So this question has been bouncing around my head since the Emergent Gathering. At the EW lunch the issue of why there were no women doing any of the upfront stuff at the Gathering arose. This was a serious issues for some of the people who had come to check out this whole emerging thing. When I talked to one of the main event coordinators about that, he told me that it seemed like that whenever he asked a woman to do upfront stuff she declined. I don't know if he was generalizing from one or two experiences, but his conclusion was that women don't want to (or at least have a problem with) leading upfront. And to one extent I agree with him. I don't think that women don't want to have a voice and so therefore shouldn't be asked, but I think there often are issues that stand in the way of women feeling comfortable leading/speaking in front of others. I understand the differences between wanting and not wanted to lead, but often there is something preventing women who want to lead from doing so even when presented with the opportunity.
So what do you think? Is it hard sometimes for women to step to to lead others? Is it fear? Is it lingering baggage from oppressive past experiences? It is lack of experience? Is it a lifetime of being told your voice had no value? What stands in our way and what can we do to help each other overcome that?
Labels: Gender Issues, Women in Ministry