Male Leadership in Crisis -
By Barrington H. Brennen, June
Dear Sir: I think there is a male leadership crisis
in the world today. What can we
do to get more male leaders in our homes, communities, schools, and churches?
Dear reader, you are correct. There is clearly a male leadership crisis in our
country. However, the problem is not the overwhelming presence of female
leadership, but the diminishing force of male leaders. Male leadership should
not be in competition with female leadership, but in cooperation with it. Also,
it is a mistake to believe that all males are destined to be leaders in the
home, community, school, or church. Leadership is a gift not based on genetic or
hormonal makeup. Leadership is a calling not a biological structure.
TRADITIONS OF THE PAST We
are reaping the traditions of our past–a past that so glorified the power of
male leadership--that we have never learned how to collaborate, co-operate, or
effectively negotiate with the leadership strength of our female counterparts.
In fact, the male ego internally defuses the recognition of any possible female
gifts of leadership. What segment of our society has been mostly affected by
this tradition and the lack of collaborative male-female leadership? It is the
home. It’s the home that rules the nations, not the man nor the woman–the
What is most frightening is that as recent
at June 1998, the Southern Baptist Southern Baptist Church felt the need to
amend their essential statement of beliefs to include the declaration that a
woman should "submit herself graciously" to her husband's leadership.
According to their newly elected president, the amendment was a response to
"a time of growing crisis in the family". Wow! Wouldn’t it have been
better for that same body to vote that males should learn how to better
negotiate with females, become partners with them, and how to truly love them?
WE NEED THEM BOTH Men,
if we want a better society with less violence, more productivity and growth,
then we must be willing to sit at the bargaining table with our females
counterparts and learn how to respect, appreciate, and value our differences.
Thus, creating a unifying and stabilizing force that can stem the tide of family
God designed it so that society,
community, and the home, cannot survive without male-female collaborative
leadership. During ancient Bible times when a man got married, he was not
allowed to go to war with the army for at least one year after the wedding
ceremony. He was to remain at home with his wife. Today, men are doing the
opposite. They are trying to get out of the home after marriage.
Our elementary schools are badly in need
of male leadership. Not as opposed to female leadership, but in collaboration
with it. Our boys are in crisis because the fathers are not in the home, neither
are they in church or school. The mother is then left to carry the load. This is
causing us to raise a society of angry, empty, and desperate males, whose
leadership skills are centered on armed machine guns, drug sale, sporty cars,
sexual escapades, and a pocket full of money.
Please dear readers, let’s not make our
forefathers’ mistake: Making our men feel that their task is to take over
leadership, and that if they fail to do so, then society will suffer. This is a
formula for a sick society. In today’s post-modern society, our task is to
teach our men to lead their own lives first, not the lives of others, and to
become productive, happy, well-balanced persons. Another important task today is
to teach our men to collaborate with female leaders. Thus, creating what I call
the "male-female collaborative leadership force." If we
continue to train our sons to believe that women are in competition with men and
that their style of leadership is not as effective, then we will continue to
have war and not peace.
Barrington Brennen is a marriage and family therapist and a
board certified clinical psychotherapist (USA). Email:
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 242 327 1980
or 305 767 4976 or 242 477 4002