Is Collaboration Female?

Some of us read Carol Gilligan’s In a Different Voice in seminary which notes the differences in how men and women make decisions. Generally- speaking. women make decisions according to their relationships and men make decisions according to what’s right and wrong. [Note: gender studies have evolved since Gilligan wrote this book in 1982 but that’s for another post.]

I remember when, as a parish pastor, our elders approved to have an organization place a huge metal bin in a corner of the church parking lot to collect used clothing.  On the day the bin was delivered, it was accidently placed in a corner of the church parking lot across the street.  The Methodists had our bin!

Whatever.  Both churches were served by female pastors and we agreed that it was just fine to keep the bin over there and it was just as convenient for people to donate clothing in “their” parking lot as in “ours.”

Conflict ensued.  Some of our elders were concerned that “we wouldn’t get credit” for this mission project and when it was pointed out that the purpose of the bin was to serve those who might need the clothing rather than to score points in some heavenly tally, the conflict was settled.  But the feelings remained the same.

To put it simplistically, the women were quick to collaborate and the men wanted to keep score.  [Again: these are stereotypes.  Please don’t troll me.]

The future of the Church is collaboration in mission: with private business, with school systems, with local police departments, with other congregations.  If the point is to make a positive impact in service to our neighbors, then who cares whose idea it was or whose name is on it?  Unless we are keeping score.

If Jesus kept score, we would all be doomed.  

Some say that “the future is feminine.”  I don’t know about that, but I do know that the days of white straight male privilege are slowly (very slowly) fading away.  Weekend assignment: watch the movie A Promising Young Woman by Emerald Fennell.*  To be discussed next week.

Image of (L to R) Actor Carey Mulligan, writer/director Emerald Fennell and actor Laverne Cox on the set of Promising Young Woman.

*Viewer Warning: it might trigger those who’ve been assaulted.

3 responses to “Is Collaboration Female?

  1. Love this, because I am a collaborator at heart. And let’s all agree that the future is post-binary, not feminine. That will help get rid of some of the stereotypes. 😉

    Liked by 4 people

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