God created men and women equally in His likeness, equality was God’s idea, confirmed through the life of Jesus who often challenged the oppressive culture of the day.
Canadians “appear” to be progressive in gender equality and maybe in contrast to other cultures we have progressed somewhat, but I believe we have more work to do. Both men and women have to confront and take ownership of the ways they contribute to gender inequality. It’s subtle, under the surface, but it’s still present, showing up in comments like “People experience things differently” as an excuse for abusive or inappropriate behaviour.
I must confront my own bias and the things I have accepted as “that’s just the way they are” and stand up for my sisters, my daughters and myself. Being raised in a traditional home, equality and empowerment was not modelled or celebrated and this creates a barrier for me to advocate for myself and other women because I have to breakdown beliefs that are ingrained and hard wired in me.
I sit around a few tables of high level leaders, CEO’s, Pastor’s and Entrepreneurs, mostly men and I don’t usually entertain the thought that my voice could hold less weight then theirs.
Canadians don’t like to sound uneducated, archaic or intolerant but in regards to gender inequality, when push comes to shove, guess who is going down? Just turn the conversation to “Me too” and you will hear rationalization, excuses, diminishing and straight up disbelief from men who go into self-preservation mode and make comments like “it’s really hard to be a man today.” That’s not to say that women are any better in this narrative, women can be so hard on other women, they criticize, judge and blame, victims become villains as this cycle of pain and brokenness continues.
As I am preparing to launch a Women’s Conference I have had many men say to me, what about the men. What are we doing for men? So much so that I have begun to feel like I need to qualify what we are doing when I am talking with a man. Recently, a man said to me, “Men have had their turn for thousands of years, it’s time for women.” Wow, that was unexpected, imagine what it could be for men and women to live and work side by side as equals. We’ve got some work to do.
Women rising to a place of equality in the world is not a threat to men. If God’s perfect plan included both men and women to come to Him as equals, and if the curse of sin broke that perfect plan, then we have a choice to make. Do we continue to play into the broken narrative of sinfulness and inequality? Or do we live a “Kingdom now” narrative that includes an equal place for all at the table? You choose.