Wednesday, May 11, 2022


Jay Deitcher wants to create a new masculine stereotype, one that is empathetic and not “frigid”. When his wife told him she had a bond with their newborn son that he could never attain because men can’t bond with babies like women can, he was cut to the quick and determined to be the best nurturing father in human history and establish a bond with his son never seen before. So he cut his hours as a social worker, became a stay-at-home dad, cuddled and slept with the baby, and took him to events with all the local mothers and their children.

He also determined his son would not turn out to be some kind of traditional male stereotype. The gift of a baby coverall with footballs on it was hidden in a closet, never to be used.

Jay is actually well behind the times. The effeminate heterosexual male stereotype came to prominence during Barack Obama’s second term and has never really gone away, especially among leftist men. It is not surprising such men are now marrying and becoming their wife’s ... well, wife.

So let me ask the pressing question, Christians: Is there anything wrong with that?

A Few Representative Quotes

Wait, before we get there, I should probably hit you with a few representative Deitcher quotes so you can see more precisely the sort of man I’m talking about:

  • After turning 2 years old, my son, Avishai, started demanding that he only wear tractor shirts, and my mind spiraled into darkness.
  • I grimaced at anyone driving a Ford car, the John Wayne of automobiles. I hated men who wore plaid. Felt ill if someone mentioned a wrench or another tool.
  • Outwardly, my father filled the role of man of the house, but inside, my mom made most of the family decisions.
  • After his employees started selling home-manicure sets as a side hustle, my father spent nights sitting at the kitchen counter beautifying his nails. He, too, despised sports, but loved watching Hallmark movies with my mom. In many ways, I am an extension of my father, further pushing what is acceptable for men.
  • My body spiraled into panic any time I attempted manual labor.

That should do it. Some things speak for themselves more eloquently than any critical commentary.

Neanderthals in Suits

Now, I’m far from enthusing about being a Neanderthal in a suit. I don’t hunt or fish. If it were possible, I would rather write than mow the lawn or shovel the driveway. I changed many a diaper when my kids were small, and I used to take them in the shower with me rather than bother filling a baby bath. I have always cultivated strong relationships with my children. I don’t particularly like doing home repairs. I would rather work in an office and make enough money to hire somebody who’s actually a professional at those things than learn 100 different skills myself. I have no ability to put down a dog when his days of functionality are at an end. One might say I have more in common with Jay Deitcher than with the vast majority of rural Christian males who are competent in traditionally-masculine areas of expertise.have

But my brother-in-law is a dab hand at everything he attempts around the house, and I find his work ethic and willingness to experiment commendable. I wish I were more like him. Further, my body has never spiraled into panic when I attempted manual labor. I don’t love it, but I can certainly do it, and there are times when it’s absolutely necessary. I don’t mind getting in there and slogging away with a crew of men trying to accomplish something, even if I am not the best at it. I have framed basements, painted thousands of square feet of walls and ceilings, shingled a roof and even done electrical when there was nobody else to attempt it. I would never send my wife out to bring home the bacon while I stayed home and cooked it, even if she did potentially earn more than me. I am not addicted to sports, but I also don’t recoil in horror at the physical antics of traditional men. It is who we are by God-given design. And deliberately bonding with your kid? Come on. If you have to quit working a normal job to connect with your children, you are not doing it right. These things happen naturally if you are involved in your children’s lives in the time you do have available, not the time you don’t.

Rotten in Denmark ... and Elsewhere

I mention this to make it clear I am not out to reflexively or unthinkingly bash non-traditional men. I am more of an average urban 21st century guy than “toxically masculine” by natural inclination. But something is — and I am speaking biblically here — not quite right with what Jay Deitcher and his ilk are up to, and I’m pretty confident society doesn’t need any more of it than we already have.

Men do indeed have a biblical role in the family. I know Jay Deitcher is not a believer, but failing to observe what the Bible says about how the species was designed to function will tend to make your life sub-optimal whether or not you think the Bible is a valid source of wisdom for life. The same problems will crop up when you fight your biology whether or not you have instruction from God as to why they are occurring.

Biblically speaking, the responsibility for daily household operations belongs to the wife. That’s what she was designed for. When a man takes over at home, he displaces the person God put there to do the work he is doing, robs her of the opportunity to do the things God has called her to do, and on top of that he fails to do what he was designed for. The biblical husband has a responsibility to love and care for his wife rather than to expect her to provide for his financial needs. A man who “spirals into panic” at the thought of manual labor should think twice about getting married. He is not up to the job of passing on his genes. Rather, a man is to be the head of his household, not to look to his wife for solutions when things are tough.

Because what Jay Deitcher is trying to accomplish in his family is not unique. Stay-at-home dads are on the increase. You may have one or two in your church. So I come back to my question: Is there anything wrong with the way this “new man” is behaving, or with his goal of “blurring gender lines”? I really think there is.

Gender on a Continuum

We are often told that gender exists on a continuum rather that at two poles in a binary arrangement. This is entirely non-scientific. Gender expression may exist on a continuum because men and women are both sinners and subject to the temptation to indulge self-will, but true intersex children are actually only about one in 2,000, mirroring the traditional understanding that until transgenderism became the media flavor of the week and a way to get massive amounts of applause and attention (at least in the short term), individuals genuinely struggling with how to express gender because of physical differences they were born with are the tiniest fraction of 1% of the population.

So, apart from the microscopic percentage of children born with a defect of some sort (which Christians rightly attribute to the fall of mankind), we are actually a binary species: male or female, period. Among the remaining 1,999 in 2,000 there is indeed a sort of “continuum”, in that there are degrees of masculinity among women and degrees of femininity among men, but the basic plumbing is what it is. A tomboy remains very much a girl even if she has a square build and cuts her hair short. A man with a squeaky voice and delicate physique remains very much a man. Make of that what you will, but how we express the non-negotiable aspects of our gender is both a practical and a moral issue, not merely a matter of preference.

Opting Out

If you’ve seen the pictures of Mr. Deitcher he provided with his article, there is no indication he was born physically feminine. He expresses gender the way he does because he chooses to, and he wants other men to learn to do the same. He seems like a normally-constituted guy who is simply disinclined to provide for his family or to give his son the role model he needs. He would rather behave like an inferior version of his wife. Perhaps that is his father’s influence. Perhaps it is his politics. Perhaps he is a contrarian who enjoys fighting his own biology. Perhaps staying home is just easier than putting his nose to the grindstone and performing his God-given role in life.

Yes, I know, he needs the Lord. We shouldn’t expect Christian conduct of a hardcore Jewish leftist. And I totally agree. At the same time, we don’t need to emulate him. Stay-at-home fathers are not the new normal for Christians, however popular they may become in the world.

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