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It’s a Humpty Dumpty World

A few weeks ago, New York Times columnist Farhad Manjoo published an opinion titled, “It’s Time for‘They,’” in which he denounces the use of the gender-specific pronouns, “he” and “she,” and proposes their replacement with a universal “they.” Last week, Albert Mohler responded with “Humpty Dumpty, Alice in Wonderland, and the Masters Who Control the Language.” Please read, ponder, and live by it. Then, I suggest—with all the humility I can muster—consider this one correction.

I hardly need say that Mohler is quite right in pointing out the absurdity of Manjoo’s proposition—anyone with two brain cells to rub together can see that—but I do think he slipped on one point, and I think it’s rather important. Mohler writes,


Manjoo continues by applying this genderless speech to his parenting. He says, “From their very earliest days, my kids, fed by marketing and entertainment and (surely) their parents’ modeling, seemed to hem themselves into silly gender norms. They gravitated to boy toys and girl toys, boy colors and girl colors, boy TV shows and girl TV shows. This was all so sad to me: I see them limiting their thoughts and their ambitions, their preferences and their identity, their very liberty, only to satisfy some collective abstraction.”

No, they weren’t. These children weren’t just responding to cultural or consumer impulses. They were responding to some deep knowledge within themselves. Even if the issue of color preferences related to male and female is an abstraction, the fact that even children want to clearly understand themselves as male and female is not an abstraction.

I don’t believe girls and boys act like girls and boys any "deep knowledge within themselves." Differences in behavior between the sexes are manifested well before they have any knowledge of themselves and their sexual identities, and even after they have gained some degree of knowledge, their understanding of the implications and consequences of those differences lags far behind.

Girls act like girls and boys act like boys simply because they are girls and boys. Just as a cow doesn’t moo because she knows she’s a cow, and that’s what cows do, but because it’s written in her DNA to do so by the author of all creation, boys and girls do what they do first because they are programmed by their maker to be that way. Knowledge and understanding follow.

That knowledge and understanding can be corrupted, as we are seeing, but from the moment of conception—indeed, in the mind of God, before the foundation of the world—before the first spark of knowledge, boys are boys and girls are girls. Thank God for that.

Posted 2019·08·06 by David Kjos
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