A few days ago, on another forum, someone raised the question of whether women needed men's support on "women's issues", or whether that was something that should be left to women, because (he argued) how many women care about men's issues? This was my reply:
as a woman who has a (grown) son, I care about men’s issues. justice is about caring what happens to everyone, true equality has to mean giving real consideration to the needs of the other gender too. I want both my son and my daughter to have the opportunities to become all that God planted within them, and not have some essential part of their personality, giftedness or needs suppressed because it doesn’t fit some prescription of what their respective gender is allowed to do. But also, as a woman who has been marginalised by men, particularly withing the conservative church (my background is Anglican and Presbyterian) I treasure the experiences I have had of males who have spoken into those wounds and redressed the balance. I treasure the experience I had at a conference some years ago of hearing a man get up and publicly apologise to the women for the way the church has treated them — that was a major healing for me and led directly to hearing God’s call to go go and study theology now my children are grown. I treasure the letter a male friend wrote to me when he learned some of my story, apologising on behalf of his gender for the males in my life who had physically, sexually and emotionally abused me. I treasure a couple of good male friends who support and encourage me as I continue to break the “rules” I was brought up with. I am thankful for my male minister, who in an Anglican church in Sydney, has encouraged me in ministry and gives me opportunities to preach. Jesus’ kingdom is one in which there has to be justice and liberty for all, men and women, black and white, the poor, the marginalised, the disadvantaged of every kind. None of us can fix the world on our own, none of us should paternalistically decide to fix other people and take away their self-determination and personal responsibility; but we all need to offer whatever kind of support we are able to, as we are personally confronted with these issues. there can’t be a just world for anyone until there is a just world for everyone ..