A blog for Christian men "going their own way."

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Defining Manhood (The Illogic of Socons)

Over a year ago, I wrote a post critical of something Albert Mohler said on the definition of manhood and masculinity. Like some of my readers, he tried to slip "father" and "husband" into the definition. I called him out on his illogical thinking, however. He wanted to make an exception for the Apostle Paul that he wouldn't make for ordinary men. Yet something is either essential to the definition of a certain class of entities or it isn't (e.g., the class of those we call men). It's has to do with the "law of the excluded middle" (and there is definitely no false dichotomy on this point). If you read the Wikipedia entry on the "law of the excluded middle" it has a quote from Aristotle the I find to be apropos to this discussion:
It is impossible, then, that 'being a man' should mean precisely 'not being a man', if 'man' not only signifies something about one subject but also has one significance. … And it will not be possible to be and not to be the same thing, except in virtue of an ambiguity, just as if one whom we call 'man', and others were to call 'not-man'; but the point in question is not this, whether the same thing can at the same time be and not be a man in name, but whether it can be in fact. (Metaphysics 4.4, W.D. Ross (trans.), GBWW 8, 525–526).
You see, language is a powerful tool, and there those who want to abuse it to create falsehoods in the minds of others. I have to hand it to the feminists in particular for their acumen in twisting language to create imposed realities for social discourse. We most assuredly need to exercise due diligence to cut through the demagoguery, rhetorical legerdemain, and sloppy and imprecise thinking of others.

Anyway, I am revisiting Mohler's writings because of recent comments made by my readers on the subject of manhood and its relationship to marriage. Socons need to make up their minds about a few things when discussing this subject. In Mohler's post about manhood, he wrote:
In a biblical perspective, manhood is defined in these roles and responsibilities ["the role of father/protector/provider"]. A man is defined in terms of who he is and what he does in obedience to God. A society that rejects or sidelines these roles and responsibilities -- that does not honor fatherhood and hold it out as expectation -- will sow seeds of disastrous confusion. The damage to our language is among the least of our problems.

While the Bible clearly honors men who forfeit the blessings of wife and children for the sake of the Gospel (see, for example, 1 Corinthians 7:7-9, 32-28), the history of the Christian church indicates that these represent a minority. The normative expectation is that a young man will mature to take on the role of "father/protector/provider" that Peters correctly sees as "not considered as necessary or desirable as it once was" within the secular culture. Those men who are faithfully living out these responsibilities are not likely to be too concerned about finding true masculinity. They are living it.
So, Mohler wants to define men in sociological terms.** It's akin to something one of my readers said: "'Manhood' is a qualitative judgement." Ironically, this same reader of mine compared the ideas of another reader to something a "liberal feminist" would come up with. Why do I say "ironically"? Read on.

Consider what Albert Mohler wrote in two other posts about transexuality. First this quote ...
Goodman's writing is crisp and concise, but she runs right over some basic issues that are hard to miss. The first is the assumption that "sexual realignment surgery" can actually change a person's sex. The other (and obvious fact) is that Thomas Beatie is still functioning as a woman, even to the extent of retaining her reproductive capacity.

In other words, she had her physical characteristics changed -- at least some visible markers of gender -- so that she would appear as a man rather than as a woman. But -- and this is crucial -- the baby did not emerge from a man's womb. There is no such thing. The baby, we might summarize, was not fooled.
So, a man is a man and woman is a woman, eh? But wait, there is this quote ...
Well, it is one inescapable question. After all, Boylan resists "binary" categories, yet when it comes to gender she offers only two options -- male and female. She changed her own legal gender from one to the other, but there remain only two designations. She is as "binary" as the rest of us. We cannot make sense of any conversation without using terms like he/she, man/woman, male/female, father/mother, son/daughter, and his/her's. We live in a stubbornly binary world.

Armed with this realization, we face a clear choice: We will see this binary understanding of gender as a gift from God revealed throughout creation, or we will see it as a socially-constructed reality that we can (and should) deconstruct. Are we bound to these categories by a Creator? Or did we do this to ourselves?

