Alien Notion by Louis Markos

Book Returns

Alien Notion

John Gray's Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus
by Louis Markos

In 1992, there appeared in bookstalls all over America an indifferently written and unashamedly trendy addition to the ever-expanding genre of self-help. Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus: A Practical Guide for Improving Communication and Getting What You Want in Your Relationships, written by a California-based therapist named John Gray, actually offers excellent advice on how to improve communication between husbands and wives, but the relevance of his work does not rest primarily in the practical sphere.

What earns this book a rank among those that have exerted a strong and lasting influence on modern American culture is its fearless and unapologetic assertion that there exist real and essential differences between men and women. It is a reality many Americans, astoundingly, refuse to see.

Insidious Sentence

If I were asked to select the single sentence from the writings of the founders of modern secular humanism that exerted the most baneful influence on twentieth-century thought, it would have to be this seemingly innocuous line from the “Author’s Preface” to Karl Marx’s A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy: “It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but, on the contrary, their social existence determines their consciousness.”

In Marx’s anti-humanistic vision of history, man neither makes nor shapes his world, but is a product of material, economic processes over which he has no control. Those processes not only determine what man does but who he is; they not only shape his creations but his consciousness as well.

This belief lies behind one of the most destructive aspects of egalitarian feminism. If consciousness is neither innate nor God-given but a product of socio-economic forces, the feminist argues, we must reject the archaic, non-critical, and oppressive notion that men are born with something called masculinity and women with something called femininity.

This feminism would have us believe that the only reason men and women are different is because of the different expectations that society has traditionally placed upon them: because we give boys trucks to play with and girls dolls to play with. They seek not to exalt femininity over masculinity but to eliminate both. Their final goal is a transformation in consciousness that would eliminate the categories of masculine and feminine and make “gender” a personal choice. In a word, androgyny.

And that brings us back to John Gray. Despite the fact that any parent who has raised both a boy and a girl knows by observation and experience that there are innate differences between males and females, the last few decades have seen a steady rise in the number of people who believe that masculinity and femininity are merely social constructs and that no real, essential differences exist between the sexes.

Indeed, most of those in the public square have long since kowtowed to the feminist insistence that the word sex (which suggests an integral link between men and women and their physical bodies) be replaced by the word gender (a jargon word, borrowed from linguistics, meant to break down, or at least obscure, the link between body and soul, the physical and the psychological).


Louis Markos , Professor in English and Scholar in Residence at Houston Baptist University, holds the Robert H. Ray Chair in Humanities. His 19 books include Lewis Agonistes; Restoring Beauty: The Good, the True, and the Beautiful in the Writings of C. S. Lewis; On the Shoulders of Hobbits: The Road to Virtue with Tolkien and Lewis; and From A to Z to Narnia with C. S. Lewis.


more on family from the online archives

21.8—October 2008

Weed Free

on Tending a Child’s Garden of Influences by John Thompson

24.4—July/August 2011

Global Power Grab

The Cultural Marxists’ Strategic Assault on Religion, Life & Family by Patrick F. Fagan

31.1—January/February 2018

In Defense of Prudery

The Wisdom of the Victorian Quest for Innocence by David Sandifer

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone

• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!


personal subscriptions

Purchase
Online Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives including pdf downloads for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!


RENEW your online subscription

Purchase Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!


RENEW your print/online
subscription

gift subscriptions

GIVE Print &
Online Subscription

Give six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for the reduced rate of $29.95. That's only $2.50 per month!


RENEW your gift subscription

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

kindle subscription

OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)

Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.


more from the online archives

32.1—January/February 2019

Schools of Impiety

The Diabolical Failure of Leaders in the Present Crises by James M. Kushiner

33.4—July/August 2020

The Joy of God

by S. M. Hutchens

32.4—July/August 2019

An Alien Warfare

Today's Culture Wars Are Both Ancient & Modern by Allan C. Carlson

00