A to Z with C.S. Lewis: S is for The Sexes — The City Online - Houston Baptist University

A to Z with C.S. Lewis: S is for The Sexes

by Lou Markos on April 11, 2013


Venus and Mars

Young people are taught many damaging things in our great secular universities.  From Marxism to Freudianism, moral relativism to postmodern deconstruction, their heads are filled with insidious, anti-humanistic theories that, when carried out to their logical conclusion, cause chaos, confusion, and despair on both the social and personal level.

And yet, I would argue that the most damaging thing they are taught slips under the radar of most attentive parents.  In thousands of sociology and psychology classrooms across our nation, students are taught that there is no such thing as masculinity and femininity.  That our sexual natures are not innate and God-given.  That the only reason boys and girls are different is that we give boys trucks to play with and girls dolls to play with.

Though any free-thinking, open-minded parent who has raised a boy and a girl knows that this is patent nonsense—that boys and girls manifest their inborn, hard-wired masculinity and femininity from a very early age—this absurd and poisonous theory of the sexes is taught as gospel truth throughout the western world.  Indeed, as a way of adv
ancing their false view of the sexes, feminists insisted on doing away altogether with the word “sexes.”

Rather than speak, as people have spoken for centuries, about the male and female sex, they have forced academia and the media to speak of the male and female gender.  They don’t like the word “sex” because it connotes an essential link between the masculine/feminine body and the masculine/feminine soul—and that is a reality they are desperate to obscure.  Gender carries with it no such connotation.  Gender is not something we were created with but a social construct that is reinforced by cultural mores and behavioral expectations.

As a Christian who not only believed the clear and simple teachings of the Bible (namely, that God created us male and female) but who possessed an intimate understanding of human nature, C. S. Lewis never succumbed to the feminist attack on masculinity and femininity.  He knew and celebrated the essential differences between the sexes: a celebration that is beautifully expressed in Prince Caspian.  Narnia, held captive by the “post-Christian” Telmarines, cannot be rescued and renewed until Peter and Edmund exercise their masculine gifts to defeat the Telmarine army while Susan and Lucy exercise their feminine gifts to wake up the trees from their deep slumber.

However, Lewis’s crowning statement of the distinct but complementary natures of masculinity and femininity comes in Perelandra.  Near the end of the novel, Lewis allows us to gaze on the angelic guardians of Perelandra (Venus) and Malacandra (Mars).  In keeping with the ancient association of Venus with the female principle and Mars with the male, Lewis discovers in them a masculinity and femininity that reaches deeper than society or biology or language can fathom.

Although the two angels are not physically male and female, they embody the essence of masculinity and femininity.  Thus, whereas Malacandra has “the look of one standing armed, at the ramparts of his own remote archaic world, in ceaseless vigilance,” Perelandra’s eyes open “inward, as if they were the curtained gateway to a world of waves and murmurings and wandering airs.”  For, Lewis both forms of seeing are necessary; together, they bring wholeness.

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