Posted by: powellsinsantacruz | May 5, 2012

Gender Differences

Boys and girls are different. Well, actually we haven’t noticed loads of differences with Caleb just yet (apart from the obvious), he is more a baby than a boy now. Although he can certainly wee in interesting directions. But men and women are different. This is especially obvious in Bolivia, where, as a friend puts it, men are men and women are women. Deep. I’m not actually sure what they mean by that, but it sounds profound so I’ll share it with you.

But there is something of a macho culture here. The roles of men and women are seen as much more separate and distinct. At the Church weekend away recently the men cooked one of the meals. This was a massive deal and is still being spoken about now. In general cooking, cleaning and washing is done by the women; manual labour, security guards and taxi driving (for instance) is done by the men. Its not that women don’t work- many women will work and clean or sell, often with their children with them. But there is certainly a clearer separation of gender roles.

This is not all bad, but it is certainly not all good. Many women have a hard life while many men are not taking responsibility for their families.

This issue is starting to hit home in our own home with our very own social commentator Chloe. She is very clear on the differences between girls and boys: pink is for girls. Girls wear dresses and like flowers. Girls are pretty. They paint their nails. They have long hair. They like anything remotely fairy or princess orientated. She already has a clear set of things that are for girls and things that are for boys. We are fairly sure we haven’t specifically taught her this, so where has it come from? Do we just blame the wider family for giving her dresses and princess related regalia- she owns tiaras, jewellery, high heeled shoes, many, many bags, fairy wings (several),and multiple hair paraphernalia. Is it the fault of Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, Pride and Prejudice and the Wedding of Will and Kate (all things she loves to watch). How have we managed to raise the most girly girl (no mummy, pink is my favourite) in Santa Cruz?

So are boys and girls, men and women different? According to Bolivian culture, yes. According to Chloe, yes. According to Disney, yes. But more importantly, according to the Bible, yes. We are designed in the image of God, male and female, and He gets to have the ultimate say on how the genders should be. We would prefer Chloe’s image of men and women to be based on what the Bible says, not just the culture. The same is true for our Church. We want to live as men and women in the way God intends- to image Him.

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