Monday, January 26, 2009

“The Importance of Being Guy”

(Part I)

Overwhelmed by fatigue, Arthur took one deep breath and lunged at the beast with all his might, piercing and penetrating the only vulnerable part of its impermeable hide. The cold metal sang as it began to feel and drink the warmth of the monster’s blood, finding its now terrified heart and cleaving it in two and killing the fire breather in an instance.

King Arthur’s hands were trembling--for a moment sword and man were one--as he slowly eased their grasp from Excaliber that vibrated with victorious triumph over the remains of a once undefeatable worm of fire.

Letting go of his sword, the King ran towards the sacrificial pole to free his beloved princess. He hastily cut the gnarled ropes and gently lowered her to the ground. “Oh, my dearest Arthur!” the princess replied, “The swiftness of thy sword is beyond knowing! Behold to thee, my entire being I bequeath!” Arthur embraced princess Lancelot and raised him upon his steed and they galloped into the setting horizon and they lived happily ever after!

Princess Lancelot? Surely this isn’t some sort of joke or a part of some story from a collection of politically correct versions of children’s legends and adventures? Not exactly, but it is something that we are witnessing before our very eyes. Recently the U.S. Supreme Court, in the Lawrence et al. v. Texas case, claimed that homosexuals are now “allowed to enter a relationship in the confines of their homes and still retain their dignity as free persons.” In these past few weeks alone we have been seeing same-sex marriages in the U.S. and Europe grabbing the daily headlines.

This is the result of the efforts by persons in so-called sexual-minority groups who have been waging a revolution –in the hope of somehow finding an identity it can claim as its own– that has been gradually digging its claws deeper into every strand of the social fiber. The effort of carving out their distinctiveness in society, however, fails in basing man’s identity upon emotional or psychological factors. Rather than confront these personal trials, gay-rights advocates are making every possible effort to justify that their condition deserves a specific social identity. But unfortunately, this only leads to a process of auto-labeling and forms the fragile self-made psycho-emotional prison that gradually fortifies itself by rationalizing acts that are essentially contrary to man’s true identity.

It is understandable that due to personal weakness, ignorance or family upbringing, it is all too easy for one to fall into any crisis of identity and most especially when media generally projects distorted and confusing role-models for today’s youth. Instead of addressing these sources of personal disorientation, there are those who attempt to resolve the problem by giving it a more socially acceptable label –we call this euphemism; or worse by simply converting the crisis itself into an entirely new identity or social role –we call this not being sincere with oneself. These solutions, obviously, do not resolve the crisis of identity; in fact they simply hide the problem which then becomes an empty shell and a vacuum to other spiritual and moral setbacks. The real and sincere solution lies in understanding man’s true identity.

In the first place, his identity isn’t just a mask that he puts on or off at whim because it isn’t something simply sentimental but also intrinsically linked to his corporeality, that is, his body. It is a material reality that identifies the person either as a man or a woman. Man’s body isn’t something that we can change at will unlike our desire, imagination or feelings, and therefore a defining reality of man’s role in society. On the other hand, our emotions or psychological states are poor determinants of identity because by themselves they cannot define the totality of the human person.

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