[The title is a Goon Show quote. Explanation at the end of the post]
I showed this cartoon when I did my live gig last week and as soon as I put it up it got an ‘Oooo’ from the audience. Now, I don’t get a lot of ‘Oooos’ normally, so I didn’t quite know what to make of it. It could mean that the cartoon is a bit sexist, it could mean that the 200 clergy had all had run-ins with ladies groups, or it could mean that the crowd were just hyped up and ready to go ‘Oooo’.
I have since been considering the ways in which churches sometimes hold activities that segregate people into their different sexes. Ladies luncheons, mens beer groups, ladies breakfasts, the ‘young chaps circle’, that sort of thing. I have to say I’m not a great fan of segregation by sex. I’d rather everyone just mingled in together.
I’m wondering whether it is more of an Evangelical thing to do, or whether churches of all kinds segregate people at various times. Certainly in my Evangelical upbringing we were partially segregated for Sunday school and youth groups.
It would be interesting to hear your experiences. Does your church run groups that are just for men or just for women? If so is it an evangelical church, or some other sort? Are you in favour of different groups for men and women, or are you, like me, a minglist (one who believes in mingling). Don’t just become a minglist on my account though, as my views are notoriously ill thought through.
[I’m not sure whether minglist should have an ‘e’ in it. Minglist. Mingleist. Hmmm.]
[As an unrelated aside, here is the Goon Show quote that I mentioned above.
Seagoon: … And now, segregate the sinful sexes-
Sellers: Wait! How many sexes are there?
Sellers:It’s not enough I say, go out and order some more.
It is taken from Tales of Old Dartmoor.]