My Response to 4 Point Argument Against Women in Leadership

March 23, 2010 on 4:21 pm | In Biblical Equality, Rebuttal, Women in Ministry | 2 Comments

Statement: Your argument against women holding positions of leadership is based upon these reasons 1) the differences in the biological make-up of the male and female, 2) a supposed difference in the psychological make-up of the male and female, 3) gender roles – in which each gender has specific roles to carry out, and lastly 4) a supposed destruction of society’s stability if women do not perform said gender roles.

My response to your reasoning is as follows:

1) Men and women do have different biological make-up.

Biological differences include the physical features in their bodies – thus creating gender or male and female. These differing features, which are the organs created for the purpose of reproduction, do not limit or restrict one gender from having the ability to lead. Possessing male reproduction organs does not give a man a greater or lesser ability to lead, just as possessing female reproduction organs does not give a female a greater or lesser ability to lead.

Biological differences include chemical or hormonal differences. The hormone testosterone does give the male being the ability to create more muscle mass and thus greater muscle strength than the female being. That being said, I oppose your supposition which has been based on this fact. The possession of “brawn” or “physical strength” is not a necessary requirement for leadership (history is filled with effective leaders who did not have said physical strength). Leadership is not based upon “brawn” but upon the ability to effectively lead others in some stated direction.

I find no biological reason to limit women from being effective leaders. The ability to lead is not based upon the possession of physical strength or physical power.

Leadership based on having physical power over another is based upon FORCE and is DEMANDED (leadership forced upon another, as in being conquered and obedience to conqueror is demanded) and is NOT VOLUNTARY (following the one in leadership is done because of demand and is not willing given.)

Is this the type of leadership you want, one based upon physical strength (force and ability to domineer) and not based on the a true ability to lead?

2) I am left wondering what you see as the differences in the psychological make-up of men and women.

In their ability to think, reason, and problem solve men and women have the same ability – men and women possess the same exact brain, which has the same exact ability in each. No one gender possesses greater brain or thinking ability above the other.

Perhaps your thoughts behind this statement were the supposed more outward emotional expressions of women and the supposed more rational and unattached/not emotional expressions of men.

BOTH psyche’s are valuable in leadership -both the outward expression of emotion and rational thought are valuable qualities in those who lead. True leadership is a balance of both expressions – true leadership knows when each expression is necessary and moves in the correct expression.

In creation of mankind God gave leadership – rule and dominion – over the earth to both the male Adam and the female Eve.
Leadership is not a one gender ability – both the male and the female have the ability to lead and to lead effectively.

3) Gender roles = men are to do _______ and women are to do _______ and never the twain shall meet (or better said – never a dish, a broom, or mop will the man touch.)

From what I’ve read in your posts I believe you are an advocate of traditional gender roles for the male and the female – men are the breadwinners and women are to remain at home as the keeper of the home and the primary caregiver of the children.

How did the traditional gender roles for male and female come about?

Women give birth to children and in the past when nursing was the primary way to feed infants and young toddlers their mothers or wet nurses were the primary care persons of these young children. Nursing mothers remained home with their nursing infants and toddlers in order to meet their children’s need for sustenance. With their wives at home nursing infants husbands became the primary provider for the mother and children. From this the traditional gender roles for male and female were established and became the cultural norm.

Women were not created in the role of keeper of the home.

In creation there existed no division of roles based upon gender – rule and dominion were given to both the male and the female. They were both given the same and equal roles.

Woman was created NOT as a ‘help mate’ (a mate who gives help) but as a ‘help meet’ = ‘ezer keneged’ (Hebrew).

The definition of ‘Ezer’ is “one who has something to offer the one who is in need of aid or is helpless.” ‘Ezer’ is coupled with the preposition ke and the adjective neged. The preposition ke denotes the meaning of “according to what is in front of” or “corresponding to.” The adjective neged means “what is conspicuous” or “in front.”

The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon translates the meaning of keneged as “equal and adequate to himself.”

A literal translation of ezer kenegdo is “a power equal to him.” Woman as a ezer keneged was created as an EQUAL and NOT as subordinate to the male.

In creation male and female were created as equals and given equal roles of dominion over the earth.

4) Women leaving traditional roles is the source of society’s ills and and instability of the home.

Both the father and the mother share full responsibility of raising their children. Stability of the home is from BOTH parents and is the responsibility of both parents.

I would like to answer this concept that the problems of today can be avoided if the mother remains at home by the example of my own life.

My husband’s and I chose for me to remain home with our seven children while my husband worked to support us. (We look like the poster family for traditional roles.) We also chose to home school our children – our children were with me constantly. They had my constant care and supervision.

Did my being at home with them have the stated result – avoidance of all today’s problems / avoidance of society’s ills — NO!!! We have faced these issues and walked through these issues with our children.

A mother being at home DOES NOT stop the ills of society from visiting a family.

I am not alone in my testimony. Many, many, many other mom’s who believed like I once did, that if we stayed at home and home schooled our children they would never rebel or never get into any of the troubles of this age have faced walking through these issues with their children. We all found out that a mother at home does not prevent the ills of society from visiting a family.

Returning mothers home is not the answer to fixing the ills of today’s society. The answer to fixing the ill’s of today’s society lies in fixing the heart of man. I personally believe the heart of man can only be fixed through faith in Jesus Christ and by being a follower of His word. The answer to fixing society ills does not lie in re-establishing traditional gender roles.


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