A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

“The Truth About Men” — Isn’t this Horrible Philosophy in the Church?

I was in the sporting goods store the other day and they had the local radio station playing. The following “song” came on, country western you know. I had never heard it before and as the song played and the crowd’s cheers and applause was heard on the soundtrack, I found myself appalled. Not so much by the fact that a country western singer wrote such trash, but appalled by the thought that THIS kind of philosophy about the nature of men IN THE CHURCH is more widespread than we might realize. Here are the lyrics. How many of these pathetic thoughts characterize the spirit of many men’s conferences and retreats. How many are actually held and assumed by church leaders AND USED AS AN EXCUSE FOR ABUSE? Domestic abuse. Sexual abuse. Men will be men, you know. Haha.

So here you go. Stand by to be nauseated and angered. [Tracy Byrd is the bird who wrote these lyrics by the way, to give the guy his due credit]. Wonder how many “birds of a feather” standing in pulpits or leading men’s ministries actually embrace these lines??

“The Truth About Men”
We don’t like to go out shopping,
We don’t care what’s on sale,
We just wanna sit with a bag full of chips
Watchin’ the NFL…

(due to copyright restrictions we are unable to post all the lyrics,
but we are not restricted from providing a link that provides the lyrics: 
Youtube video of The Truth About Men with lyrics)

What is the “it” that is “gonna happen again”? Adultery? Abuse? Yes, the cycle of abuse is a cycle. It IS going to happen again. And Mr. Byrd did nail it, you have to admit — the abuser ain’t wrong, he ain’t sorry, and he’s going to do it again. Boys will be boys, you know.  “Now let’s all go to church and stop yer whinin’ about me.  Hey, isn’t there a men’s retreat coming up?”

***

Related post
Manipulation, beliefs and media images: the petrie dish in which domestic abuse grows

24 Comments

  1. Wow. The song describes lazy, gluttonous, drunkard, hard-hearted, arrogant, shallow liars and deceivers with minds only for footballs, tools, cars, and sex. Songs like this *normalize* this abominable behavior and even tell women, essentially, you might as well give up trying to change us, because the best we’re ever going to do is fake it for you. If that were really the truth about ALL men, then I think we women could be excused for all going to hurl ourselves off the nearest cliff. Thank God there are still a few men that aren’t that way.

  2. E

    From an industry (as opposed to most musicians and artists themselves) that delights in causing strife between men and women, it seems that your reaction to it is one of two that it is designed to elicit. And as true abuserese, if someone objects, the writer/singer/label can just say, “I was just joking! It’s sarcastic satire!”

  3. H

    The other day I was trying to explain to a woman in my church about the abuse and why I’m considering a divorce, and so I was giving some details about my husband’s behavior. I mentioned among other things that he can just watch me in complete gut-wrenching tears (usually that he caused) and feel absolutely nothing, do nothing, say nothing. Sometimes he would even mock me or admonish me for “acting”. His heart is just a cold rock towards me, no love. I thought she would be appalled or sympathetic, but instead she said, “Oh, often men just don’t know what to do when a woman cries. They don’t respond the way we want them too. We can have these expectations of them that compare them to the men we see in romance movies, which are all written by women.”

    For a split second, I took in what she said and felt slightly ashamed. Yes, I have unrealistic and romanticized ideas about how my husband should treat me. The heart is wicked. Then…. wait a second…. the truth? Godly men show compassion and know exactly what to do when their beloved wife cries! Give her a hug, for goodness sake! It’s not that freakin’ complicated! I know it, I’ve seen it in godly men I know, even in the pastors helping me through this situation. They may not always respond perfectly, but they have beating hearts, unlike my husband. I’m grateful God opened my eyes in that moment to not make excuses for evil “men” who all apparently all have the same uncontrollable disease that we are supposed to just accept with a smile. And I’m afraid for the woman I talked to and her young daughter. Hope she never gives her daughter advice like that.

    • Elisha

      Godly men show compassion and know exactly what to do when their beloved wife cries! Give her a hug, for goodness sake!
      Exactly sister!

