The Deconstruction of Womanhood, Part One
3 Reasons Some Want to End Traditional Romance
But first, a quiz.
Can you name the movies these iconic lines came from?
“You want the moon? Just say the word, and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down for you.”
“You’re the first boy I ever kissed, Jake, and I want you to be the last.”
“You have bewitched me body and soul.”
“Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.”
“I love you.” “I know.”
If you’re a romantic like me, you got them all. They are starry-eyed moments from the following flicks (in order): “It’s a Wonderful Life”, “Sweet Home Alabama”, “Pride and Prejudice”, “The Princess Bride”, and, of course, “The Empire Strikes Back”.
As we watched these touching, romantic moments in the theaters – our breath caught in our throats. We love love. Who doesn’t?
A creeping narrative would try to reprogram our thoughts to abandon traditional ideals of romantic love and family, joining forces against a concocted definition of “evil patriarchy,” its genesis found in romance. Boy meets girl, falls in love, and dreams come true. What’s so wrong with happily ever after?
These joy-kill progressive ideologues would have you believe that being a liberated woman is validated through your career-mark on the world only. They would urge you to thumb your nose at the idea that any man would have a say in your life for better or worse.
I guess everyone has a right to their opinion. As for me, I’ll take Mr. Darcy looking deep into my eyes, thank you.
This intended shift in our consciousness is about more than romance, however. It devalues the idea of marriage and children too. Some of the messaging is subtle, while some is in-your-face weird (often accompanied by jewel-colored hair and a wild-eyed angry look), and some even tout supposed science, claiming that abandoning outdated ideas is for the good of society – and the Earth.
We’re not buying it. You shouldn’t either.
It’s part of the left’s deconstruction of womanhood. This week, we’ll examine three reasons some want to end traditional romance.
1. They Say: Marriage is Bad for Women.
Let’s face it: if left unchecked, romance can lead people to do crazy things like…get married.
New objections to this time-tested institution went from hinted at to now shouted from the rooftops. “You don’t need to get married!” Culture’s voice is loud and clear.
This supposed freedom to abandon the sacred covenant, which creates the stability of family and fortifies the backbone of American society, is seen by some as a benefit. Women no longer have to be tied to someone “til death do us part.”
It’s a microwave approach to life that yields predictably unappetizing results. Quick fixes rarely require growth, and so miss the strength and beauty of a relationship that has weathered storms. Singleness and simply living together with a boyfriend guarantees that women aren’t burdened with having to do the hard work to get the gold; instead – you can simply move on.
There have been articles published celebrating the merit of not tying the knot, like one in The Huffington Post, that offered compelling reasons like marriage leads to relying on another person. Another mark against matrimony it cites is that this sort of relationship takes a “serious commitment of time and energy.” Also, they say financial problems may occur, and the clincher is this: men are more likely to be overweight.1 Similarly strange lines of reasoning are echoed in other pieces attempting to make the case against a lifelong commitment. These unhappy rants, however, are contradicted by the truth of the matter.
The Facts Remain: We were created for relationship. It’s literally in our design and DNA. Real commitment is the best way to build walls around a family, with marriage being the cornerstone that provides a safe, healthy, and thriving environment for women and men and, of course, children.
Focus on the Family’s Daily Citizen recently published an article, “New Research: Marriage Still Provides Major Happiness Premium.” 2 In it, studies reveal that those who have legally bound themselves have a significantly higher life satisfaction rate. Those ties that bind also provide an emotional and physical “home base” of security.
Beyond that – it’s the healthiest option for adults. Another study revealed that married men and women enjoy longer lives and better physical and mental health and also pointed to a higher happiness quotient among committed couples.3 Marriage is also shown to be a potential hedge against poverty.4
Of course, we’re not implying that tossing a bouquet will shield you from hard times. We know the sad statistics on divorce. Short of that, you could face arguments, financial struggles, illness – or worse. It’s just that you’re not facing it alone. If you weather the storm together, fighting for your relationship and leaning into a God who cares about it all – when the clouds have cleared, you and your husband may find yourself stronger – and closer.
2. They Say: Having Children is Bad.
They cite climate change as a reason childbearing should be avoided.
NBC News published this opinion piece, “Science proves that kids are bad for Earth. Morality suggests we stop having them: We need to stop pretending kids don’t have environmental and ethical consequences.” The writer claims that children’s lives contribute to the “prospect of catastrophic climate change.”5
There are dubious studies and videos, graphs, and charts carefully orchestrated to make the case that adding children to our families is immoral and harmful to the planet. “Having one fewer kid per family can save about 58.6 metric tons of C02 per year,” according to a video by Scripps News touting the carbon impact of little ones.6
Seriously, talk about a romance killer. Reducing the beauty of our children to a global warming cost-benefit analysis is not okay.
The flaw in their logic continues to unfold as experts point to a coming population crisis because women no longer have children at the rate they used to. So, which is it? Are kids good…or bad?
