Not me, I like being a woman. But, that was what a young woman said at women's Bible study last night. The woman's Bible study that I attend at my church started a new session last night. Since it was a large group of about 40 women who did not all know each other we started with an "icebreaker" activity where we each picked a question to answer about ourselves from a bag. The questions asked things like "Are you a morning or a night person?", "If you were ice cream, what flavor would you be and why?" and "What three words would you use to describe yourself?".
A college-aged woman a few seats to my right chose the question, "If you could be anyone else, who would you be and why?". She answered, "For one day, I wish I was a man. Just so I would not have to plan anything or worry about how I look. I could just sit back and chill." This was met with some laughter and a few raised eyebrows. I leaned toward the 30ish woman to my left, who I had met earlier in the evening and said "I bet a lot of men wish they could just sit back and chill too." She replied, "Yeah, my husband would agree."
The study is a video series/workbook type of study, with small group discussions, based on the book of Esther. The teacher said, as one of the few books of the Bible with a female protagonist, that a study of Esther was a great opportunity for women to examine our "issues". She did a survey that asked women about the most common issues they dealt with, and the top 3 were, yielding to/submitting to authority including their husbands, balancing competing demands, and estrogen. She also said that we would discuss and deal with these issues without devaluing or tearing down men.
There are about 40 of us in the study, ranging in age from late teens to 70's, married and single, with children and without, stay at home moms and working women. It dawned on me that this study is going to be an interesting opportunity to hear what many different women have to say on these subjects. Given the human propensity to assume that others think or feel in similar ways to the ways we think or feel, I am very curious to see if I will be surprised. Will my optimism take a beating? We'll see....