The Christian worldview is clear at this point. The Bible presents gender as part of the goodness of creation. God reveals his glory in every aspect of creation, and this is abundantly true with respect to the two sexes. God glorifies himself in creating humanity in his own image, both male and female. To deny or confuse this distinction is to deny God the glory that is his due. And, that which brings God's greatest glory will also bring us greatest joy.
How strange that the last two paragraphs sound a lot like something I wrote recently about realmannspracht! It's just too bad that Mohler and others socons are so incredibly inconsistent on this matter.

What happens when a feminist or other liberal suggests that concept of "man" and "woman" is sociologically determined? The socons throw a fit and shout, "No! The concept of 'man' and 'woman' is rooted in creation, dummies!" Indeed. There have even been all sorts of arguments to show how biology drives behavioral differences between the sexes. You'll get no disagreement from me on that, folks!

But what happens when the socons want to shame a man into taking on certain social roles? Well, suddenly we get into talk about how being a "man," "manhood," and "masculinity" are driven by the expectations of others. In other words, people start resorting to the intellectually compromised language of realmannspracht. It's simply a case of socons talking out both sides of their mouths, a trait they have in common with the feminists.

Look, either the biological markers of manhood are sufficient to identify a man or they are not. If they're not, then it's open game on the concepts of manhood and womanhood! The feminists would just love that! Someone might say, "You're not really man because you have failed to do [xyz]." Well, the other person could retort, "Yeah. I decided to be a woman instead or embrace a fluid understanding of my gender." What are you going to say then, Einstein?

So where does that leaves us? Well, earlier this year, I wrote:
Manhood is the birthright of every adult, male human being, whether we respect that man or not. Biblical manhood is rooted in a relationship with God. This relationship is effected through the atoning work of Christ, not through performing duties and rituals (Eph. 2:8). Biblical manhood is a male state of being, which manifests itself in good works as God gives ability and opportunity to a man.
By the way, this quote answers the baseless charge that I have never defined "biblical manhood" on this blog.

Feminists want to destroy the differences between men and women. Socons want to impose the differences. I say let nature decide what the differences are. Adulthood and masculinity are biological; ergo, manhood is biological. Biblical manhood, consequently, is adult people with XY chromosomes living like Christ wants them to live. What about men who fail to live up to our expectations? Well, it's like I said in recent posts. You may not like what a man is doing, but he is still a man. If he's not doing something he should do or is doing something he shouldn't do, then tell him. But don't resort to realmannspracht. Leave that kind of talk to the misandrists, because now I've shown that such talk is not only unchristian, it's patently absurd, as well.

** Note: I take it that Albert Mohler is not discussing "biblical manhood" as one expression of masculinity, per se, but the definition of manhood in general from what he thinks is the proper perspective.

35 comments:

Talleyrand said...

Interesting post.

There have been, until recently, socially recognize rites of passage for men and women, with those gone it really does come down to either biology or a fluid concept.

Biology wins. Men tend to find ways to assert their manhood if society doesn't do it. That's part of the draws for gangs.

The Socons are just trying to restore some institutions (marriage and fatherhood) which have been utterly decimated by shaming men, instead of realizing that men overall were doing these things 50 years ago and what's changed isn't men, but society.

The cost benefit analysis for marriage and fatherhood is now so completely negative for men (unless the woman has piles of money and I would enjoy it if more men became gold diggers).

Anonymous said...

The Socons fiddled while Rome burned and now they want to throw single men on the flames.

Betraying logical categories is a mark of their desperation.

The jig is up, the descent has begun and the righteous (men) are taking flight to the asceticism of singledom.

Many a fruit is going to rot on the vine of the feminist utopia.

Ben said...

I think we need to decide upon a term to use when we refer to man in the biological sense (i.e. male) and in the M.M. ideal sense (i.e. husband). That way when the "real man" speech comes up we can say "oh you mean a real _____".

I might also say that I want to be a real man like King David or Jacob. I want to go above and beyond the call of duty and take several wives and be a "realer man."

ClarenceComments said...

No, it's worse than that.

Socon's didn't just fiddle while "Rome burned". Sometimes they helped heap the fire up higher. Their victims have been single men and male sexuality, both of which they are complicit in demonizing with their allies, Ignorance and Feminism.

F*ck the socon's. The vast majority of them can burn in hades for all I care.

TMink said...

I guess I would rather be a guy who asks a stupid question than a guy who remains ignorant, so who are the socons? Social conservatives?

