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The surprising roots of gender madness

Riley Gaines
University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines (right) poses next to Lia Thomas after the two athletes tied for fifth place at an NCAA Women's Swimming Championship, Mar. 17, 2022. |

Remember the proverbial “frog in the kettle?” Plop a frog into a pot of boiling water, so it is said, and it will jump out; but, if you turn up the heat gradually, the frog won’t notice until suddenly it’s cooked! The point of the tale is that it’s easy not to notice slight, gradual changes — often until it’s too late to do anything about it. 

From “progressive” university campuses to virtue-signaling corporate America, to pandering politicians, it seems as if all the hoo-ha over gender fluidity, preferred pronouns, and transgenderism has happened overnight. But this weird cultural frog has been slowly simmering for a long time, and you might be surprised at all the unlikely contributing factors.

For starters, there’s “Rosie the Riveter,” depicted in WWII recruitment posters flexing her muscles, Popeye-like, with the defiant words, “We Can Do It!”. And do it they did! Millions of women abandoned their traditional roles in the home to “man” the munitions factories and shipyards while the men were off fighting.  Having exchanged skirts for work trousers, many post-war “Rosies” took a liking to wearing slacks, complete with bobbed hair, eventually at “unisex” hair salons. In both careers and fashion, gender distinctions were increasingly blurred. 

In time (buying into the feminist mantra that “women are just as strong as men”), women were recruited into the ranks of the military, firefighters, and police — supposedly squelching any notion of “the weaker sex,” at least until now.

Lia Thomas, the celebrated trans swimmer, ought to be given a medal — not for breaking all the records set by real women, but for finally exposing the lie that women are as strong as men, and that biology and chromosomes don’t matter. 

So how did we get to the point where a man “identifying as a woman” was even permitted to compete? Having been told for generations that it’s illegal to discriminate, society has lost the ability to discriminate! We’ve been blindsided by a gender-blind ideology…worst of all, even in churches, where among many today the gender frog is well and truly cooked! 

Following culture, believers have been bewitched into thinking that what Paul said (in Gal. 3:28) about those who belong to Christ being “neither male nor female” eliminates any and all gender distinctions. Blithely ignored is Paul’s teaching that a woman is not to assume positions of spiritual leadership, a specific responsibility assigned to men in both Old and New Testaments. In matters of gender, whether in individuals or the church, God doesn’t “gift” what he prohibits.

Why male spiritual leadership? Considering the wise judge, Deborah, the successful merchant, Lydia, and the “worthy woman” of Proverbs 31, surely, it can’t be because men are spiritually stronger than godly women, despite Peter’s reference (in 1 Pet. 3:7) to “the weaker vessel.” Indeed, if generally — as facts seem to indicate — women are more naturally spiritual than men, perhaps God has called men to lead so that, counterintuitively, they might be better followers. 

Whatever God’s reasons, when godly women take on roles ordained for men, their “spiritual transgenderism” fuels the trans fire cooking unwary innocents who are being brainwashed to their harm. Teaching boys and girls that they “can be whatever they want to be” is the right idea, but — given today’s trans world and God’s ordained gender roles — perhaps the wrong message.  

F. LaGard Smith is a retired law school professor (principally at Pepperdine University), and is the author of some 35 books, touching on law, faith, and social issues.  He is the compiler and narrator of The Daily Bible (the NIV and NLT arranged in chronological order). 

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