Canaan’s Rest represents a quiet place “set apart” for the purpose of hearing God's voice, growing in intimacy with the Lord, and being renewed in soul and spirit.

The Longhouse

I’d never heard of a “longhouse” until I read an article in First Things.  It sure struck a nerve with me – and it has caused quite a stir among those who have read it.  Written by an anonymous author named “Lom3z,” a longhouse is “a metonym for the disequilibrium afflicting the contemporary social imaginary.”  

The longhouse was a large communal hall serving as the social focus in various cultures throughout the world that were more sedentary and agrarian.  In today’s social structures, “this historical function gets generalized to contemporary patterns of social organization, in particular the exchange of privacy – and its attendant autonomy – for the modest comforts and security of collective living.”

Of particular interest is the role of the “Den Mother.”  “More than anything,” writes the author, “the Longhouse refers to the remarkable overcorrection of the last two generations toward social norms centering feminine needs and feminine methods for controlling, directing, and modeling behavior.” What a loaded statement.  As Rod Dreher noted, the longhouse stands for “a metaphor for the over feminization of our common life.”  He warns, “if we don’t talk about the ways the dominance of feminized categories in public discourse and policies harm men, and hurt the common good, we are guaranteeing the radicalization of a new generation of men. Real problems cannot be suppressed forever.”

Camille Paglia wrote that feminism wrongly “see[s] every hierarchy as repressive, a social fiction; every negative about woman is a male lie designed to keep her in her place.  Feminism has exceeded its proper mission of seeking political equality for women and has ended by rejecting contingency, that is, human limitation by nature or fate… If civilization had been left in female hands, we would still be living in grass huts.” 

The longhouse discussion is really about “safetyism.”  Again, going back to Genesis, the Creator made males and females different. “When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them” (Gen 5: 2). Men and women are different and their “differences have an immense impact upon the climate of our social and political discourse.”  Boys in our culture experience immense social pressure to “self-censor.”  Present day ideologies function as a rationalization for more naturally female inclinations in discourse and socialization.  Jordon Peterson sees this as a maternal instinct.  He bluntly observes, “the political landscape is being viewed through the lens of a hyper-concerned mother for her infant.”

I know I am treading on thin ice with the direction of this blog.  I have written many times about the feminization of men and our culture.  When I first read this article, however, I could only say, “Yes.”  I had my wife read it soon afterwards.  She too responded, “Yes.”  Yours truly struggles mightily in these blogs to help men develop their masculine souls.  I continue to search for voices that reflect the issues of masculinity and femininity.  To me, this is a matter of soulfulness, men honestly crying out to God for healing and affirmation. 

Here are issues for men to keep always before them as they navigate the “gender wars” of our time:  1) Remember that you have a unique masculine soul that desperately needs affirmation and healing in today’s spiritual wilderness.  2) Celebrate the complimentary feminine soul. Honor and delight in the feminine. 3) Never forget your focus – Scripture portraying life as complementary.  4) Find men who are willing to be honest about their masculine souls in today’s culture (like in AA, CR or RA), and absorb masculine energy from older saints in your life.  

1 Comment


    I grew up in the last 1940’S , and around 30 years ago we had our first grandchild. I was amazed at how child raising had changed: bicycle helmets, play dates, parents want to know where their chid is at all times, all the toys, don’t go out alone, be safe, be careful, don’t talk to strangers, etc.
    I grew up I’d leave the house in the morning and sometime would not get home til dinner time. Sure I would get hurt, but I lived. Life was a big adventure, not a world to be frighten of. My mom was not a “den mother”. We had fun, and great delight when we did something dangerous and lived through it. I agree 100% we have all been feminized.

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