whispered love
gender

 

 

 

In the world, sex and gender are huge subjects. What I've come to realise is that gender is only a part - an integral part but still only a part - of who we are.

Gender is only a part of personhood.

When I go shopping, when I clean my room, when I eat a meal... I'm doing that largely as a person, not a gender. When I'm trying to be kind... I'm doing that largely as a person. Gender psychology may get expressed in the process, but there is a wide variety of ways in which different people express gender anyway. A lot of gender expression is to do with social programming and stereotypes.

I tend to see God that way too.

I see God, really, as beyond gender - neither exclusively male nor exclusively female, but fully knowing and feeling what it's like to be female and what it's like to be male. When I use pronouns to refer to God, I don't imply God is only father or only mother. To me, God is God. God transcends gender, and in a way our human personhood transcends our gender too, while finding expression in it nevertheless.

But gender should not be the big deal society makes it, often sexualising it. I think we should try to live our lives as people, finding our fullest personhood in God, regardless of what gender we happen to be. I can feel sensual and identify in gender terms, and I think that's alright and natural. On the other hand, I think when a person is called to celibacy, and givenness to Christ, it is a wonderful gift - because it can lead a man or woman towards full and free personhood, devoted to God. Ordinary matter-of-fact acceptance of gender as just an attribute of whole personhood... seems to me to be liberating, and may point us towards understanding more fully the nature and characteristics of God, and the relationship of men and women in the life of the Church.

 

 

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