A couple weeks ago, my glasses fell apart. In the process of getting new ones, I went to buy frames from a store that’s part of a nationwide chain. As I walked in, a sales person nabbed me, offering help and explaining that they recently reorganized how their products are arranged: “We’re not dividing by gender any more – we’ve grouped them by style, so it’s easy to find what you want.”
Notice the careful phrasing. Gender “divides” – that’s a bad, outdated thing. “Grouping” is nicer, more convenient. We’re not putting people in boxes, we’re allowing freedom of expression – allowing customers (or worse, “guests”) to put themselves in their own, chosen box. Instead of sticking to the old fashioned notion that God chose your gender for you, partly defining what and who you are, we have moved to the enlightened realization that gender is a fluid, grey area. It’s up for grabs, tweakable. What really matters is your definition of yourself.
Now, this is no accident.
It’s one of the end products of the feminist revolution, the goal of which was never really equality for men and women, but erasure of gender itself. We should expect this in a sinful world, and especially in a culture that has known and rejected Christianity. Their minds are darkened: “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned” (I Cor. 2:14). To someone who has rejected the Creator and King, submitting to things like gender is stupid and restrictive. And the glasses store is not the only place that is pushing this worldview.
A few high end clothing stores in New York and LA are also discarding “gender division” as edgy designers want their clothing to be appreciated not for masculine or feminine qualities made for males or females, but instead for beautiful design and construction as a piece of clothing for a human being. As if those are mutually exclusive. As if it’s not judgmental to exclude my cat from the picture, just because he doesn’t walk on two legs and have money.
But don’t expect that the genderless groupings will stop at the haute couture shops. Unless something drastic happens in the west, it will trickle down to Wal-Mart itself. Because these sorts of sales arrangements are driven by ideas. Postmodernism has not merely functioned as a simple tool to tear down old worldviews; it has built it’s own empire in the ruins that it created. It has evolved from the abstract philosophy that theorists developed into the dominant North American worldview. It’s the loudest voice not only in the intellectual world, but in popular culture, creating its own, unnatural groupings in place of God’s clear lines. If you want evidence, just check out your local glasses store.
It’s a brave new shopping world and the emperor’s new clothes are on sale. “Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?…The wisdom of this world is folly with God” (I Cor. 1:20b, 3: 19a), not only in matters of salvation, but even at the mall.