Saturday, August 30, 2008
On Being a Woman in Certain Circles
How fun is this?
The Republican pick for VP is a woman!
Now, let's see what all the arguments will be against her. The glass ceiling is being challenged, with 18 million cracks no less.
The debate within religious circles about women leading is an interesting one. I'm a woman. I'm in the minority as far as this debate is concerned.
Speaking of minorities: We have traveled some outside the United States. Several years ago we went to Brazil on a mission trip, and we went by ourselves without a guide. We found ourselves several times in difficult situations because we did not speak Portugese. Our contact at the airport didn't make it, and we had to get to another airport without the benefit of knowing how or where and we couldn't speak the language. We made it, but I gained a new appreciation of what it means to be laughed at, to have the feeling of not belonging, and to be a minority. Not a good feeling or situation.
And being a woman in church, I've also experienced very much the same thing although under the guise of being Biblical and doing what God wants. Hmmmm.
But in the corporate world, it's very different. I'm an executive, I'm respected, I'm listened to, I'm asked for my opinion, I'm asked to lead teams and projects, and I find myself enjoying being a capable leader.
Then I go to church.
If a woman speaks up in the traditional Sunday School couples class, she's often only acknowledged and appeased, but not necessarily listened to or respected as being anyone with an opinion worth listening to. (Just my opinion.) The situation is quite different when a man might volunteer his opinion. All seem to listen with rapt attention. Hmmmmm.
Women are asked to cook and bring food. Women are asked to accompany their husbands. Women are pitied if they're left as widows.
Needless to say, it's an interesting contrast to be respected and listened to five days a week, and then go to a place where we're to relate in the deepest sense and minister and be ministered to, but to be treated like a minority person without the credentials necessary to be "someone" in this environment. And, we're supposed to invite others, our women friends, to come to this life-giving, life-changing, wonderful place? This causes me pause.
My thoughts on a woman being a leader in different settings.
A fun postscript: I have my "handsome feller" read my posts before I post them as fresh eyes to catch any mistakes and to see how the "spirit" of the writing comes across. He read this one and commented, "I hope they know you are respected and listened to at home." I can honestly and firmly say that is very true. I am respected as an equal and am a co-leader in our relationship. It's a change from how we started, and it's a place we've grown to. It's a good place!