Thesis: Harmful gender norms/roles influenced by Essentialism in Christianity im

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Thesis: Harmful gender norms/roles influenced by Essentialism in Christianity impacted gender power dynamics, which is one of the causes of today’s toxic masculinity; in order to break the cycle of harmful gender power dynamics, an emerging paradigm should be implemented in the evangelical education system.
First Body Paragraph: How essentialism in Christianity influenced gender dichotomy and gender roles today.
Creation story says that the two category of “man” and “woman” are forms of human beings. The story has been long interpreted as a way to justify that there are certain traits that are associated with gender.
Gender complementarity : God created two fundamentally different genders that has corresponding social gender role.
Problem with gender essentialism based on Nikki Young’s interpretation.
Saiving’s incorporation of women experience into a field where male experience was viewed as the norm
However, her assertion of feminine difference was not enough to subvert the power dynamics because different means that there is something “normal”
Also, this promotes binaries – true liberation should dismantle this binaries/dichotomy
Second Body Paragraph: How the gender norm contributed to toxic masuclinity, and how this reinforces the harmful gender dynamics.
Defining what is the “norm” makes other genders who does not fit in a deviance. It also creates gender hiearchy.
When gender hierarchy is created, what is defined as “feminine” quality is seen as inferior traits to masculinity.
Therefore, calling a man “girly” (possessing a little bit of femininity) has become a major insult, and male tend to put them in a “man box” – toxic masculinity. Also, gender binary and toxic masculinity impact people who does not identify with these two categories. The deep root of homophobia, especially towards male homosexuals, is toxic masculinity.
It ultimately reinforces gender binaries and exoticize others.
Third Body Paragraph: why essentialism is an outdated interpretation of the Bible and how we should read the Bible with a perspective of emerging paradigm.
Definition of emerging paradigm
How the Bible – creation story in Genisis – should be interpreted according to the emerging paradigm
In Gensis 1, God created day and night, land and sea, flying birds and swimming fish: complete opposite (Gn 1:5-6). God also created a man and a woman (Gn 1:27). This was the evidence for gender essentialism.
However, God’s creation exists in spectrum, not two polar; we have dawn and dusk in betwen day and night, beach and coral reef in between land and sea. We do not have to interpret the Bible word for word. It is important to find the Truth.
How creation story should be viewed in perspective of emerging paradigm.
Human beings exist in spectrum, and everyone is equal before God. Therefore, this new approach should be implemented in evangelical system.
Fourth Body Paragraph: Explain how important an education system is when constructing one’s belief. What reform should be done in evangelical education system in order to break the chain of gender power dynamics.
Research shows that education is important in shaping people’s belief
LGBTQ+ people had been neglected in evangelical education system. For example, in April, 2022, LGBTQ students reported discriminatory treatments at Christian schools
Education system should incorporate emerging paradigm’s way of reading the Bible, and teach the students that there are not determined gender roles. Teacher educators can educate the students about the new way of reading the Bible, and foster an awareness of varing roles of men and women. To do this, teachers and the text book can present as many men, women, and other genders who break the traditional gender norms as possible.
School should incorporate more LGBTQ+ educators and students into their institution to create more equal space that can break the heteronormative, binary enviornment.
In this way, the deeply rooted gender binary that contributed to sexism, homophobia, transphobia, etc. can be blurred out to alleviate the problem for the next generation.
Conclusion:
Traditional way of translating the Bible has contributed to gender binary and gender hierarchy, which negatively affect women’s status and toxic masculinity; altogether, they reinforces harmful gender stereotypes that exoticize LGBTQ+ people as Others. In order to alleviate the problem, Christian school should intensely teach the Bible in emerging paradigm, and expand the diversity among the education system.

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