Trey

Anonymous said...

"Socons need to make up their minds about a few things when discussing this subject. In Mohler's post about manhood, he wrote:
In a biblical perspective, manhood is defined in these roles and responsibilities ["the role of father/protector/provider"]. A man is defined in terms of who he is and what he does in obedience to God. A society that rejects or sidelines these roles and responsibilities -- that does not honor fatherhood and hold it out as expectation -- will sow seeds of disastrous confusion...So, Mohler wants to define men in sociological terms.** It's akin to something one of my readers said: "'Manhood' is a qualitative judgement."

There is no "excluded middle" here, Anakin. Mohler isn't denying the biological reality of any adult male being a man. It's more like he's defending the idea that there's a range of **quality** when it comes to manhood.

"Manhood is the birthright of every adult, male human being, whether we respect that man or not. Biblical manhood is rooted in a relationship with God. This relationship is effected through the atoning work of Christ, not through performing duties and rituals (Eph. 2:8). Biblical manhood is a male state of being, which manifests itself in good works as God gives ability and opportunity to a man.By the way, this quote answers the baseless charge that I have never defined "biblical manhood" on this blog."

A rather neutered definition that's pretty much inter-changeable with "biblical womanhood", if you substitute the word "woman" in place of "man". What's more, it doesn't include relationship with others, the second commandment along with loving God (Matthew 22:36-40)

"But what happens when the socons want to shame a man into taking on certain social roles? Well, suddenly we get into talk about how being a "man," "manhood," and "masculinity" are driven by the expectations of others."

"Driven by the expectations of others" isn't what Mohler is describing here. Fathering, protecting, providing, and ultimately leading are not about meeting the "expectations" of others. Again, you cannot escape the relational component. You're either caring for souls or saving them -- to one degree or another. Without that, you have no "biblical manhood", no matter how tight you try to be with just you n' Jesus.

Justin said...

I think Anon is making a key point. We were created together, to be together. Relation with woman is part of what makes us man. "... one flesh..." and all that.

Now, that being said, Jesus clearly stated that the highest calling is for a man to serve God fully, forsaking family and sexuality.

However, Jesus did NOT say that just going off on your own is ok.

Thus, I infer that it is NOT ok to just go your own way. It is ok to go the way of the Lord, but that is not going your own way.

Men who just avoid women are not fullfilling their divine role. Either serve a spouse, or serve the Lord, you have a choice. Doing neither is not an option. This dichotomy of options is captured nicely in the traditional life-stage sacraments of Marriage or Holy Orders, which marked the passage into adulthood.

What say you?

Ben said...

TMink: socons are social social conservatives.

Justin:
Either serve a spouse, or serve the Lord, you have a choice. Doing neither is not an option.

I thought that married people were supposed to serve the Lord in other ways than their marriage. A pastor does not really serve the Lord. He teaches the church. It is the entire congregation's duty (married or not) to spread the word the rest of the week.

Furthermore, if it was a choice of being married or being dedicated to serving the Lord/ministry, we should start requiring pastors to be celibate again.

Justin said...

Ben, I think you are missing my point. I am not contrasting the two options. I am saying that God calls us into relationship. Saying "I am going to live a life of selfish bachelorhood", well, I don't know where that is elevated, or even approved.

Anonymous said...

Justin just swept about a millennia of ascetic tradition in the Church under the carpet.

TMink said...

Ben, thanks for the answer!

Later, when you say, A pastor does not really serve the Lord.
I do not follow your meaning. Would you mind expanding on that a little?

As for 1000 years of ascetic tradition, I do not see longevity as any kind of endorsement. I think we are called to relationship, married or otherwise, and wonder if religious hermits are in error. I tend to think that they are.

The gospel is social. Not in terms of the peace and justice silliness, but in terms of love and sharing the gospel.

"Peter do you love Me?"
"You know I do Lord."
"Then feed My sheep."

But, many of the socons are championing solid cultural values without following our Lord. Good social values are not enough and ain't the point.

Trey

Ben said...

Justin:
I guess I misinterpreted your comment.
Thus, I infer that it is NOT ok to just go your own way. It is ok to go the way of the Lord, but that is not going your own way.
Now I take it you mean by this that being single is going your own way as opposed to going God's way.

