The world has been a place controlled by the strength, power, and dominance of men. They have made laws, become rulers, gone to war, provided for their families, stood up for what they believed, preached in our churches, and generally been in charge.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the men in my life. My husband, father, grandfathers, son-in-law, brothers, friends, pastors, and many male political figures have all had an influence on my life in one way or another.

My concern is that the direction of the world has been decided by the strong, powerful, aggressive nature of men. They have been taught to be that way. We expect that of men. Many churches are led only by men so some expect that women can’t be leaders. Our government has a majority of men in office. Women are considered too bold if they speak out and stand up with their opinions. Men are expected to be bold.

Slowly things are changing. There are stay-at-home dads raising children, women becoming religious leaders, more women having a voice in government, women speaking out against harassment and equal pay, more management positions for women, and equal opportunities for our daughters. We need the balance.

Men and women can learn from each other by working side by side with respect. They can complement each other in gentleness and strength, in listening and speaking, and in ending an aggressive dominance. The world will be a better place with the influence of both men and women.

Julie Knutson, Bloomington

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