“Men are taught to apologize for their weaknesses, women for their strengths.”
–Lois Wyse 1926-2007
(American Advertising Executive and Author)
Do you think that’s true?
After reading an article earlier this week on parents in Afghanistan who dress/groom their daughters like boys so those daughters can get an education and go out in public, I’ve been pondering the ways we mess with gender expectations. I know that God created male and female alike enough to work and relate well together and different enough to be necessary (and interesting, I might add). I’ve never been one to say that men and women are “the same.”
Then I ran into the above statement in a book I’m reading about Lee Harper’s To Kill a Mockingbird and it got me to thinking about it some more. (The whole chapter in Matt Litton’s The Mockingbird Parables about the character named Scout and how she does not fit the stereotype of a proper little girl was pleasantly thought-provoking. If you are a fan of Lee’s original or the Gregory Peck movie, I’d recommend this book as an interesting conversation about a great work of literature.)
I hear myself — especially when I’m working in the context of Wycliffe USA’s Senior Leadership Team where I’m one female among males — using language that is so different from my colleagues. I’m far more likely, for instance, to use qualifying statements before declaring my opinion or what I would say is the solution or answer or direction we should take.
How did I learn that? Is this about how I’m wired by God or is this about how my culture has taught me to function? No answers. Rarely answers, really. But I’m enjoying the questions.