I disagree. I don't think being a bachelor is inherently selfish. Our main goal is the same no matter what our martial state happens to be: to advance God's kingdom and fulfill the great commission.

A single person has more discretionary capitol (money and time) than a married person. It is true that he can use this frivolously, but he can also use it to advance the kingdom of God.

TMink:
Would you mind expanding on that a little?
Every person is supposed to serve the Lord in their occupation be it a butcher, baker, candlestick maker, or pastor. Being a pastor is an occupation whose job is instructing the flock of Christ.

The way I see it, a pastor serves the Lord in the same way everyone else does. He does his occupation and he spreads the Word of God.

Being a pastor might be a more difficult occupation than others. However, being a CEO is more difficult than being a janitor. One is not more righteous than the other.

When people say that only those specially called to serve God should be celibate, I assume they mean pastors [maybe I am incorrect]. While a pastor's occupation is much more involved with theology, I am not sure that it serves God more than any other job done to serve God.

TMink said...

Thanks Ben, I gotcha, and agree.

Trey

Triton said...

We were created together

If you're referring to Adam and Eve, I'm pretty sure they were created separately.

However, Jesus did NOT say that just going off on your own is ok.

Thus, I infer that it is NOT ok to just go your own way.


Jesus didn't say that driving a car is ok, either. I guess we can infer that driving a car is not ok.

In fact, we can infer an awful lot of things based upon what the Bible doesn't say. Personally, I prefer to stick with what it actually does say, for simplicity's sake if nothing else.

Men who just avoid women are not fullfilling their divine role.

Hogwash. One has nothing to do with the other.

Either serve a spouse, or serve the Lord, you have a choice. Doing neither is not an option.

If this is your way of saying man cannot serve two masters, then I agree. He who won't serve the Lord will end up serving Mammon, etc.

This dichotomy of options is captured nicely in the traditional life-stage sacraments of Marriage or Holy Orders, which marked the passage into adulthood.

I think a nice medium can be found somewhere between "marriage" and "monk".

What say you?

I think you should read Anakin's Scripturally Single blog a little bit before commenting further. I say this because you sound a lot like the Marriage Mandaters whom Anakin has rebutted on that blog.

I am saying that God calls us into relationship. Saying "I am going to live a life of selfish bachelorhood", well, I don't know where that is elevated, or even approved.

Correction: you don't just sound like a Marriage Mandater, you ARE one.

Dan81 said...

"Jesus didn't say that driving a car is ok, either. I guess we can infer that driving a car is not ok."

Maybe it isn't. Maybe the amish got it right.

weddedabyss said...

Ironically the no-fault divorce laws that got legislated while the SoCons were asleep at the wheel leave only the following options for a man who would like to take the husband/father role:

1) Marry a rich woman.
2) Marry a career woman who makes more/same as you. Make sure she keeps working.
3) Don't marry your "wife". Have a secret religious ceremony, like in Europe of Old, and live with her and your kids. You will be married in the eyes of God, but without the divorce-theft certificate that we call the government marriage contract.

Justin said...

Ben, I do think we agree, the scriptures are clear: being single is just fine, if you are doing so in order to better serve the Lord. I would not say religious ascetics, even hermits, are in error. They are living lives of strict spiritual discipline, if they are in an order. They are great examples of men who have chosen service of the Lord as a higher calling than marriage.

Triton, I am not a marriage mandator. Tell me where it is written: serve thyself! Oh, wait, that would be the Satanic Bible!

If a single man uses his extra time and money to serve others and advance the Kingdom, he does well. That is the middle way, between monk and marriage. I don't get the impression that is the motivating factor in the "marriage strike" crowd.

Dani said...

Hey Justin,

being single is just fine, if you are doing so in order to better serve the Lord.

Just wondering if you think it is right to say the same to those looking at getting married? (ie. "being married is just fine, if you are doing so in order to better serve the Lord")

Triton said...

Maybe it isn't. Maybe the amish got it right.

Ok, that's pretty funny.

I do wonder, though, what Jesus would think about their beard-without-a-moustache shaving habits... ;)

Tell me where it is written: serve thyself!

No one is claiming that. Don't be absurd.

If a single man uses his extra time and money to serve others and advance the Kingdom, he does well.

This is what all men should do. Being married or single doesn't have anything to do with it.

