I'm in the process of reading through Larry Crabb's excellent book Fully Alive: A Biblical Vision of Gender that Frees Men and Women to Live Beyond Stereotypes. This book is striking me much more deeply this time around than the last.
Beginning on page 133, there is section entitled "Relational Sin in Women." I was struck by the apparent truth of these few paragraphs (from my perspective as a man).
Feminine words from one woman draw another woman into noncompetitive rest that overcomes the second woman's need to display or protect herself. And a woman's feminine words arouse a man, not to use her for his own pleasure, but to move toward her as a woman of value and worth. He sees her and wants to know her.
But unfeminine words, words that are energized by a demand to be seen and known, create either relational distance or counterfeit intimacy (my underline). When one woman relates to another woman in the energy of control or defense, their two souls never connect. Competition, jealousy, snubs, and threats create distance. Some kindhearted woman might respond to the pull of a needy female friend and provide affirmation that creates the illusion of closeness, but in fact she only deepens fragile dependency.
Men respond to unfeminine words with irritable stiffness ("Will you stop trying to control me?"), stubborn retreat ("I don't want to talk about it!"), defensive challenge ("You might want to try accepting me once in a while."), or selfish exploitation ("C'mon, let's go to bed.").
It comes down to this: a woman's words will draw others to her or distance others from her. She will speak either with the feminine power of an openness that invites the best from another and embraces when it comes or with unfeminine power designed to protect herself from another through control that drives her from people.
I would like more men and women to read this book to understand the gendered nature of relational sin.