Yes, that’s right. I said “feminine leader,” not “female leader.”
Why is it that people expect leaders of either gender to think/look/act as though they are men?
Someone once sent me a Facebook picture saying, “I’m tired of Christian women leaders looking like men. This is how I would like a woman leader to appear.” The picture was of a very beautiful, very feminine lawyer. But there was such strength, courage and determination in her face. My response to it was, “Yes! A woman can be feminine and strong. She can be the kind of woman that men open the doors for, but yet be a leader in her own right. God has female (feminine) leaders and warriors.”
We tend to stereotype the genders–men are strategic, logical, strong. Women are relational, intuitive, creative. Many of us know people who don’t fit the stereotypes. (I, myself, think logically and strategically–I’m not sure if that’s by nature or because of my medical training). But we assume that men will carry one type of role and women another because of these characteristics.
Many assume that better leadership is more masculine. So women leaders, whether in business or on the Christian conference platform often dress like men and perform like men.
I think this is sad. Women can be feminine leaders. They can look attractive, be creative and intuitive, and still be strong leaders.
What do you think?
Adapted from Felicity Dale’s blog, Kingdom Women. Felicity Dale is the author of numerous books including Simply Church. She is an an advocate for women in the church and trains people to start simple, organic house churches around the world.