photo © 1930 University of Washington Libraries Digital Collections | more info (via: Wylio)
You know it's lovely to come back from a few days away and spend a few hours catching up on posts I have missed. This time a good deal of those posts seem to be referring to women in various ways, mostly, admittedly to do with women bishops, but actually some of them have really made me think.
Thing is, women are different from men. This may be stating the obvious but I think sometimes when the debate of equality comes up there is a contingent that assumes women want to be treated like men. So here's some news: they don't. What they do want is to be treated with the same level of respect that a man might be given, with the same level of authority that a man may command and without condescension or being patronised. I think very often people assume that women who are ambitious, have a career or want to see change are just ball-busting man eaters. This is so stereotypical but still appears to be the favoured view, particularly within the church.
Lesley flagged up, as she usually does at this time of the month, the rankings for women bloggers in the religion and belief category. One commenter (sorry David I'm not really picking on you...) asked why is this so special? And yes he is right, there is nothing more special about women bloggers than men, but what I appreciate about this list is the fact that women are different. And it is good to celebrate our differences whilst recognising we are part of a larger whole. Women do things differently. just as men do, not in a sweeping generalisation way but in an acknowledgement of who we are. Who we are made to be.
I hope no one thinks I am trying to pigeon hole anyone based on gender, sexuality or anything else, the point I am making is that we can get so het up with the equality debate that we ignore the fact of who we are. And I am a go-getter, someone who stands up for what she believes in and will not be opressed, (probably what some would call a feminist) but at the same time I am comfortable with the fact that I am also a woman. I am a mum. I am a wife.
So let's recognise who we are, individually and as part of a whole. Maybe then the wider church will really be able to see the qualities that women in minstry or positions of authority, can bring to the whole.