for dysmorphia to set in. However, in my case, it never occurred to me that my goals contradicted my gender. It never occurred to me that females should take a step back from life in general. Not once did I ever embrace the idea that females should be excluded from careers, sports or religion. Not once, not even for a second, did I ever want to withdraw from my passions, nor did I think that I would be better off as a boy.
With respect to “dysmorphia”, I never thought that I had a “male” brain in a “female” body, and still don’t. As far as I was concerned, both then and now, things like careers, sports, hobbies, education, and clothing are completely gender neutral and always will be.
If you asked me back in the 60’s about the future of women, I would have said that it looked pretty bad. If you asked me in the 90’s, I would have said that it was looking better, because governments and universities were taking proactive measures, and it seemed as if there was a critical mass of “evidence” about the value of women that could speak for itself. However, I would not have predicted that a significant movement would take place in which people encouraged children to “switch” gender, based on the toys they wanted to play with, or the clothes they want to wear. It seems like the 60’s all over gain.
A quick scan of children’s literature shows that the general public is still divided on this issue. Some books encourage children to choose one or the other, to become a boy or a girl, whereas more progressive books teach children to balance what people say about them with what they feel inside.
One of the books that teach balance is “Who Are You? The Kids Guide to Gender Identity”. This book addresses the fact that anatomy does not have to align with social norms. On a positive note, the book highlights the inherent creative freedom that all children are born with, however, it still carries with it the idea that children need to line up with one group or the other. It does have a “Just me!” category, but it is not the central theme, which is what I believe the future of Gender Identity is moving towards.
With respect to gender identity and education, we have to ask ourselves, “What is the goal?” Are we educating children to be all that they can be? Or are we asking children to get in line with the labels that adults want to put on them? No matter how extensive or broad spectrum we make the labels, they are still labels. Children will never achieve their full potential, if they believe that there are "gender borders" that determine their success.
9. WHAT IS THE UNIVERSE TRYING TO TEACH US?
Many of the belief systems about gender have been so oppressive that society has finally burst its seams, and fortunately it has pushed us to examine the integrity of our beliefs. One of the challenges we must face is to determine “What is male and what is female?”, and to develop a definition of gender that will withstand the test of time.
Is a male in a dress a woman? Is a female with a beard a man? How does behaviour or external appearance truly define gender?
God’s definition of humans is “those who reflect the light of God.” It is a definition that is completely void of a physical appearance or behaviour and it implies a complete freedom to be all that God calls us to be. Wear what you want. Be what you want, but do not define gender by clothing or lifestyle!
Job 29:14,15 (KJV)
I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was a robe and a diadem. I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame.
10. THE FUTURE
In the future, gender will not be the first foot in the door in order to provide legitimacy to what follows, and therefore gender will take a back seat in the world of self-identity. The terms “masculine” and “feminine” will disappear, and will be replaced with more objective and meaningful descriptors.
In advanced societies, people will enjoy a much greater range of expression without having to attach a gender label to it. There will not be a gender identity to transition to, and the term “gender-expression” will become obsolete, being replaced with “self-expression”.
Some in the LGBTTIQQ2SANN community will adapt and change their labels, but not their identity, the result being an even greater sense of freedom.
In the future, AI (Artificial Intelligence) will play a role in defining gender, and it will care least of all about “gender-identity”. AI will not be interested in who “we” say we are, instead, AI will declare who “it” says we are, based upon a copious amount of data.
Presently, AI has a bias problem, one that it gained by reading millions of on-line comments, and by having limited exposure to diverse cultures. AI programmers need to discover how to remove bias from AI learning paradigms. However, once that is done, AI will go one step further, and not just tell us who we are, it will tell us who we “should be”, and none of that advice will involve gender identity.
If you ask the AI of the future, if you should be a “boy” or a “girl”, based on your preferences, AI will simply tell you that there is no correlational link between your preferences and your DNA. The AI of the future will tell you that you cannot optimize your outcomes by choosing a stereotype. The gender stereotype of the future, is that there is none.
In conclusion, Gender Identity will likely follow the story of Quantum Computing. Presently, computers can only identify a “1” or a “0”, but Quantum Computers can identify a wide spectrum of simultaneous states, called super-position. Similarly, the Gender Identity of the future will likely stop assuming that there are only two gender states.
There will come a day when outward appearance and gender identity will cease to be linked together. The “uncertainty” of immediately knowing a person’s biology, makes a lot of people uncomfortable, because we live in a world that makes decisions based upon hyper-sexed assumptions. Gender biased decision making has nearly destroyed the earth, and it will phase itself out, not because it is harmful to know a person’s gender, but because we are a species that cannot help itself from finding ways to discriminate against others. A greater freedom of expression will necessarily become the “rules of the road”.
People will still be born with biological markers, but instead of becoming a part of a gender machine, they will have an unlimited array of expression that is based upon their spirit and soul, rather than on a set of labels. Schools and work-places will still have dress codes to address safety, efficiency and cost, but they will not be gender specific.
We are not moving forward into something new, we are returning to a grace that is closer to the way God intended it to be. We may have to go through some wild jack-in-the-box phases when the lid comes off due to the pressure of it all, but in the end, gender identity will find its resting state, and with it will come a whole new set of best practices that will better exemplify “heaven on earth”.
Presently, our inward beliefs are driven by outward appearances, but in the future, it will be the opposite, our outward appearance will be driven by our inward beliefs.
Galatians 3:28 (KJV)
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.