Questions about Sex, Difference, and Leadership

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about sex - specifically, what does a person's sex have to do with how they function in the world? If we could remove everything we learn about being male and female from the cultures that shape us, would there be any significant differences to what it means to be male and female? If there aren't, what does that mean for leadership? And if there are, what does that mean for leadership?

Many of you are going to run straight to your Bibles to answer the question of sex and difference. Sure, the Bible talks a lot about sex. About being created male and female. But it doesn't talk as definitively on it as we might think. If it did, the site you're on wouldn't have pages and pages of blogs with such fierce and passionate debate about the subject.

And that's marvelous - the exchange of viewpoints, interpretations, and insights. After writing for nearly a year on this blog, however, I can't help but wish that exchange would come with more grace and a little less self-righteous, knee-jerk posturing. Generally, there is a polite, conciliatory tone to the conversation. But too often, the responses become accusatory, polarizing, and even abusive. When I read these kinds of responses, I'm reminded of really bad, aggressive driving. We think that because nobody knows who we are online, we can say and do anything. We can hit the "post" key with a force that is the equivalent to flipping someone off. It's blog rage.

Maybe this time around, the tone of the responses can be a bit more elevated. More provisional, wondering, and humble. More about wrestling, musing, and asking new questions than giving the one, right answer.

To that end, here are some questions about sex, difference and leadership that have been on my mind of late.

1. There's a lot of talk these days about the differences between men and women. John Gray talks about men coming from Mars and women coming from Venus. In Wild at Heart, John Eldredge tells us men are made for adventure and women are made for rescuing. No doubt, you have your own reactions to these and other pronouncements of difference. But what do you think? Are men and women really different, or do we just make up these differences in our minds and perpetuate those differences in the way we form our cultures? Other than genitalia, is there any difference in essence? Is there such a thing as a male or female perspective? An orientation to the world?

November 16, 2007 at 4:00 PM

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