Maybe things are different at your church (and I'd be interested in hearing how), but the most I've seen at any church I've ever attended were monthly men's prayer breakfasts. Why this odd segregation?
Since I haven't participated in many "women's Bible studies," I can only speculate, but I'm pretty sure men aren't barred from them because of intimate female-only discussions (like sex-segregated health classes). We just got done with a more-than-mildly embarrassing sequence of messages about sex, and they didn't have us sit in different sanctuaries or put up a wall between us like in the temples of yore. Since there's no logical reason to segregate, it feels more like that girls club/boys club separation thing. I'm just not sure that's what it should be.
Why haven't I participated? Well, some excuses/explanations that come to mind are as follows:
- 1) Most of the studies don't interest me since they aren't really about the Bible so much as about books that talk about stuff that's in the Bible in practical and applicable ways for the average, modern woman and her peers.
- 1a) I am not the average, modern woman or her peers.
- 2) There has to be a good reason for me to subject myself to the company of others during my free time.
- 2a) I would either want to be learning some really great stuff from a gifted teacher or interacting with a lot of interesting folks who would discuss deeply and challenge me intellectually.
- 2b) I don't get on well with most women. I am very different from them, and bridging that gap results in me donning a mask and/or exhausting myself beyond my limited capacities right now.
- 3) I don't understand the gender-segregation thing. I'd rather hear a slew of perspectives from everywhere on the age, life-stage, experience, and gender range. If the boys aren't allowed to play, too, then I don't want to, either.