Cultural Gender Gaps

So apparently this tech guy at Google wrote a ten page memo explaining that the gender gaps between men and women are responsible for the lack of women in STEM. Clearly, he’s done his homework on his own time and is passionate about the subject. Now the church has two options here:

1.) Decide that the church should never look like culture and where culture says “yes” the church must say “no”, where the culture says “no” the church must say “yes”. Realize that now because the culture says one thing about women, the church must teach the opposite.

2.) Decide that church should like like culture sometimes and says “yes” together and “no” together. Put forth every effort to harmonize the teaching about women that the culture and the church share.

In recent years, Complementarian theology has arisen as the champion of resounding “NO” to Feminism’s “YES”. As a result, a generation of Christians grew up on gender this, role that – it’s been prominent for the last thirty years – which, coincidentally, is the average age of someone who works at Google (assuming that is, Christians work at Google.)

The Church could celebrate that somebody has bought the basic tenants of Complementarianism and shared it with the world (minus all the mention of God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, Church, because that’s religion and not God-designed hard-wired gender-determined biology.) Because the church is part of culture, and what makes our culture what it is happens to be the messages from churches that are apart of our world.

Let’s imagine Church was actually a brand-name of a store. Like Wal-mart or Macy’s – it’s an extremely successful brand and there’s one in pretty much every single town – some towns have multiple Church stores because each offers something different. People tell you how to get to where you need to by using the Church store as a landmark, as a regular of Church store – you recognize other regulars even when they’re not at Church store, there’s really no way that Church store could be able to say that they’re “counter-cultural” when they help define what is cultural. “We have no bearing on the world whatsoever; we’re in it but not of it.” A representative of Church store might say, but that’s not true.

So take credit where credit is due. You’re teaching the culture that men and women are different. Men like ideas, women like feelings and aesthetics. (Except men who are artists and architects and car designers – excluding them, men make ugly things – or women who have ideas.) Men like things, women like people (which sounds like something that the internet really needs, ways to construct the social experience around relationships – never mind that the maker of Facebook was a guy – but he was into programming and creating the largest social network of relationships was just a by-product, right? I suppose if left up to men, they would program ideas in isolation in ugly, utilitarian computers and not network socially. Or women who like things.) You helped do this. You told men that they’re leaders because they’re aggressive and have the drive it takes to advance higher up and further in their fields. You told women that they’re not leaders because they’re not aggressive and don’t have the drive to advance in their fields- and it would be best if they didn’t work at all, but remained at home and cared for the children. You are the the church and you’re more cultural than you are counter-cultural; and are only counter-cultural where the world’s culture has opted to take great strides to make changes for the better. You can’t change because your strict adherence to Biblical texts won’t let you.

It should be clear that human work needs both men and women together – this goes for work outside of the home and inside of it. It’s only then do we see that the biases we were taught about gender really mean absolutely nothing in light of what individuals can achieve.


2 thoughts on “Cultural Gender Gaps

  1. Yeah…what you said.
    In one of my old posts, I mentioned the idea of roles for men and women. I don’t care for that term anymore. I do believe that, by and large, there are things that women are better suited for and men, as well. I also believe that, rather than looking at roles, we should consider the giftings of each, working together. This is what makes man and woman one.
    This is also the explanation for being made in God’s image…the main attributes of each gender, combined and working together as one, reveal a picture of the Father.

    I hope what I wrote makes sense. In my head it does. But, there are people in special hospitals that have stuff in their heads that makes sense, too. 🙂


    1. When I was looking up universal gender traits, there was this one society where the women were leaders – they were the aggressive ones who felt that their men just didn’t have the strength to take care of the tribe. That’s when I realized that to a certain extent what we’re up against is culturally-affirmed ideas – not necessarily a timeless truth. I think that there are exceptions for every “norm” just as Scripture says that the weak will shame the strong, the things that are not will shame the things that are so that no one can boast; in our Christianity, men boast in their maleness – but God says that they’re missing the point.

      Liked by 1 person

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