It’s a man’s world, but…

… it would be nothing without a woman or a girl, so sang James Brown. I am loving the success of the lionesses, England’s woman football team. I really hope they go on to lift the Euro trophy ahead of the men! This would appeal to my sense of justice.

Women’s football has a long history of being successful in this country and yet was ruthlessly shut down and banned by the FA in the early 1900s. Like so many areas of life, women have had to fight for the right to compete and enjoy what men take for granted.

I find it difficult to understand why men feel threatened by women flourishing. There’s a mistaken idea that persists whereby to allow women to shine somehow robs men. I really don’t believe this to be true. Perhaps if women can be all that they choose to become, men can be released in order to fulfil their God-given potential too without wasting time and emotional energy asserting their abusive power and dominance. I have spent much of my life being a leader in the church who isn’t able to be fully what I have to offer. I have also been blessed to have men in my life who have done what they can to help me thwart this.

Yet, as the saying goes, ’necessity is the mother of invention’. I think the reason there are so many amazing female pioneers and entrepreneurs is because we’ve been forced to be creative so as to find another way. What had meant to paralyse and destroy us has actually led to our liberation and thriving.

Maybe this is the subversive kingdom Mary celebrates as she nurtures the newly incarnated God-King in her womb. The divine Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer, “has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts, the mighty are brought down from their thrones and the humble are lifted up. The hungry are filled with good things and the rich are sent away empty.” (Luke 1:51-53)

Sometimes I wonder if this can ever happen. I regularly despair at the injustice of the world. But then I hear 30,000 football fans chanting, ”football’s coming home” in support of a team of dedicated, skilful and determined women and, once again, I think oh yes it can!

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