Looking for a Men’s Room at a Women’s Conference
Dr. Juli Slattery and Linda Dillow do a women’s conference called Authentic Intimacy. It deals with all aspects of intimacy for women with a focus on sexual intimacy. We were going to be within a couple hundred miles of a conference being held in Florida so we reworked our schedule so Lori could attend.
Then I thought I might benefit from it too, given what I do here and elsewhere. I wrote them, explained who I was, and asked if I could attend with Lori. A few days later (I’d love to have heard the discussion!) I was told yes I could come, provided I sat in the back so the women in attendance would feel safe. No problem, I get that.
Including staff and the drummer (what, no female drummers?) I was one of half a dozen or fewer XY’s in the building with over 300 women. And, yes, they had made all the men’s restrooms into women’s. One was supposed to be left for the men, but someone got carried away and hung a “WOMEN ONLY” sign on it. Got that worked out before I had to take a walk in the woods.
I’ve been to a lot of men’s events, but this was the first time I’ve been to a women’s event. I saw all kinds of differences in the way you ladies act apart from men and the way we act apart from you. I think y’all are more similar than we are to how we both act in a mixed gender setting. We let down our guard; we have far less to prove and aren’t as concerned with what others think. Sure, we try to one-up each other with stories of crazy stunts we’ve survived, but it’s all in fun and all taken with several grains of salt. It seems you ladies are as into impressing each other as men are at impressing women.
It also seems men are far more sure of themselves. As an example, the lunch line, which was going down one side of the table, was horribly slow. At a men’s event, someone would quickly have started a second line down the back side of the table. We had over a third of the women through the line before someone started on the back side.
I can’t exactly say why these and other differences exist. Some are brain differences, many are based on cultural standards, expectations, and fears. But regardless of why they exist, they do exist. Our differences go well beyond our plumbing!
Beyond the people watching, I very much enjoyed the gathering and was impressed with what Linda and Juli had to say. They got some things right I hear done wrong all too often, and they approached everything with grace and a solid biblical foundation. I could find a few minor places I disagree, but nothing worth mentioning. If you get a chance to attend this or any of their other gatherings (Surprised by the Healer Conference or Ladies Night Out) please do.
BTW, I’ll be doing a post on the image above this Friday. It’s a great concept!
~ Paul – I’m XY, and I survived a women’s conference!
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