A recent guest on “The Breakfast Club” observed that “most women are men in skirts,” but she wasn’t talking about the recipients of USA Today’s Woman of the Year Award.
No, Iyanla Vanzant was sharing her thoughts on the loss of femininity in American culture and the black community. Iyanla Vanzant is an author, New Thought minister, Yoruba priestess, and star of the show “Iyanla: Fix My Life” on the Oprah Winfrey Network. She has built her brand on giving people a mix of straight talk and spiritual guidance. Her show featured families dealing with drug-addicted mothers as well as celebrities trying to foster closer relationships with their children.
She is not the first person to share that politically incorrect take. Bishop T.D. Jakes received considerable backlash last year when he said “we are raising up women to be men” and that women are applauded for being tough, not feminine. Like Vanzant, he noted that women today act, think, and behave in masculine ways. She may not have delivered her take with the same prosperity preacher flair, but her message came across loud and clear.
Unfortunately, the social analysis of OWN’s most popular spiritual guide quickly went downhill. After noting that the loss of femininity is tied to the loss of masculinity, Vanzant claimed that men are doing all they can to cling to what power they have left. In her mind, one of the expressions of that desperate desire for power was the Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade.
This is where the Oprah-endorsed guru showed her true colors, because anyone who supports abortion can’t claim to be an advocate for femininity.
Only women can give birth. The ability to bring life into the world is exclusive to one sex, based on the design of our Creator. There is nothing more antithetical to womanhood than convincing a woman to hate, devalue, or misuse her exclusive ability to bring life into the world. Turning the cradle of life into a den of death is not how you topple the patriarchy.
Vanzant went on to joke that men should be involuntarily sterilized, an equity initiative that host Charlamagne enthusiastically supported. In less than two minutes, she went from claiming women don’t know how to operate in their feminine nature to sounding like a bra-burning Second Wave feminist.
This didn’t surprise me one bit. It is what we should expect when people try to understand the natural order apart from its Maker. No amount of spiritual knowledge gleaned from the world’s religions can stand against the Bible’s most controversial claim, made in the first verse of the first book: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
The God of creation is also the one who gives men and women their nature. One problem with cultural departures from our respective natures that doesn’t get a lot of attention is the degree to which they have caused each sex to alter what it seeks from the other.
“Hard” women say they like being in charge, but no woman wants a long-term relationship with a man she views as weak and submissive. One act of disrespect will morph into several and eventually will snowball into open contempt.
The same goes for men. In generations past, men valued women who prioritized family and the maintenance of the home. But in a world where marriage is treated more like a business merger than a lifelong covenant, many men see homemaking as a waste of a woman’s energy and earning potential. One man on a popular YouTube show about modern relationships asked a female panelist what women contribute to a man who is the sole breadwinner. She started by talking about cooking and cleaning, but he quickly interjected to say he could pay a maid $100 per week for those services. He is probably not the only man who thinks a woman whose primary focus is her home is wasting her life.
This is what a culture that is out of order looks like. The women want men to think and speak like ladies, and the men want women to act like guys. When asked when black femininity was lost, Iyanla Vanzant predictably said during slavery. The truth is that the sexual revolution, six decades of liberal public policy, and nonstop feminist propaganda explain contemporary dynamics between black men and women far better than what happened on a Southern plantation in 1823.
America in 2023 is not just grappling with gender roles. We’ve rejected the entire concept of the two sexes altogether. Questions about women in the workforce were once contentious social issues. Now politicians, journalists, college professors, and entertainers shame people who think men can’tget pregnant.
These are the birth pains of a civilization in decline, and neither New Age spirituality nor indigenous practices can fix what ails the sexes. What we need is a Titus 2 revolution, where older women who exhibit wisdom and modesty teach younger women to be self-controlled, love their husbands and children, and prioritize their homes. Likewise, we need dignified and faithful older men to teach younger men to love their wives and children.
When it comes to getting back to our nature as men and women, opinions from popular spiritual gurus are no match for the eternal truths from our Creator.