The following is a reply I posted on Tripp’s blog, but I wanted a larger group to read and critique it. It is given in the context of a discussion on Ephesians 5.
The essence of manhood, is, personhood, which highlights the always already communal nature of what it means to be a man. Thus, men, being essentially persons, have an essential equality with women, whose essence is also personhood.
But manhood cannot simply be reduced to its mere essence, because manhood is also always already embodied. There is no such thing as manhood in the abstract, but only men. And here biology and personhood are united, two natures, as it were, in one person. Men, as persons, share an essence with women, but are also different and distinct, because as embodied, they have different traits and characteristics which arise from their biological embodiedness.
Thus, in conception, men play a biological role that is distinct from that of women, and therefore, they embody conception in a different way than do women. Similarly, the nuture that men give their children are distinct and different from women. But yet at the same time, their nurturing shares an essential similarity in that both men and women are always already in community, and so also the children they conceive and bear.
Now beyond the obvious biological traits are the more controversial ones. Clearly Scripture embodies distinctive roles in the family. There is an essentially similar submission, but because of the embodied personhood which men and women possess, their roles are distinctive.
Why I think my definition commends itself over yours is that it has obvious symmetry between the definitions for manhood and womanhood, it is clearly modelled on conciliar Trinitarianism, as well as on the Chalcedonian definition of Christ as the new Adam.
What think ye all?