Sandra Sandberg’s book Lean In has caused a stir. Below are two quotes from her book. After reading them consider how this might show up in our churches?
Men at the top are often unaware of the benefits they enjoy simply because they’re men, and this can make them blind to the disadvantages associated with being a woman. Women lower down also believe that men at the top are entitled to be there, so they try to play by the rules and work harder to advance rather than raise questions or voice concerns about the possibility of bias. As a result, everyone becomes complicit in perpetuating an unjust system. At the same time, we must be careful not to inject gender into every discussion. (Sandberg, 150)
Social scientists are uncovering new examples of bias all the time. In 2012, a series of studies compared men in more “modern” marriages (whose wives worked outside the home full-time) to men in more “traditional” marriages (whose wives worked at home). The researchers wanted to determine if a man’s home arrangement affected his professional behavior. It did. Compared to men in modern marriages, men in more traditional marriages viewed the presence of women in the work force less favorable. They also denied promotions to qualified female employees more often and were more likely to think that companies with a higher percentage of female employees ran less smoothly. The researchers speculated that men in traditional marriages are not overtly hostile toward woman but instead are “benevolent sexists”- holding positive yet outdated views about women. (Another term I have heard is “nice guy misogynists.” ) These men might even believe that women have superior strengths in certain areas like moral reasoning, which makes them better equipped to raise children-and perhaps less equipped to succeed in business. In all likelihood, men who share this attitude are unaware of how their conscious and unconscious beliefs hurt their female colleagues. (Sandberg, 153)