Sunday, February 6, 2011

women's wisdom

"Women have the capacity to know with their bodies and with their brains at the same time, in part because their brains are set up in such a way that the information in both hemispheres and in the body is highly available to them when they communicate...[When a woman] begins to learn to appreciate how intimately [her] thoughts, emotions and physical body are connected, [she] begins to reclaim her full intelligence. It is staggering to realize how many highly intelligent women think they are stupid because so much of their intelligence has been undervalued. Dr. Linda Metcalf said, "Women think that their intellects are a male construct sitting inside their heads." (Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom, Christiane Northrup, MD)

Northrup is not saying that men do not have this ability to integrated knowing. She makes that clear. So this is not a man vs woman issue. Just want to put that into the conversation. However...

...it's true. I don't know how many times I have been in a class or room with a majority of men, listening to the conversation and my thoughts are completely other than what is being expressed. In those instances I didn't put my thoughts into the room because I really did think they were 'too womanly.' That is the phrase I have had in my head. These are woman thoughts. They do not matter. And I have tried to translate my knowing into a male construct to have it be 'real' or intelligent or something. Maybe other women are not like me - but I have consciously had these discussions inside my brain, alongside my thinking.

Where did I get that idea? And it isn't just an idea - it is IN me. Somehow I know it - not like I read it in a book - but I know it in the biblical sense of it penetrating me.

What wisdom I have is staggeringly integrated. It is mind and body, it is words and blood, it is 360 intelligence. I wonder how much wisdom has been lost because women kept silent.

6 comments:

Krissi said...

"I wonder how much wisdom has been lost because women kept silent." This hurts my heart and leaves a sickly feeling right down to my gut. The truth of this is hard to bear. :(

John Wesley Leek said...

I wonder much I've missed out on because I didn't/don't know how to hear that voice... :/

Christine said...

I lead a women's Bible study and when I express my great love of theology I am always surprised and deeply saddened at the response from other women. They respond that they just want the "practical" side of faith and that theology is "too hard." What i believe they are really saying is that the study of theology is a "man's thing." I have now developed a deep desire to write a theology from a feminine perspective/soul. I long for women to contribute to the conversation of deep things in the way that you have described here. Thanks for the encouragement. :)

Marilyn said...

One of the brightest young women I know just responded to me via email and told me she feels like she cannot do her work because she is not a man, not smart enough. In my reading this week I read that repeated thoughts become beliefs, and beliefs become embodied - many of us women have beliefs that defy rational thought - that have become embodied in us.

Laurie said...

I get frustrated when I do offer wisdom and get shut out or not listened to by the men in the room. Makes me keep silent more.

Lee Ann said...

I had been silent for too many years and it was eroding me from within. I was at an African Dance seminar and heard this quote, “If you don’t speak for yourself, someone else will misrepresent you” (unknown). I was tired of being misrepresented, and I began to find my voice again.