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Showing posts from November, 2007

Issues for women in leadership III - healthy boundaries

"Finding Healthy Boundaries" is an issue with a lot of resonance for me.The reason this issue sets off bells ringing is because I experienced severe burnout last year. A caring friendship evolved into something that was so overwhelming and demanding and painful that something in me finally snapped. I've now been left with the effects of post traumatic stress and anxiety. This still feels like something that is foreign to me, as I have a naturally placid temperament. (I was one of those smiling "easy" babies). I had no idea what was happening to me when my first panic attack hit... all I knew was I was shaking all over and couldn't stand up.This experience made me realise that if burnout can happen to me (naturally laid back soul that I am), it can happen to anyone. This is a really difficult issue to balance as a Christian. Part of the life of discipleship is caring for others, part of the life of discipleship is going the extra mile, part of the life of di…

Democratic reformation

Well, the election is over. Democracy has done its job, we have a new government, and we have a new prime minister. We have a new prime minister who is a bit of a nerd, really... when his colleagues use words to describe him like "formidable intellect" and "incredibly hard working and disciplined" you know that nerds are taking over the world. I think there is consensus having the election over is a good thing. I was one of the volunteers at the school barbeque yesterday dispensing sausages in bread for $2 a pop (if we're all going to be forced to vote, the local primary school may as well take advantage of it). There was much muttering around the barbeque about the amount of money spent (wasted!) on advertising during the election campaign... and all the better ways this money could have been spent. I've decided the following rules should be imposed on all political parties:Political TV ads should be banned. They're annoying.Radio ads sh…

Women and Food

Let's face it... many women have a complicated relationship with food. We not only buy it, cook it, serve it, eat it... we worry about it. We worry about adequate nutrition... probably not unreasonably in a world of intensive agriculture, cold storage, and processed foods choc-laden with sugar, salt, fats, artificial colours, flavours and preservatives. Food can also be an enemy. Women's magazines are full of 12-year-old girls made up to look like adult women, anorexic models, and hips and thighs artifically "airbrushed" off cover girl photos. Thin is beautiful, apparently, and food is the enemy of "thinness". The multi-billion "diet" industry, and the absurdly high rates of eating disorders among women in the West is testament to the sinister nature of the "thin is beautiful" dogma.But food is one of life's great pleasures. Food makes us feel good. Food makes us feel comfortable. Food is not only a necessity: it is designed to be en…

Does this pulpit make my butt look big?

This blog is about to get WAAAY too personal but... well... ahem... I am reasonably well endowed in the chest area. (not by modern silicon standards of course). This means I've learned to be careful about what I wear... ie no printed slogans across the chest, beware of buttons that might gape, avoid clingy clothes. When I was younger I was known to have conversations with men that were entirely directed to my breasts... a most disconcerting experience. So I've learned to err on the side of discretion. Which is why when on a casual cruise through revgalblogpals (http://revgalblogpals.blogspot.com/) I was somewhat taken aback by their promotional tee-shirt, which has a slogan titled: "Does this pulpit make my butt look big?" strategically emblazoned across the chest area (http://www.cafepress.com/blogpals.26660224) Now women have had a long struggle (that still goes on!) to be seen as competent rather than decorative or sexy. Women in ministry in particular h…

Young and Credible?

I have had a couple of conversations lately about the struggle to achieve credibility in some circles if you happen to be young and female.I remember myself being part of a church leadership team, and raising an issue over and over for about 6 months. Then one day a young man raised the same issue, and it was dealt with on the spot. My jaw had to be pretty much scraped off the floor with my astonishment.It's almost like if you raise an issue tactfully and sensitively, it can be completely overlooked when you are a young woman. On the other hand, if you are a young woman and raise an issue forcefully, you face a different but also problematic issue. I quote below from a young articulate woman (with permission, from another blog) who has observed a double standard on voicing opinions:'I think that I live in a world where it's ok for young men to have opinions, to be articulate, and to be interested in teasing out issues, while I and other young women with simila…

I'm really cranky now

I've been sent an email "meme" from Abisomeone:In a new blog post, list and write about the top 1 or 2 causes that simply make your palms sweat, your heart bleed, and send tears rolling down your cheeks. Make sure you tell everyone why this cause is so important to you as an individual.Human suffering makes me cranky… especially suffering that is avoidable, and that is a result of selfishness or malice.I cannot bear to think about mothers holding their children who are hungry or malnourished or ill… without any means to do anything about it.I am cranky about policies of rich and powerful nations that enrich themselves at the expense of the poor.I am cranky about Western economic "experts" who go to developing countries and advise: "You really need to increase your exports… how about increasing the production of sugar and cocoa and coffee and cotton"? So subsistence farmers are driven off their land, and agricultural products are exporte…