For centuries, it was obvious. Men controlled everything: governments, armies, money, and churches, while women fought for the right to be thought of as more than property.
Has the glass ceiling been totally broken? The seats of power, in corporations, in world governments are still controlled, predominantly by men. In the West, some women still make lower wages than men. Abroad, hundreds of millions of women are oppressed (in my opinion, at least) by radical Islam. In a lot of ways, women still get a raw deal in life.
It seems that the strides of feminism still haven’t finished what they started.
And one of the hottest debates about the role of women is in the church. What to do with the ladies? Are they fit to be leaders, pastors and elders? Or has God ordained them for the sidelines, running the nursery and Sunday school? It seems some of those attitudes will never die.
And yet, as I see the future, it’s most definitely a woman’s world. Get ready…
Women In Charge
Maybe there are still a lot of men in charge. Being in charge tends to attract men. But there are now plenty of women in charge of much of the West. There are nearly a hundred women in the U.S. House of Representatives. Brazil just elected its first female president, a former “urban guerrilla” and political prisoner. That’s a pretty tough woman.
All these women being put in charge doesn’t bode well for people who don’t like working for women. A recent study showed that a majority of people (men and women included) would rather work for men. Sure, females have natural abilities that men do not. But a significant number of people believe that women are too emotional and dramatic, or they’d just rather be chewed out by a man.
But like it or not, women are positioning themselves to be put in charge of more and more in the world. They are earning more college degrees than ever, earning more money than ever, and are seen as authority figures more than ever.
I Don’t Wanna Grow Up
Of course, even if men don’t like women in charge, my generation of guys isn’t really doing anything about it.
My generation of guys is too busy screwing up.
You know how men are typically portrayed in advertisements as totally inept morons while the wife keeps everything together? I think there’s more and more men today who actually fit that description (the totally inept moron part, not the wife and family part.)
While we have high expectations for our daughters, and fill them with confidence to become professionals, doctors, lawyers, and scientists, a lot of guys my age seem adrift in low expectations.
We think that male adolescence rightfully lasts until age 30. More guys than ever are not graduating college or entering professional fields. More guys than ever are living at home longer than ever, mooching more money off their parents than ever, playing more video games than ever, watching more porn than ever, putting off more responsibility than ever. A lot of guys just want to be like Peter Pan. They don’t want to grow up. They think Seth Rogen’s movie characters are good role models.
There is a vacuum being created in the world by the men who choose not to enter the adult world, and women are stepping up to take their place, and rightfully so. Against women who are working their professional asses off, a lot of guys my age don’t stand a chance.
No More Men
Now the church isn’t usually on the cutting edge of cultural evolution. And in this case, it probably won’t be either.
The Catholic church is suffering a shortage of priests. Many blame the mandatory vow of celibacy for this shortage. If the church would just relax this rule, for purely pragmatic reasons, the problem could be solved.
I don’t know how the Protestant churches are doing with preachers. But I know where the church is headed. It’s shrinking. It’s losing men by droves. Fewer men in the seats means fewer will one day answer a calling to ministry, which means that more churches will find it harder to find a quality, godly leader…with balls.
It makes me wonder how long this debate will go on about the role of women. When will we drop it, if for no other reason than practicality? When will the best, or only option be to put women in charge?
I don’t think it’s a question of ‘if,’ but ‘when.’
But maybe I’m totally wrong. What do you think? Will men rebound, or are we seeing the making of a woman’s world? Are our “biblical” views on authority in the church timeless, or will we one day have to rethink them?