Confession: I can be a reactive person. My husband forgets the milk a couple of times turns into “Ah Chriiiis, you ALWAYS forget the milk!”. He doesn’t give me attention at a key moment (maybe I’m telling him about Tracy who doesn’t understand me at work) and he’s in the dog box for the afternoon. As you might imagine that kind of thing doesn’t do our relationship much good…
On a gender level this can also be really destructive. So until about a generation ago men were like, women, stay at home, stay away from an education or a job. Well, a lot of ladies didn’t like that. But today I hear guys feel threatened because women are like, Excuse me! Just watch me kick your butt off that corporate ladder – in these heels! This is reactive thinking. It really doesn’t get us anywhere. Instead of win-win we get war-war.
Or here’s a more serious example: a woman gets jailed or flogged for being raped and my first thought is, “GRRAAHRR men are so sexist!!”. Now let’s not take away from how absolutely terrible that examples is, but it’s also not true that all men are sexist. A lot of guys champion women’s causes, and it really doesn’t help to polarise men and women on this issue, but to stand together as people against gender violence.
On a personal note, I remember more than a few guy friends telling me earnestly that the cosmos would come out of sync if women started leading in more areas of society. Well, each time I reacted – with a red face, loud voice, and daggery-eyes – followed by tears in some public bathroom. Perhaps you can relate?
The problem is, after reacting I usually feel worse than if I just bite my lip and count to ten. Which is so hard for me sometimes! But reactions don’t bring balance they bring new, worse reactions, which doesn’t help me or my cause.
Last week’s post sparked some interesting debate about women in leadership, and I think it’s very important to continue the dialogue. I’m passionate about men and women working together, not fighting each other! Are you a passionate person like me? What things (gender-related or otherwise) make you mad? And how can you respond – not by swinging from one extreme to another – but by fighting for balance?
PS: for another interesting post on a similar subject check out Dr Jeckyll and Miz Hyde on Top Women for God <3