Women are upsetting the boys' club

WOMEN are finally making significant inroads into the man's world. And it seems men are struggling to come to grips with it. They're trying to understand their place in the new reality of the shared world being demanded by women. How will the old boys' clubs even communicate with a black woman vice-president of the United States? How will they relate to a young, hip, female prime minister of New Zealand? How to fathom Malala Yousafzai, the young female social icon? And how do they connect with wives and daughters that are now empowered and highly driven?

These are some of the issues men are now trying to navigate. An empowered female workforce is on the rise globally and men are having challenges. Women are saving democracy in the United States, fighting tyranny in Iran, and saving the economies of countries. What does all this mean for the man's world and the boys' clubs? Though global wealth remains in the hands of men, women are finally chipping away at that and getting seats at the decision-making tables.

In another few months an important book, Men Are from Mud, Women Are from Bone, will be published. It's a spin-off of John Gray's popular book Men are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, but taken from a Bible-based perspective. It speaks to important differences between the sexes and facilitates an understanding of the important need to celebrate those differences. It's information that could prove necessary to bridge a present divide and facilitate renewed harmony among the sexes. However, the struggle for better understanding between the sexes will likely continue for years. And women speaking up and speaking out will continue to upset the stuck men of the establishment.

It seems men are waiting longer to get married nowadays due to the new dynamic too. And women are less tolerant of what is being termed low-value and egotistical men. It doesn't help that so-called relationship gurus, some of whom are way too bitter to help anyone get better, are lobbying discordant relationship advice into the mix on TV and online. Misinformation on how to handle sexist situations and failing romantic relationships is rampant on social media, contributing to the confusion. Everyone with an opinion is passionately sharing do's and don'ts matter-of-factly, and some are guzzling up misogynistic and misandrist ideology. How does the dust settle?

Understanding what's happening, how we got here, and how we can get out will be important. Men getting a grasp on the expectations of empowered women will be necessary to achieve renewed harmony. A healthy discussion on this issue in social settings and in the professional arena needs to happen urgently. Creating a path to mutual respect to stymie "mansplaining" or "womansplaining" will be necessary. The sexes can't afford to talk at each other, but must talk with each other for solutions.

The transformation happening is a challenge for many powerful men, not only the Ayatollahs in Iran and the Taliban leaders of Afghanistan. It's a challenge for the traditional boys' clubs of North America and Europe, too. But the changes happening are critical and women are having better representation in politics, religion, the military, the corporate world, and academia. But there is still quite a way to go toward women having a fair seat at the table of global affairs. Thank God for men who partner with women and appreciate their rise, like presidents Barack Obama and Joe Biden, who have opened significant doors of leadership for women. Glass ceilings are indeed shattering. The #MeToo movement and the feminist movement have contributed, too. Yet the sexes must still find a way to truly facilitate mutual progress for the good and stability of both families and countries. Though many of the boys' clubs are perturbed, the truth is, a strong society must have men and women that celebrate strong men and women.

Rev Christopher Brodber is a counsellor and minister of religion. E-mail him at chrisbrodber@yahoo.com.

Christopher BRODBER

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