China’s on the front line of this coming crisis. After nearly four decades of their one-child policy (which ended in 2016), that nation is on the verge of catastrophic population collapse, according to authors Darrell Bricker and John Ibbitson in their book Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline.7
The Facts Remain: Despite their notion that we have god-like power to control the Earth’s destiny – we don’t do ourselves any favor by strangling the next generation before it even reaches the cradle. There’s a reason why God “blessed them and said, ‘Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the Earth and govern it.’” The Lord never revoked that charge, and it is the height of presumption to assert that we (or journalists) know better. These anti-birth factions would likely argue that they don’t believe in God. Okay, but that doesn’t change reality any more than altering one’s pronouns changes their chromosomes.
At the end of the day, children have always been God’s idea. The concept that we are so all-powerful that we can control the Earth’s destiny by recycling or not having children reflects a bloated view of our limited human abilities. Decreasing our kiddos’ adorable little carbon footprint is ridiculous, and asserting that WE decide who should be born and who shouldn’t is moral narcissism.
3. They Say: Romance is Outdated.
It’s the whole patriarchy thing again.
Whether he opens a car door for you, pays for dinner, or helps you move a heavy box off your porch – men are villains in this new worldview.
The idea that romance is bad may take some selling. Still, it has a more willing audience in this connected/disconnected generation. Youth today are digital natives. Many can’t remember a time when they weren’t hyper-networked via an always-present smartphone. Their worldview has been somewhat driven by their family, but with a heavy dose of videos and reels online that have given them snapshots of life, humor, and extreme behavior, and with it a skewed view of things.
Screens have robbed many of face-to-face relationships. We’re old enough to remember the awkward silences between us as teens and the necessity of starting a conversation. We had no cell phones to hide behind, so we talked in the lunchroom, on the phone (which was connected to the kitchen wall) and passed notes at school between classes. Then, there was the moment when a boy had to muster the courage to ask a girl to the dance. It taught us courage, resilience – and how to survive embarrassment.
Now, it’s all remote, and the romance – if not dead – is definitely different.
This makes the push of a narrative against traditional ways more palatable. Old-fashioned romance is seen as…simply old. And today’s gender-crazed culture is pushing new ideas. “Love is love,” they say, “and gender is a construct. Men are toxic.”
Removing biological genders and scorning the “patriarchy” rejects men who dare take the lead in dating or courtship. In fact, you may have begun to see this taking root in Hollywood.
Disney, the home of happily ever after, seems to have turned away from the idea of romance, which once dominated their animated features. The most outrageous recent example of this is their likely doomed reboot of Snow White. In this one, she’s no longer looking for true love – and the prince doesn’t save her. Instead, she’s seeking a leadership role.
The ideas behind this twisted version of Snow White seem outlandish, with any lingering hope of success plummeting in a death spiral; however, it’s not the first time the mouse ditched the happily ever after thing. Disney gave Moana and Merida (Brave) more lofty goals than romance – that of self-actualization. That’s not to imply these features were bad overall – Moana is a favorite in our home. However, it’s just to note what seems to be an intentional shift away from the romance of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and The Little Mermaid.
If marriage is wrong – and having kids is bad – what do we need romance for anyway, right?
The Fact Remains: We are wired for those moments that give us butterflies in our stomachs – and why shouldn’t we be? Romance has always been part of our storytelling and adds color, warmth, and richness to our lives. God made us, women and men – equal in value and delightfully different. Raising our children with a healthy view of love, romance, and God’s design gives them the freedom to find the stability and joy of relationships and family.
We must preserve the beauty of love and romance for our daughters and sons. Who wants to live in a world where Rapunzel doesn’t have her Flynn Rider?
As American moms, we love romance. We love our children. We love our husbands, and we love our families. As left-leaning ideologies try to push us, especially our kids, away from these ideals, we must push back. What does that look like?
If you’re married, put some effort into making your relationship thrive to give your children a clear picture of a loving, committed covenant. Ensure your books and movies include a bit of “happily ever after” so your littles learn how to dream. Most of all, pray for them, their future spouses, and the nation they will raise your grandkids in.
And if you ever wonder if romance is a waste of time – given the stresses of life, the economy, the culture, the evil in this world – remember that God Himself approves of these feelings of love and affection.
“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, its jealousy as enduring as the grave. Love flashes like fire, the brightest kind of flame. Many waters cannot quench love, nor can rivers drown it. If a man tried to buy love with all his wealth, his offer would be utterly scorned.” (Song of Solomon 8:6-7)
Podcast Note: Grab your popcorn and settle in for this week’s podcast. We had a delightful conversation with Kevin and Sam Sorbo about family, faith, and their new movie project hitting theatres soon, “Miracle in Texas”. Click here to view the podcast.
3 focusonthefamily.com – Health Benefits of Marriage
4 Focusonthefamily.com – Family Formation and Poverty