We Need Women
I’m married to a brilliant woman. Currently in medical school, studying to become a doctor, she has a crazy memory and sharp intellect. We were having a conversation a couple years ago about growing up smart. Intelligence has always been a big part of my identity, so she was wondering how that affected me.
Was I made fun of for being smart? Was I ever shy about it?
I discovered she asked those things because that was her experience. For a girl, intelligence isn’t always a plus. No, you don’t want to be dumb, but being too smart just makes you weird.
Fortunately for her (and for her future patients), she’s stubborn as hell.
She may have hid her intelligence for a bit — not raising her hand when she knew the answers, not offering suggestions when she knew what might help — but in the long run, she didn’t let it bring her down.
But that experience is not shared by all smart girls. Hence, our lack of women in fields of science, engineering, and even theology.
I was compiling a resource guide for an upcoming project and discovered my lack of input from smart women. I had list of more than 50 books, podcasts, and websites and all but two or three are from men.
A lot of that is my fault. There are brilliant female theologians and philosophers out there, I just haven’t searched them out. Which is a serious shortfall I've been working to correct.
But also, I can’t help but wonder if it’s the fault of our church discipleship. How often do men have small groups to study theology, while the only option for women is getting together to talk over salads about the latest churchy, feminine self-help book?
If we don’t have diversity in perspectives, we’re bound to miss something. We’re bound to make mistakes in our theology, in our witness, in our ability to make God’s Kingdom a reality here on Earth.
So we need to start encouraging women to dive deep into the tough Biblical and theological waters. And we need to start recognizing their voice. There are many out there who want to, and are wired to. It's our job to create a church where smart women can thrive, because we need them.
We need women.
P.S. I felt a need to write this after reading this article by Hannah Anderson. You should read it too. It's fantastic.