Women’s Wisdom

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“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 360º intelligence. I wonder how much wisdom has been lost because women kept silent.

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Vice President for Community Formation at Asbury Theological Seminary and has been a church leader in the Christian and Missionary Alliance denomination since 1979. She has wide pastoral experience in partnership with her husband Steve. Together, they have lead three churches over 31 years, provided missionary member-care and pastoral retreats in Chile, Argentina and Venezuela since l985, and formation teaching during Field Conferences in Eastern Europe and Indonesia.

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