One of the odd things about moving from being a hospital based nurse to being a Carthusian monk to being a hospital nurse again is the gender mix. From an overwhelmingly female environment to an exclusively male one back to an overwhelmingly female one. Apart from noting that men and women are not the same as each other is there anything more profound to be said about it all? I did see something of a group dynamic thing. In the monastery certain roles normally fulfilled by women are not left vacant but filled by men instead. That is to do with a willingness to expose personal vulnerabilities. Usually men will be reluctant to express fears or desires in a group situation but are secretly glad when women do it for them. In the absence of women you might expect these things to be unmentioned but apparently really felt needs are more important than maintaing a macho front. Conversely in more or less female only settings women are less inhibited about appearing decisive, assertive and willing to lead. Interesting.