Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

I Believe the Sky is Blue

January 21st, 2014 by G.

Romney photo

I wanted to highlight a nice post over the Old Country by Nathaniel Givens, titled “I Believe in Gender Roles.”

Nathaniel Givens is revealing himself as a worthwhile blogger, despite his dubious choice of precincts. He often has some surprising insights, he doesn’t approach the apostles with a guilty-until-proven innocent attitude, and he’s willing to believe the evidence of his senses. He’s something of a squish, but most everyone is these days.

Anyhow, on traditional sex roles, he makes three important points:

1. The prophets aren’t just talking to hear themselves talk.

2. Having kids teaches you real quick that the whole man and woman thing isn’t some arbitrary social construct. There is a real biological template there on which the social sex roles of a particular culture and time are built.

3. The sex roles are blessings and challenges for everybody. They are not one-sided candy for men. In fact, in the modern world, they are increasingly difficult for men. Feminist whining to the contrary has the myopia that only extreme self-centeredness can bring.

his essay really spoke to me, especially the part about sacrificing the dream of being a writer to be a dad instead, and envying your wife the warm relationship she has with the kids.

Also, that bit about the different reactions to being scared. I loved chasing my daughters and they loveed it to, but my son’s reaction is to charge at me. Just like Givens’ son, he literally lowers his head like a bull and charges. It’s disconcerting. He also thinks hitting is fun. He’ll just walk up to me, grin, and slug me. If I slug him back, he laughs.

He likes playing with dolls some, and my girls liked playing with trucks some, but there is a distinct preference there that doesn’t come from any express encouragement on our part, since our attitude towards kids playing is more or less ‘go play and get out of my hair.’ He also just ignores people for hours on end but cannot ignore anything big or noisy or that’s working machinery. My girls don’t just blow people off, thank goodness, but him, if he’s not wanting something from you or if you’re not in his face, you don’t exist.

He also from a very young age recognized the difference between men and women. Before he could talk, if memory serves. If he’s not off in his own world, men he watches intently, but also often like he’s trying to keep a low profile. Women he’s more likely to ignore, but when he doesn’t ignore them, he’s more likely to interact with them. My wife describes it as flirting, and its hard to disagree with her. It sure as heck looks like flirting. A couple of months ago I had him in the grocery story and there was another two-year old behind us, a cute little blonde girl, and I swear to goodness that he turned around, caught sight of her, and literally dropped his jaw while staring. To the point where her parents got uncomfortable and asked me if I could distract him or something.

I had a similar experience when I was little. I had my first crush on a girl in second grade. I was potty trained at age 3 by a three-year old girl sniffing that big boys don’t wear diapers, whereupon, my mother tells me, I blushed and literally never needed a diaper again. (Incidentally, my own experience makes me more sympathetic to gays who say that they always knew they were gay even before they went through puberty).

Our girls obey both me and my wife about equally–not perfect obedience but about equal imperfect but mostly acceptable obedience. My son, on the other hand, frequently flatly refuses to obey his mother and won’t do it at all until the levels of repression have been significantly amped up. Whereas if he hears my voice get angry or sees my face get mad, he STOPS. Literally, he freezes. If he’s crying, he goes suddenly, dramatically quiet. It’s like he’s very attuned to the possibilities of male aggression.

Anyhow, the whole unisex egalitarian notion requires levels of reality denial that I couldn’t bring myself to stomach even if I were so inclined. You can’t really accept evolution or history or culture or the prophets and deny sex differences.

Comments (5)
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January 21st, 2014 14:07:25

Michael Towns
January 21, 2014

Great comment on his essay. What I would like to know, though, is who is that “Howard” dude?

January 21, 2014

“Arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet is a sucker’s game because they almost always turn out to be—or to be indistinguishable from—self-righteous sixteen-year-olds possessing infinite amounts of free time.”
? Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon

Howard is indistinguishable from a self-righteous 16 year old with unlimited free time. He claims he has “easy access to the spirit” (that’s an exact quote) and personal revelation that trumps the prophets.
He takes over nearly every thread he is on and does not know when to leave well enough alone, since he’s convinced he must let everyone know how he knows better than the leaders of the church on everything, due to his personal revelation gained from his constant access to the Spirit.

John Mansfield
January 21, 2014

We had five sons, and then a daughter made our family less unique and more complete. We had experienced a variety of traits that five brothers may possess, but then we learned there is a another kind of difference, even at a year old, to be experienced with a girl. I doubt this could be learned in this way with fewer than four children, and so it is outside the experience of pretty much all moderns who doubt mental sex differences.

Michael Towns
January 21, 2014


That’s a great quote from a great book (I have the paperback perched prominently on my bookshelf). And it does seem to describe “Howard” to a T.

I grew up in a large family, oldest of eventually seven children (my youngest sibling was born a month after I left on my mission). My siblings are evenly split between boys and girls. My sisters didn’t talk, act, or think in any way shape or form similarly to myself and my brothers. I didn’t think any less of my sisters, of course, but it was quite obvious that they were a bit different than us boys, as my mom is different than my father.

Good grief, just sitting here typing this out makes me want to pound sand. Reason stares us in the face on some of these issues, but certain folks want to turn their eyes away and pine after utopia (which literally means “no-place”.)

Bruce Charlton
January 28, 2014

I read through the 150 plus comments on this post – which was a profoundly depressing experience.

A few comments were fine and good and admirable; but the mass of them were the work of self-obsessed, whining, prideful, hostile apostates.

To publish comments from such people, to treat them as if they were well-motivated – and thereby to encourage them in their encouragement of each other – suggests to me that this kind of blog overall does considerably more harm than good.

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