Non Gender Specific
There is a radio program called Under the Influence which airs on CBC. I’ve been listening to how products are often genderless, but then marketing makes it gender specific. It gave examples of the Easy Bake Oven which initially targeted only 50% of the market, and how computer marketing narrowed the development of future programmers by promoting their products to young boys. The whole gender discussion is an interesting conversation. The discussion often includes comments like why female politicians and journalists are often criticized for what they are wearing or how their hair is styled before we choose to listen to them.
I recently heard speaker Rebecca Kotz present on how gender is defined socially. That is, that it is dictated by society. Rebecca chooses to use the word sex instead of gender because sex is determined by biology where gender is a social conformity. She described a random survey which she has done in countless forums of people groups, professional, non-profit, young, old, male, female all with different backgrounds. She claims that the words she consistently sees offered to define masculinity are words like warrior, forceful, competitive, control, strong, power. If this is accurate, how did we get here?
If we look at what the Bible says, Galatians makes it clear that all people are equal. Galatians 3:28 claims that “There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
At the beginning of time, humankind was created equal. “So, God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God, he created them; male and female he created them.” It was because of the fall that women began to be ruled and dominated by men. That is, although God created Adam and Eve with all freedoms to live in his image, they refused it. What God designed was different from what we started immediately practicing.
However, even before pronouncing where sin had landed them, in the very first book of the bible, Genesis 3:15, God is already creating a new way for people to be given the opportunity to gain the freedoms he had designed for them. He does that by announcing the certain coming of Jesus. Because in the finished work of Jesus, people are recognized as being equal. The problem is that instead of living in the fullness of the finished work of Christ, we keep moving ourselves back to the fall!
Almost immediately after my book was published, I questioned why I subtitled my book, Inspiring Women to Leadership. While it certainly helps retailers and libraries to categorize my book more easily, I didn’t like the bias it presented. I thought, we don’t say, inspiring Men to leadership.
The truth is, we don’t want to market to only 50% of the people like the Easy Bake Oven did. We want to instead market to 100% of the population, because that’s who Jesus targets. So instead of inspiring only women, I’ve decided from now on I’m going to be using the phrase, Shared Kingdom Leadership because I believe that’s what Jesus would have us do… although not as part of my book title because my publisher wouldn’t like me.