Anonymous said...

'being single is just fine, if you are doing so in order to better serve the Lord.'

"Just wondering if you think it is right to say the same to those looking at getting married? (ie. "being married is just fine, if you are doing so in order to better serve the Lord")"

No it isn't Dani, because the scriptures NEVER set out that as a criteria in the decision to marry or not. It's extra-biblical.

njartist said...

There have been, until recently, socially recognize rites of passage for men and women, with those gone it really does come down to either biology or a fluid concept.

Sorry. No.

By accepting the rites of manhood as defined by "society", you are denying God's declaration of manhood; they are not interchangeable. One is not a man based on the estimation of your peers or "elders".

PuritanCalvinist said...

Anon,

No it isn't Dani, because the scriptures NEVER set out that as a criteria in the decision to marry or not. It's extra-biblical.

1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

"Whatever you do" would certainly include getting married or living as a single person.

I think Dani has hit on something important. This is not a marriage issue; it is a sin issue. The problem with selfish single people is the exact same problem as selfish married people, namely, the problem of sin. Hence, the problem is the *sin,* and not the marital status. If a selfish single person marries, he only becomes a selfish married person. There needs to be a deep down change in the heart of a person, and that is a change only the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross can bring about. Earthly marriage is utterly powerless to bring about such change.

God Bless,
Adam

Dani said...

No it isn't Dani, because the scriptures NEVER set out that as a criteria in the decision to marry or not. It's extra-biblical.

What Adam said (all of it).

Plus, in Genesis we read that marriage was God's gift to humanity in order that they might fulfill his divine creation mandate (to fill the earth and subude it). In doing so they would be serving him. Marriage has always been about serving God, and therefore the decision to marry should always be about serving the Lord.

It is far from extra-biblical.

Anonymous said...

"Hence, the problem is the *sin,* and not the marital status. If a selfish single person marries, he only becomes a selfish married person. There needs to be a deep down change in the heart of a person, and that is a change only the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross can bring about."

You make it sound like people must go through some sort of lengthy sanctification process before getting married! Up until recently, Christians NEVER entertained such notions -- they were too practical for that, knowing that you could spend your whole life on such a quest. But now we have a generation of believers who now feel they must go on some great walkabout for super-holiness before even thinking of getting married -- just like secular "self-improvement" as prerequisite to marriage. And so we have confused people and widespread protracted singleness -- surprise, surprise.

Yes, we must do all for the glory of God, but that "to better serve the Lord" is NOT a criteria for marriage, "only in the Lord" is the ONLY one (1 cor 7:39).

Kathy Farrelly said...

Adam is right.

(1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.)

"I think Dani has hit on something important. This is not a marriage issue; it is a sin issue. The problem with selfish single people is the exact same problem as selfish married people, namely, the problem of sin. Hence, the problem is the *sin,* and not the marital status"

Exactly.

"You make it sound like people must go through some sort of lengthy sanctification process before getting married! ETC..."

No, he doesn't Catwoman. Adam (and Danni) are on the right track, here.You are off on a tangent, mate.

"Yes, we must do all for the glory of God, but that "to better serve the Lord" is NOT a criteria for marriage, "only in the Lord" is the ONLY one (1 cor 7:39)."

More nitpicking from the "master"

Whilst I often find your musings thought provoking and entertaining, I can understand how many here become so frustrated with you, my dear Catwoman ;)

Anonymous said...

""Yes, we must do all for the glory of God, but that "to better serve the Lord" is NOT a criteria for marriage, "only in the Lord" is the ONLY one (1 cor 7:39)."

More nitpicking from the "master"

Whilst I often find your musings thought provoking and entertaining, I can understand how many here become so frustrated with you, my dear Catwoman ;)"

You're thinking the worst of me, Kathy. I was not nitpicking, but rather keeping to biblical fundamentals in order to avoid the kind of nitpicking that comes from the modern teaching that "the decision to marry should always be about serving the Lord.", as Dani put it.

Perhaps I wasn't clear enough -- "only in the Lord" means that the person the widow "wishes" (not "God wishes") to marry, must belong to the Lord, in other words, be a believer. You will find no other criteria to marry in the scriptures, other than being free from previous marriages via widowhood or biblically approved divorce.

