Richard Rohr writes,
“Do men approach spirituality differently than women, have different starting places and different symbols? My studied opinion is that we do have quite different entrance points, but nevertheless end up much the same, because the goal is identical — union, divine union, where we are being guided by One who is neither male nor female, but “all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28).
“Anthropologists suggest that the majority of male initiation rites were concerned with leading the young male on journeys of powerlessness, whereas female fertility and puberty rites had the exact opposite function: to sign the young girl with emblems of power and dignity. The rites gave them both what they needed to get started, but from opposite starting places. The male could not be trusted with power unless he had made journeys of powerlessness; the female would not even know she had power unless she was taught and encouraged to trust it.
“This could seem shocking, but read the four Gospels and note Jesus’ consistently distinctive attitude toward the two genders. He is invariably calling the woman upward: “Go your way; your faith has restored you to health!” (Luke 8:48) and “Neither do I condemn you” (John 8:11). To a woman who has just spoken “up” and “back” to Jesus, he says, “Woman you have great faith!” (Matthew 15:28).
Conversely, he is steadily calling the males downward…
Related: a coming title from Anglican theologian Sarah Coakley: God, Sexuality and the Self: An Essay on the Trinity