Gender Roles: "I want a penis!": A response to Anna
"I want a penis! I want a penis!"
That is what my three year old daughter cried over and over again in the supermarket check-out line. Here in the UK people like to pretend such things aren't happening in public so the the check-out lady kept a straight face while handing me my money. All the while I'm looking around at other straight faced English people whose faces are red and whose veins are bulging out of their necks to keep from not laughing.
What had happened? My four year old son had just learned that girls did not have all the same plumbing that he had. When we got to the checkout line he started to tease his sister about this and she went mental! Reflecting on this I thought, "How should one answer one's son who asks, "What does it mean for me to be a boy? How am I going to be different form my sister?" What would you say? Would you refer to a minor biological difference in genitalia? Or do you believe that gender differences go deeper than that?
I am cautious to take up this issue because I know there are some idiot men out there who, at the very sniff of a talk of gender uniqueness grunt, "Yes, you Jane, me Tarzan, get me some food!" and insisting that all women should be barefoot, etc.
Now Anna has asked me for "definitions of gender roles from Scripture, preferably from the teachings of Christ." Now the Bible isn't a dictionary which gives definitions to words in the modern sense, but it does however paint pictures which I believe will be sufficient. Over the next few blogs I will try and explore some of the pictures Scripture paints on gender.
Here's an introductory overview. In Scripture we see women:
- Correcting a man's theology (Acts 18.26)
- Writing Scripture (1 Samuel 2)
- Investing in real estate and turning profit (see previous blog)
- Being mothers
- Assassinating evil dictators (Judges 5.24...very sexy)
- Being part of evangelistic teams with men (Phil 4.3)
- Bringing God into the world (Mary)
- Judging a nation (Judges 4.4)
- Being a home builder (Prov. 14.1)
That's the introduction. I'd be happy if either of my daughters were involved in the above activities. In the following blogs I will focus on some pictures. For you singles I will be using the term "gender roles" somewhat synonymously with marriage or parenting roles. I know the there's a difference; but sometimes in scripture gender/sex/marriage/parenting are all lumped together.
Please let me know if I've left anything off the above list.