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Showing posts from October, 2007

Issues for women in leadership II - multiple roles

The Virtual Abbess "Abisomeone" has suggested that rather than looking at the whole daunting list of issues for women in leadership, it would be more helpful to explore one issue at a time. That list again: -Grappling with multiple roles and competing priorities: mother, daughter, wife, friend, Christian leader.
-Finding healthy boundaries.
-Loneliness: there is a need for a supportive peer group outside the local church, having someone who can listen to confidential matters, someone safe to process difficult issues with.
-Finding women mentors and role models can be difficult, especially at more senior levels.
-Some church cultures can be stifling for women… some men have difficulty with women in leadership…. some women "put the brakes" on other women in leadership.
-Recognition, respect, affirmation.
-Internal barriers: "I can't do that", "women can't do that", perfectionist expectations, unrealistic expectations.
-"Invisible…

"Pathological Shoulds" II

I have been thinking more about "shoulds" over the past few days. It does seem to me if a "pathological should" is lurking in your psyche it's simply an unintended consequence of a normal healthy upbringing. When we are young, our mothers (or other primary carers) drill into us all kinds of norms, boundaries, and expectations. We should wash our hands after using the toilet. We should clean our teeth twice a day. We should not hit, yell at, call names to or generally abuse other people. We should listen when others speak. We should take turns. As we grow older other expectations are drilled into us: to cooperate with our teachers, to look after our things, to do our homework, to get a job, to pay our taxes. These kinds of expectations are necessary for our well-being and for the good of society. A child brought up with weak or chaotic boundaries is likely to turn into a sociopath. It is as if we need a certain amount of "law" internalized …

Colours, Cars, Coordination

I have been studying four-wheel drive vehicles over the past couple of days. I know... this is an embarrassingly superficial pastime and I don't think I can even explain it. Beyond noting my interest was captured recently by the silent irony of an ENORMOUS vehicle bearing a "Time to Act on Climate Change is NOW" sticker.I should explain that although my sons attend two different schools, both of their schools are near to elite (translation: high fee) private schools. I have decided that looming environmental catastrophe triggered by the greenhouse effect is not a high priority of the private school populace, judging by the proportion of large four-wheel drive vehicles in the vicinity. These vehicles generally lack all the ugly accruements of serious masculine four wheel drives: bull bars, roof racks, large aerials for the CB radio or satellite phone, rear trays, floodlights, ladders atop, authentic splatters of mud and even tow bars are not to be found on t…

Pathological Shoulds

Pat Greig, a psychologist in private practice, visited my MOPS (Mothers Of Pre Schoolers) group last week. She spoke on the topic of "pathological shoulds". She listed the following "shoulds" that commonly impact women:My performance should always be perfectI should never make mistakesI should always be productive in the use of my timeMy life should be easy and hassle freeI should always be in control over events in my lifeI should be slim, youthful and attractiveI should be competent and effective in everything I doI should be doing and achieving more than I amI should always be totally independentI should always be bright, positive and cheerfulI should be married or in a committed relationshipI should have a harmonious, loving supportive familyI should be a perfect parentI should be sexy and have high libidoI should be workingI should have a high status jobI should be witty, interesting and fun to be withI should like other peopleI should have lots of f…

Barbeque Rules

We are about to enter the barbeque season. Therefore it is important to refresh your memory on the etiquette of this sublime outdoor cooking activity.When a man volunteers to do the barbeque, the following chain of events is set into motion:Routine:1) The woman buys the food.2)The woman makes the salad, prepares the vegetables, and makes dessert.3)The woman prepares the meat for cooking, places it in a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils and sauces, and takes it to the man who is lounging beside the barbeque – beer in hand.4)The woman remains outside the compulsory 3 metre exclusion zone where the exuberance of testosterone and other manly bonding activities can take place without the interference of the woman.HERE COMES THE IMPORTANT PART:5)The man places the meat on the grill.More routine:6) The woman goes inside to organize the plates and cutlery.7)The woman comes out to tell the man the meat is looking great. He thanks her and asks if she can bring him another…

Men at Work

I work in an open plan office, and there is an expectation that everyone work reasonably quietly. And I understand all the theory behind this... interruptions at work decrease productivity; noise reduces concentration levels. I have (alas) a rather loud laugh, and I tend to talk loudly on the phone when someone at the other end talks loudly. I periodically get "the look" when I forget to restrain myself. I do try.
I have noticed, however, that all protocols about quiet do not apply to discussions about football. I had thought I would be free from this for the next few months. But no... apparently last week was draft week, coaches are finding new positions, funding has been released to develop the Punt Road Oval, and some footballer has been picked up by the police and deregistered by the AFL. I know this because these developments are apparently so exciting that full volume discussions in the middle of the office are completely justified. So are football observations yelled o…

Living in Community

I have just received an article from another Janet (McKinney) from Canberra and would love to share it with you. If you are new to the site, welcome... I encourage you to read the "Welcome" and the "How to Make a Comment" articles below before you post a response. A reminder too that if you want to return to the main page, all you have to do is click on the "Secret Women's Business" heading at the top. Happy commenting!Living in CommunityDriving to work in my new work clothes a couple of weeks ago, I was thinking –"Gee I love living in community".What!You don't see the connection.OK then, I will explain. I am now 4 dress sizes smaller than I was 12 months ago thanks to a gastric band, and some serious attention to diet and exercise.I love the changes that are happening, but it poses a problem with clothes.It is rather expensive to replace an entire wardrobe of clothes, and more so when you realise that next winter I will hav…

Welcome to Secret Women's Space

In response to a lot of feedback we've recieved we've created a forum to discuss issues relevant to Christian women; issues about life, friends, family, hormones, leadership, work stuff, church stuff... anything really.I recommend that you use a nickname as your username, in order to protect privacy both of yourself and of the people you might be involved with. For example...you might want to share about how your mother is driving you crazy, or how your best friend is acting weird. You might want to ask for other's thoughts as to how to handle your less than empowering senior pastor, or the dysfunctional eldership in your church. If you have stayed anonymous, these kinds of issues can be discussed without your being slapped with a defamation suit! It's a small world and we want to protect the privacy of others while being able to share fully and openly ourselves. The format of web blogging provides a unique opportunity to really engage in some Secret Women's Busine…

How to Make a Comment

If you want to respond to a post, just look below it a click on the 'comments' link. Then you can type your response and it will automatically show on the page. We won't edit anyone's thoughts unless we get random comments that are offensive or what not from irrelevant users. The easiest way is to be anonymous as signing in can sometimes be a pain, and as mentioned earlier, anonymity can be a bonus.If you have a new topic for discussion that you want to make into a post just put it in as a comment and Janet will pick it up in a new post.If you have comments and feedback you don't want published you can email janet on jwoodlock@churchesofchrist.org.auPour yourself a cuppa and get talking!

Women in Leadership

In March this year Di Feldman facilitated a gathering of women in leadership, a combined Baptist and Churches of Christ initiative. At this event the question was posed: What are issues for Christian women in leadership?

This was, of course, like releasing the floodgates.

A selection of responses is included below:

-Grappling with multiple roles and competing priorities: mother, daughter, wife, friend, Christian leader.
-Finding healthy boundaries.
-Loneliness: there is a need for a supportive peer group outside the local church, having someone who can listen to confidential matters, someone safe to process difficult issues with.
-Finding women mentors and role models can be difficult, especially at more senior levels.
-Some church cultures can be stifling for women… some men have difficulty with women in leadership…. some women “put the brakes” on other women in leadership.
-Recognition, respect, affirmation.
-Internal barriers: “I can’t do that”, “women can’t do that”, perfectionist expectat…