Wednesday, October 17, 2012

On money & power – men and women differ!

Figure 1 - source:

It seems little has changed in the male-privileged power circles since my stint in NYC and eastern US investment banking. Within the higher echelons which identify wealth as power, women who don't cater to &/or serve the dominant paradigm are rare or non-existent. It's not a coincidence, according to statistically-based research, that merely admitting a woman's influence and hearing her voice change group outcomes. Romney is not alone in his disregard of women. Genesis 3 is alive & kicking in the world, today, and certainly in NYC and DC.

In regard to the worship of money, there truly exists a substantive difference between women's & men's use of money. The statistical studies of the UN, World Bank, UNESCO and other NGO's, viewed alongside the results of microfinance initiatives in the developing world, have revealed significant differences in the way men and women employ money. (cf., Half the Sky - book or documentary, the UN’s summary, and other resources available on the web)

When more women disconnect further from family responsibilities and social ties (to which we're more tied, bodily – barring contraception, celibacy or infertility) and manipulate others in order to acquire worldly power, the discrepancy diminishes.  Conversely, when men are more actively connected to families and communities, and less to one another's approval and ruling over others via power-games, then the gap also diminishes. We need to pay attention to the actions more than to the lip-service. Women may say they value men, but their actions reveal manipulative techniques to acquire power and win. Men may say they value women more than money, but seek every opportunity to gain power and diminish and rule over women. Both genders will rationalize and justify their actions, verbally. Ignore the words that don't match the actions and outcomes! Power games are not confined to physical force; power games include emotional, sexual and religious blackmail, intellectual domination, financial fraud and deceptive practices, legal machinations, and systemic economic injustice.

This description circumscribes the profound need of our world. Here is where I see the reconciling work of God in Christ, God imaged male & female in creation, God working in & through the church, as having profound effects on the world as we know it: connecting men more strongly to God, women & their families; and giving worth & voice to women in their embodied gifts which inform their valuing of reality diversely to men. Both men and women properly use their equally-valued gifts to serve God, neighbors and enemies with the other gender. Thus, the Holy Spirit-empowered church of men and women cut off the dual temptations to over-value money & power and de-value healthy relationships with one another!

[Note: I have a third blog post on the Conference on Civility to complete. Please forgive this intervening tangent!]

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