I was having a conversation with a very bright young pastor today and we were talking about why organizations in general, and church organizations in particular, tend to go off the rails in direct proportion to the amount of female involvement. There are, of course, a number of theories, beginning with Genesis, but something Mozart, as we shall call him, said about the nurturing aspect of his pastoral work struck me as potentially significant.
Think about the amount of discernment that is required for work in a caring or nurturing capacity. Discernment is actually a negative; the good doctor is not influenced by the personal merits of the person he is treating. The good mother does not shower love and attention upon the duly obedient child and withhold it from the unruly and disobedient one. The feminine perspective, insofar as it is formed by maternal responsibilities and nurturing instincts, is therefore intrinsically anti-discernment.
The masculine perspective is precisely the opposite. What is the foremost responsibility of the warrior if not discernment? The very first question that the soldier, the policeman, or the bodyguard must answer concerning another individual is: are they a threat or not? The good soldier does not indiscriminately slaughter everyone he sees and the good bodyguard does not beat down every individual who approaches the person he is guarding. The masculine perspective, insofar as it is formed by paternal duties and protective instincts, is therefore intrinsically discerning.
So, when viewed from this perspective, it is entirely predictable that any time an organization reduces the number of protective individuals and replaces them with nurturing individuals, the ability of the organization to discern between useful and productive members and useless and destructive ones is compromised. A church in which women are influential will tend to be more universalist and welcoming, and can expect its Christian message, with its insistence on narrow, hard paths and discrimination between sheep and goats, to be watered down and eventually rejected.