I’ve had a strange experience this week – a throw back to my teens. I’ve been doing an MA module in Theological and Practical Reflection at Cranmer Hall, and this week gave my seminar. We spent 3 days listening to each other reflect theologically and practically on a variety of fascinating and weirdly diverse subjects. Neither giving the seminar nor listening to others was in itself the strange thing. No – the week was strange because I was the only woman in a group of men.
That might not be odd for your circumstances, but for me, working in an all woman team and in the company of far more women that men, it was strange to go back to challenging gender stereotypes. Not that the other students were patriarchal, or discriminatory. I did not feel at any time that I was being patronised or excluded (can you imagine anyone trying?), but it was strange that I felt I needed to represent woman-kind!
When I was in my late teens at university I was an assistant deputy chapel warden (yes, really – I meant I covered the early morning communion services for the important chapel wardens), and discussions on chapel committee centred on inclusive language. The church has moved on from that discussion (at least a bit) but how interesting to be right back in the classic “stroppy cow” Dana mode! I was very good and well behaved on the whole, but it was fun to have something so easy to push against.