It's interesting that you agree that the primary issue here is "sin" and "selfishness", Kathy, because 1 Cor 7 also says **twice** to the never married in verse 28 that if you marry, you "have not sinned".

There may be less than wise choices for never married believers marrying, but there are no "sinful" ones. After all, we are all sinners, so it's always "selfish sinners" marrying "selfish sinners". Marriage is a common grace.

Speaking of grace (if I may, even if you didn't exactly grant any to me in this instance), when it comes to love and marriage, an emphasis on grace is more edifying than focussing on "the problem of sin", if indeed you do believe in the atoning work of Christ.

Kathy Farrelly said...

"Speaking of grace (if I may, even if you didn't exactly grant any to me in this instance), when it comes to love and marriage, an emphasis on grace is more edifying than focussing on "the problem of sin", if indeed you do believe in the atoning work of Christ.
"

Ah, Catwoman me old mate. I still loves ya! Let's give it a rest, eh?

Today I attended the funeral of my much loved ex father in law(from first marriage) Gosh I loved him so . We got on so well..

Hadn't seen my ex in laws in years. My young niece who was twelve when we (first husband) separated(she is now in her twenties) came bounding up to me and hugged me saying "Aunty Kathy .. So glad you came I have never forgotten you.." Then her Mum came and hugged me and we reminisced about the good times with her dad and the family... *sighs..
My mother-in law too, was pleased that I came. She told me that my father in law always talked about me.. Just sad that I never got to see him before he passed away.. And I hugged ex hubby too.(something I thought I would never be able to do) and felt so sad for him. He was close to his dear Dad.
I was glad that I had the courage to go today.. Almost had second thoughts. Carp diem..

Thankyou dear Lord..


"See the stars that shine and give us light
One less star is in the sky tonight
Words alone won't keep our tears away
But I know that star will shine again someday

And heaven laughs when we say good-bye
It ain't so far to the other side
Someday soon we will meet again
Say it over and over and over 'til then

Dream tonight about a last embrace
Close my eyes and I will see your face
Dreams alone won't keep our tears away
But in my heart I know we'll meet again someday

" The Hooters

Rest in peace dear Fred. A wonderful family man.. A wonderful husband.. A wonderful human being..

Sorry.. just feeling a little maudlin tonight..

Anonymous said...

"Let's give it a rest, eh?"

Hey, it was your choice to engage with the ad hominem in the first place, Kathy, so you can leave the "let's" out of it.

Kathy Farrelly said...

And a top of the mornin' to you too Catwoman.
Though I do believe it to be evening over in your part of the world.

Maybe a cup of tea(or something a wee bit stronger) may help you to chill out a mite.

Perhaps even ask hubby to give you a neck/ shoulder massage.

Works a treat for me. ;)

Anonymous said...

"Works a treat for me. ;)"

Whatever you're doing it's obviously not working so well for you this week, Kathy, since you've initiated a rather bitchy string of posts in my direction, without any provocation from me. Maybe something a little stronger might be needed for you to "chill out".

Kathy Farrelly said...

You're a funny girl CW.
Pot, meet kettle. Ha!

Anonymous said...

Mmm..no, "pot meet kettle" doesn't quite work when you've thrown the first stone, Kathy. But keep it up, since your posts are, as you say, "entertaining".

Kathy Farrelly said...

Happy to oblige Catwoman :D

Kathy Farrelly said...

As you find my posts so entertaining,("keep it up,") I will graciously acquiesce..I would not like to disappoint my fans. Er... make that fan. Besides, it sure beats the heck out of doing the ironing :)

" since you've initiated a rather bitchy string of posts in my direction, without any provocation from me"

Hmmmm.. I'm having a little trouble locating the bitchy string of posts. Can ya help me out here Catwoman?

Amir Larijani said...

I'm assuming this was from Catwoman: "You make it sound like people must go through some sort of lengthy sanctification process before getting married!"

Unfortunately, there are a fair number of Christian "leaders" who make that assumption, although I doubt Adam/PC intended that.

From a Christian standpoint, we would be right to look for a mate who has evidence that sanctification is an ongoing thing. This is not the same as expecting her (or him) to get everything right before getting married.

Otherwise, we'd all be up the infamous tributary without so much as a stick let alone a paddle.