Women Who Hate Women Who Lead

Five, cultivate interests and relationships beyond the demands of your work. No matter how good the environment in which you work might be, spiritual balance and perspective requires cultivating interests that are broader and more life-giving than those associated with the work world. When people resist or sabotage your efforts, that breadth of involvement is that much more important, giving you activities and relationships you can affirm.

Sadly, none of these strategies promises that the fault-finding female colleagues will go away. Unfortunately, like their male counterparts in the "girls have cooties club," they are likely to be a part of the church for the foreseeable future. But you don't need to be trapped by someone else's sense of frustration and guilt. There are times when the best response spiritually is to repeatedly affirm the goodness of your gifts. Think Deborah from the Book of Judges; or Jael, out front, tent peg in hand; or Judith with Holofernes's sword, timid men to the rear.

You haven't begun to get assertive, Pam. As I've heard my female colleagues put it, "You go, girl!"

7/16/2013 4:00:00 AM
  • Progressive Christian
  • The Spiritual Landscape
  • gender
  • Leadership
  • Prejudice
  • Progressive Christianity
  • Women
  • Christianity
  • Frederick Schmidt
    About Frederick Schmidt
    Frederick W. Schmidt is the author of The Dave Test: A Raw Look at Real Life in Hard Times (Abingdon Press: 2013) and several other books, including A Still Small Voice: Women, Ordination and the Church (Syracuse University Press, 1998), The Changing Face of God (Morehouse, 2000), When Suffering Persists (Morehouse, 2001), in Italian translation: Sofferenza, All ricerca di una riposta (Torino: Claudiana, 2004), What God Wants for Your Life (Harper, 2005), Conversations with Scripture: Revelation (Morehouse, 2005) and Conversations with Scripture: Luke (Morehouse, 2009). He holds the Rueben P. Job Chair in Spiritual Formation at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL, and directs the Job Institute for Spiritual formation. He is an Episcopal Priest, spiritual director, retreat facilitator, conference leader, writer, and Consulting Editor at Church Publishing in New York. He and his wife, Natalie live in Chicago, Illinois. He can also be reached at: http://frederickwschmidt.com/