Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Gender Issues

To those in the know... I have the red book and blue book on my shelf next to each other. I believe men and women are different, different even beyond the obvious differences in reproductive organs. I believe in equality. I believe in allowing and celebrating our differences.

In our church we are taking steps forward in regards to "Men's Ministry" and "Women's Ministry". I'm not really gutsy enough to tackle what it means to be a Godly Man or Woman and I'm scared to death how some of the fragile, opinionated, and reactive voices in our community might respond to any of the curriculum being produced for these distinctive "small groups".

It seems right and approriate right now to create fun spaces... you know fellowship groups... time set aside to do little more that hang out, get to know each other, and maybe throw some darts or learn how to make flowers on a cake.

The planned activities for these groups seem to push me up against stereo-typical assumptions that I'm becoming less and less comfortable with. Maybe the ladies would enjoy a breakfast feast complete with wild game at Cabellas? Or maybe the guys would like to spend the morning knitting and drinking coffee? I doubt it. You know, usually stereo types are based on some reasonable generalities. Certainly there are many exceptions.

I think there is tremendous value in ladies hang'n out with other ladies and with guys hang'n out with guys. It seems like a healthy place to explore these differences and try to answer those questions about Godly manwood and womanhood together. When it comes down to it I guess it's who you are with and not so much what you do, but something to do is nice. You know, an excuse to be together. Any thoughts out there in Blog land?


Christian said...

So you are looking for ideas of things to do that are not gender stereotypes but would allow gender bonding? I think I should read through your post again as I'm a bit confused. Anyway, I want to get a cryptanalysis thing going. Secret codes!

Topherspoon said...

It is a confusing post, I'm just thinking outloud. Maybe doubting or at least questioning the importance of having "mens" and "womens" ministry groups.

Elizabeth said...

I like drinking coffee and talking about stuff. I think that most guys aren't into that. No desire to watch football. Stereotypes are there for a reason.

I think separate ministry groups are a great way to get to know other people easily. As the quieter half of a couple, I have an easier time getting to know people when my darling husband isn't there.

My issue with gender roles comes when a woman is told that she simply can't do something because it is a man's job -- like preaching -- and not because the girls are going to decorate cakes and the guys get to throw darts.

Anyways...that was a long comment.

Topherspoon said...

Not too long.. and helpful for me. I know lots of women who can preach. Many better than I can.

Carla Rant said...

I think you think too much. ;) Just kidding, this is a valid point to make when you're developing a group atmosphere; you need to know your audience.

I would say that there's nothing wrong separating the groups by sex and the activities do not need to follow along any particular guidelines. If the guys want to go shoot each other with paintballs for Jesus, that's great! Just give the ladies the option to do the same (although they won't likely).