  4. Lea

    >What is the “it” that is “gonna happen again”? Adultery? Abuse?

    I took it more as staying out late drinking, personally.

  5. IamMyBeloved's

    What the heck?!? That is without doubt, the most disgusting song I have ever heard.

    So, men want respect, but then Byrd tells us in this song, who he thinks men really are deep down. Does he believe that the behavior he applauds is actually worthy of respect? I would hate to be that guy’s wife.

    He will probably backtrack on his lyrics and say something like, “oh, it was just meant for fun”, but God’s Word is always truth and it says that out of the mouth speaks what is really in the heart of a man. Your mouth has given what’s in your heart, away to all of us Mr. Byrd.

    I personally do not believe that all men are like this, but I do believe they may be the majority. What on earth is happening to us?

    As a victim of abuse, the song is actually scary to me. It draws my hope away and down into the pit of despair – there is no hope of ever truly being loved – because all men are like this and who wants one. How do we know the truth about any man we would meet, if this is what is deep down in the hearts of all men? My fear is that I will believe a man’s lie that my dress looks fine when it looks like crap and that he won’t care enough about me to say so and protect me from looking like the trash bag he thinks I am.

    Byrd, in his song, abolishes all men of any personal responsibility to be real men and actually treat women with dignity and respect.

    It literally makes me sick. I hate to shame anyone, but shame on you, Mr. Byrd. Maybe you should openly repent, but that would take having a softened heart.

    • Not Too Late

      Fortunately, not all men are like this! I know that my father is the farthest from this type of person that one could ever be. But lately, I have also met husbands of new friends who do not behave like the man in the song. So obviously, “The Truth About Men” ain’t all true!

  6. Clarke Robertson

    I wonder if this song was written as satire. I love country music but have to say some of the current variety is sexist. And you’re right, I see a lot of these attributes celebrated in the church “bro culture” that is so prevalent.

    • Could the song have been written as satire? That scenario, on the surface, might be a possibility Clarke. But when you know, as we survivors of abuse know all too well, that if you admonish an abuser for being mean the abuser OFTEN retorts, “I was only joking!” So the satire option is not as simple as it might seem when interpreting the words of this song.

      And I’m glad you are seeing the faults in the ‘bro culture’ in many churches, Clarke. 🙂

  7. standsfortruth

    Wow, Very revealing song.
    How candid and true it parrallels to my personal experience with my abuser.

    And he aint sorry and he aint ashamed.
    As a matter of fact the mask is full off-
    he is boasting. Ha!

    Had I been prepared from early on to the predisposition of many many men inclining themselves to this way, ( starting with deception, gaslighting and covert abuse) I probably never would have gotten married.

    The gamble would have not been worth the russian roulette of terrible probable outcome.

  8. Herjourney

    I acually know a few of theses types.
    They are portrayed in movies as “macho”… In grocery stores they stalk women. In family’s they control the weak and exploit the strength of their advasaries. In church they lay guilt and shame on women who are married to them. To their children they lavish gifts. To their spouse they watch them clean their house. Feed their kids. Home school their kids. Use their spouse for sex. Demand respect and give none.
    Should I go on?

    The song is disgusting! I couldn’t listen to the end.

    • Moving Forward

      I just received an email this week from my abuser that illustrates this perfectly. So glad I am out, but sure wish I didn’t have to deal with the emails. Carried on and on about how wonderful he had been and how I didn’t give him the Respect (guess what book he had been reading with his new girlfriend) he deserved. Sickening.

  9. KayJay

    This reminds me of a time many (20?) years ago when I used to listen to Focus on the Family every day as a young stay at home mom. I don’t remember the details, but I do remember that it was getting so discouraging listening to James Dobson talking about the way men think, behave, blah, blah, blah, that I eventually stopped listening altogether. I asked my husband if all men were really just animals/savages and if that was just the way it was, because that was the impression given day in and day out on FOF in their marriage advice and gender role nuttiness! This mentality is definitely a license to sin among so-called Christians.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Exactly right Kay Jay. Dobson justified this junk and was worshipped for it. Took me a ling time to dump him as well.

