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Is The Marvels a Subversive Film?

Are we 'Raising Up Women to Be Men'?

By Judey Kalchik Published 3 months ago Updated 3 months ago 3 min read

We have different definitions of a man, Bishop!

The scathing reviews and 'I-told-you-so-s' regarding the new The Marvels reminded me of a video that circulated on social media a little while ago. It’s a clip from an hour-long Father’s Day sermon from author/speaker/Bishop T.D. Jakes.

As with any clip these days, it was isolated from any context and designed to provoke strong divisive feelings- boy did it ever! The comment section of every post where the video was shown was filled with anger, defensiveness, judgement, self-satisfaction, and, of course, political assumptions.

If, by some chance you missed it here’s one clip of the video so you know what I’m writing about.

Comments Galore!

This clip actually gives more content than most:

  • It is a Father’s Day sermon
  • It talks about Adam being the Taker, and not the Provider (and some may argue that it places blame right back on Eve…)
  • It says that women have become (my interpretation here of many words) ‘mannish because men have hurt them.

Feel free to add your comments and thoughts right here on this post, too, if you like.

Here’s the Thing

You know what really stood out to me?

It’s something I haven’t seen commented about yet. It’s the way he described the attributes of a man that women are (supposedly) mimicking.

Go back and listen again. These are the words he used:

“You are not applauded for your femininity. You are applauded in the contemporary society for how

  • Tough
  • Rough
  • Nasty
  • Mean
  • Aggressive
  • Hateful
  • Possessive

you are, and you are climbing the corporate ladder but we are losing our families.”

I am NOT going to unpack the sermon. There is a LOT in the sermon, which is (kinda) aimed at the ways men are not pulling their own weight in the family and in relationships.

I AM going to unpack that list.

Hold the Applause

  • You know who can be strong without being nasty?
  • You know who can be assured without being hateful?
  • You know who can be a leader without being aggressive?

Everyone. Men and women.

A nasty and aggressive person is NOT successful climbing a corporate ladder. (OK- maybe there are some, but that is an exception, not the rule.)

A mean and possessive woman is not acting like a man- she is acting mean and possessive.

A mean and possessive man in not acting manly — and CERTAINLY does NOT deserve applause!- he is mean and possessive.

This list of traits is NOT a list of manly attributes for a woman to exhibit and earn her applause for her displayed masculinity!

No indeed!

This list of traits is something to be shunned by both men and women alike.

I Prefer James 1:19

Now, if you hark back to the KJV (King James Version- the one with the elegant thees and thous), and look up James 1:19, you will find:

Image from

This does not seem to portray the same manly-man virtues that the Bishop called out. In fact, most contemporary translations of the verse are more inclusive and make this a direction not just for men:

image from

If we all, men and women, emulated the love and care for each other that are the heart and spirit of every faith it may not really matter who brings home the bacon, slices the apple, or rocks the cradle.

(Even old-school Batman cried.)

The backlash and 'oh dear- they're so masculine!' whenever any Captain Marvel or Wonder Woman film comes out just irks me. It reminds me of the Jakes sermon. Powerful, determined, strong PEOPLE are wonderful. No matter their gender. We all create our one life, and every act of being true to ourselves should be celebrated.


Comments are always welcome!

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About the Creator

Judey Kalchik

It's my time to find and use my voice.

Poetry, short stories, memories, and a lot of things I think and wish I'd known a long time ago.

You can also find me on Medium

And please follow me on Threads, too!

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Comments (7)

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  • Dana Crandell3 months ago

    I haven't seen the movie, so I can't really answer the question, but I certainly agree with your points. Well done, Judey!

  • Leslie Writes3 months ago

    Very insightful. I had not heard of this sermon and I’m not sure I want to watch it. I agree with your statements about the qualities of a good hearted and powerful individual. 💖 Kindness is a strength not a weakness 😊

  • Preach it, sister! ( Or, as we like to say nowadays, that'll preach!

  • JBaz3 months ago

    In truth, I sadly no longer listen to sermons. However I may give this a listen, it sounds like it will only cement my belief on why I no longer do it. But I trust your views, so therefore I will give it a try.

  • J. S. Wade3 months ago

    Resilience to a belief held in common as a foundation of a partnership is being replaced by individualism. Dominance (submission) or destruction are the two prevalent themes being pushed. Disney has undermined parenthood for decades. The one trait missing, and ever present in every great leader, whether a man or woman, in history, along with resilience, is humility, not to be confused with weakness. Great article and thought provoking article Judey. 🥰

  • Hannah Moore3 months ago

    I'm not in a position to listen to the sermon right now but I will return to it. But oh yes, strength and the vulnerability to know love and endure it are everyone's.

  • Cathy holmes3 months ago

    I'm not even sure what to say. Still that sermon. I agree wholeheartedly with your take that it has nothing to do with gender. Well said.

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