The Point: Strength Has Two Genders

There’s no such thing as genderless strength. For the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.

Brawny had a Super Bowl commercial this year featuring different athletes, both men and women, with the tagline of their new campaign—“strength has no gender.” I thought it was silly at the time, but after watching my wife in labor with our son earlier this month, I could only shake my head.

The same week my son was born, Emma Watson won the first ever “genderless award” for best actor for her role in the recent “Beauty and the Beast” remake, which was nothing if not feminine. There’s not a man on the planet who could win that award for playing Belle.

Every day I see a strength in my wife that no man has, just as there are strengths unique to men. Strength does have a gender—two of them. And no matter what political ideology, ad campaign, or award show says otherwise, this is the real world. Thank God real people are created in His image, male and female.


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  • Gary D. Starbuck

    Miss Dasbach, my 8th grade Common Learnings teacher, would have said “strength” has one gender: neuter. Remember when “gender” was just a grammatical term and not a pseudo scientific one? The biological classification on our school census cards back in those simpler times read: “Sex: M or F”

  • Phoenix1977

    “There’s not a man on the planet who could win that award for playing Belle.”
    Really? So no man could be dressed up as a woman and play Belle the same way Emma Watson could? Or we could not change the name to “Beau” (the male version of the French “Belle”), just like people have rewritten Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” tot “Romeo and Julian”?
    There are several ways how a man could play the part. You just need to be willing to see the possibilities.

    • AtTheCrossroads

      Phoenix1977. I’m afraid in your pursuit of “gender equality” or “gender neutrality”, you are defrauding yourself of the beauty of both. Why is the celebration of diversity abandoned any time the unique, distinct, and beautiful differences displayed by human men and women is emphasized? You’re on the wrong side of science, friend. Masculinity and femininity are here to stay. Just look at the current chaos in women’s athletics brought on by allowing biological men who “identify” as women, to compete against biological women. Hopefully this will pull the plug on the gender-blender!

      • Phoenix1977

        Because there is nothing unique or distinct about any gender. Any and all tasks can be done by any and all persons or any and all genders. That’s the entire point. Masculinity and femininity might indeed be here to stay and that’s fine with me. But they are no longer defining qualities and that’s even better from my point of view.

        The current chaos is caused by sport associations that, so far, have not evolved into the new situation. Actually, it’s not that different from religious conservatives: by adhering to outdated views and principles a situation has been created which no longer fits society. If something changes it will be the statutes of the sport associations. But if it doesn’t I don’t mind either because that will mean the end of “professional sports”. The fact 1 person makes more with one touchdown, homerun or threepointer than the average family in a year, not to mention the merchandise while at the same time children are in bed hungry because there is no money for food, is an atrocity on it’s own.

        • AtTheCrossroads

          “Because there is nothing unique or distinct about any gender.” . . . uh . . . I’m speechless. This is how far you’ll go to defend the indefensible. Here’s a beginners list of distinctions between male and female: Anatomy (and might I say “thank you” to God . . . feel free to insert evolution if you wish . . . for those wonderful distinctions!); chemistry (that’s why the troubled take drugs to try to confuse their bodies along with their minds); voice tones (baritone & soprano are not social constructs my friend!) . . . that’s enough to keep it short. Your distaste for the pay scale of professional athletes aside, let’s talk about (mostly) unpaid Olympic athletes. The reason they make distinctions and give medals to both the best males and best females in an event is because there is, in fact, something very unique and distinct about the physical abilities of male vs female athletes. Dude, take your rainbow-colored glasses off long enough to look at and appreciate the beautiful differences. Isn’t that what diversity is all about? Celebrating differences?

          • Phoenix1977

            Obviously, I disagree 🙂 Let’s, for example, tackle anatomy. In almoist 10% of the new born babies the OB/GYN or pediatrician is unable to determine the biological sex directly at birth and is this determination delayed until several days after birth. But even more important, there are several genetic syndromes, like Klinefelter (1 in every 600 males) and Turner (1 in every 2500 females) Syndrome where anatomy does not match genetics and where an anatomical disticntion between male and female sex-at-birth is extremely difficult. And than we also have androgenous insentitivity syndrome, where a genetically male fetus proves insensitive for testosterone, causing the body to develope in the female line, just as an genetic female can develope in the male line if the mother is treated with his dose prednisolon in the first trimester of pregnancy.
            The physical development of a person is controled by hormones. Same goes for the voice. So if the hormones are off, so is the physical development. And hormones, especially estrogens and testosterone, are a self-fulfilling prophecy. Once a fetus developes in the male line there is no stopping that without blocking the testosterone receptors. Not even if the original cause has been elliminated.
            So who is to say transgenders are not simply people who’s body developed in the wrong direction due to a cause we simply don’t know yet? And gender reassignment therapy is nothing more than correcting an earlier wrong?

          • AtTheCrossroads

            Honestly Phoenix1977, you don’t think there is anything all that different or special in the anatomy of a man vs. a woman? Of course it may be difficult to see in a baby who has not yet fully developed, and there are very rare and sad cases where genetic abnormalities make biological sex difficult to determine. We should be sensitive to people with these rare issues . . especially so when they are brought on by misguided adults who decide a bit of sexual confusion in a child should trigger unnatural hormone therapy or physical mutilation of their natural bodily organs.
            Hormone production is a natural biological function determined by the male and/or female chromosome make-up formed at conception. There is no prophesy involved, just biological science. So rather than compounding the confusion of someone who is struggling to accept their gender, we should help them fully embrace it. Not the stereo-typed version that says all men have to love guns, sports and red meat . . . or women some other list, but the true, complementary, and beautiful diversity that is, in fact, undeniable.
            “Gender reassignment therapy” only makes a difficult situation worse as it adds confusion of the body to confusion of the mind. But why would it even matter in your view of reality. If gender is really just a meaningless social construct, why waste so much time and energy with the whole re-assignment gig? Transgenderism itself may be the strongest argument against your denial of gender differences. It’s just a fact, as politically incorrect as it may be, “But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.” You can not run forever from Someone who is everywhere, my friend!

        • Just one of many voices

          Well, well, nice to find someone else who feels as strongly as I do on professional sports. Sometimes you find it where you least expect 🙂

          “The fact 1 person makes more with one touchdown, homerun or threepointer
          than the average family in a year, not to mention the merchandise while
          at the same time children are in bed hungry because there is no money
          for food, is an atrocity on it’s own.”