      • Anon

        I don’t know how popular he is now, but the last time about 7 years ago that I dared to try and attend a local church, Stephen Arturburn was the name on everyone’s lips as well. ‘Every mans battle’. He also normalised the idea that men are savage animals that are controlled by illicit lust and that the wives just have to understand and accept how their poor husbands are ‘wired’.

  10. Sunflower

    The Bible, in Ezekiel, says that the sins of Sodom were, “Pride, too much food, the abundance of idleness, and not being compassionate to one’s hurting neighbour.” I would say we’re there again.

  11. anonymous

    The ‘good news’ (tongue in cheek) in all of this is that the ‘singer’ tells us up front all about himself by his CHOSEN lyrics. What disturbs me is he then calls it ‘music’; what an insult to the music industry as a whole (BTW – this also tells us a lot about the store owner who chose to play this ‘music’). This guy wears NO mask; in fact, he is braggadocios about his belief system and that which makes up his character, or perhaps better said, a lack thereof.

    How gracious of this guy who in his own words is going to tell us the truth about ‘men.’ He appears very content with his bag full of chips to go through life scratchin’, spitin’ and cussin’. And he admittedly says men are just telling us big fat lies, and they ain’t wrong and ain’t sorry and it’s GONNA happen again. And then of course he reveals his ‘real reason’ for taking us to dinner in a nice restaurant. Can anyone after reading this who now has a visual imagine wanting to be associated with such a ‘man’?

    So, this NO MASK guy is revealing himself “through his ‘music'”. After the visual he ‘gives’ we know to AVOID him. BUT, isn’t he the same guy who Lundy Bancroft warns of when he says, these types will make their crude comments (while predator is in search of his prey) but when we show displeasure they will say, “Come on, I was only joking.” RED FLAG!! We are face-to-face with an abuser.

    And interesting, too, this guy says, “And we ain’t gonna change.” Amazing to me is man does not ‘create’ anything new. Look at the sin in the Bible: murder, adultery, abuse, rape, incest, theft, and on and on it goes. ONLY God creates newness. Everyday HE gives new life, a new day, the freshness of newness! Man repeats the same old sin, and “it ain’t gonna change.”

    I am thankful for the godly, decent, God-fearing men who do dwell among us. We must become wise as serpents, innocent as doves.

  12. Anon

    This reminds me of an email I read from a ‘Christian’ men’s group the abuser used to attend. In it the the leader was saying something about how ‘we all know our wives can be crazy’ etc. I can’t remember the specifics, but it was horrific. Something about belittling wives in the sense that when they get upset about their bad behaviour, well, we all know ‘our bad behaviour is caused by our crazy wives’ line of thought.

    There was more bad stuff and theology in each regular email and it scared me he had been attending that group among those men.

  13. Gothard Survivor

    Hmm…that is what I expected when I got married—just like my dad. No one told me it could be much worse than that. There is no evidence that this guy REJECTS his wife.

  14. anon

    Country music song writers have a lot to answer for. There is a very mysogynistic, alcohol promoting, adultery and fornication promoting, agenda in a lot of their lyrics. The country music industry is bulit on it. Worse still it has a little ‘Jesus’ added to it and a lot of these country music song writers and singers will profess to be Christians. It makes me sick to be honest.

    I agree it also reflects the thought in the standard men’s ministry and ‘Christian’ men’s groups.

  15. Sawyer

    According to wikipedia, the song was NOT written by Tracy Byrd:

    “The Truth About Men” is a song written by Paul Overstreet, Rory Lee Feek and Tim Johnson, and recorded by American country music singer Tracy Byrd. It was released in March 2003 as the first single and title track from his album The Truth About Men. The song peaked at number 13 on the Hot Country Songs charts.

  16. nowamfoundatlast

    the only surprise is that you are surprised. it has ever been thus

  17. Content

    I’m semi-fresh into realizing what the reality of my marriage is that I’m of the mindset that this is how all men operate, so this song just seems to confirm it for me. I can’t even imagine ever wanting to get married or being able to trust another human man again with my heart.

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