Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Re-Branding "Women"? Another stupid idea takes hold

In the course of a day, I read some stupid stuff.  I read a lot of inspiring stuff, a lot of uplifting stuff, a lot of  mundane stuff.  But there is plenty of stupid stuff out there.

Today I read this:  Ads To Rebrand Girls

Yeah, apparently, we females aren't good enough on our own.  Major parts of the world  want to get rid of us before we're even born, and now even Americans are 'fessing up to the fact that they'd prefer a boy.  Fast Company thus asked some ad companies to give us - the fairer, weaker, less-wanted sex - a boost.  And the results are horrifying.  Click the link above to see for yourself.

Apparently, you should want a girl because she's funny and high-performing.  We live longer, so perhaps we'll be able to support you in your old age.  We're not very strong, but we are unique. Also, we don't tend to set things on fire. So there.  Have a girl;  they are a great "brand" of human.

What a bunch of hooey.  Hooey, I say.  All this does is make it - once more - a "one gender is inherently better than the other" argument.  And guess what?  One gender is NOT better than the other.  Different:  yes.  Better:  no.

Blessed John Paul the Great, in 1995, addressed this very topic (and trust me, his treatment is so much easier to swallow than those stupid ads referenced above).  He actually got to the heart of the matter: 


The Book of Genesis speaks of creation in summary fashion, in language which is poetic and symbolic, yet profoundly true: "God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them" (Gen 1:27). The creative act of God takes place according to a precise plan. First of all, we are told that the human being is created "in the image and likeness of God" (cf. Gen 1:26). This expression immediately makes clear what is distinct about the human being with regard to the rest of creation.

We are then told that, from the very beginning, man has been created "male and female" (Gen 1:27). Scripture itself provides the interpretation of this fact: even though man is surrounded by the innumerable creatures of the created world, he realizes that he is alone (cf. Gen 2:20). God intervenes in order to help him escape from this situation of solitude: "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him" (Gen 2:18). The creation of woman is thus marked from the outset by the principle of help: a help which is not one-sided but mutual. Woman complements man, just as man complements woman: men and women are complementary. Womanhood expresses the "human" as much as manhood does, but in a different and complementary way. (emphasis mine)

When the Book of Genesis speaks of "help", it is not referring merely to acting, but also to being. Womanhood and manhood are complementary not only from the physical and psychological points of view, but also from the ontological. It is only through the duality of the "masculine" and the "feminine" that the "human" finds full realization.

You see, "woman" doesn't make sense without "man".  There is a uniqueness and a complementarity that both express, but are made manifest wholly only with the other.

And the genius of women does NOT come at the detriment of men, or vice versa:

Necessary emphasis should be placed on the "genius of women", not only by considering great and famous women of the past or present, but also those ordinary women who reveal the gift of their womanhood by placing themselves at the service of others in their everyday lives. For in giving themselves to others each day women fulfill their deepest vocation. Perhaps more than men, women acknowledge the person, because they see persons with their hearts. They see them independently of various ideological or political systems. They see others in their greatness and limitations; they try to go out to them and help them. In this way the basic plan of the Creator takes flesh in the history of humanity and there is constantly revealed, in the variety of vocations, that beauty-not merely physical, but above all spiritual-which God bestowed from the very beginning on all, and in a particular way on women.

You know what's great about girls?  God made 'em.  And God made boys, so they are great too.  One gender is not a better "brand" than the other:  iPhone vs. Android,, Coke vs. Pepsi, Gucci vs. Chanel, Zelda vs. World of Warcraft.  Each gender is genius - made in the image and likeness of God, both meant to be celebrated, enjoyed, and encouraged to live to our fullest human potential.  Parents should treasure a boy OR a girl, love, play with, read to, discover, relate to, encounter, discipline and rejoice over each child, in HIS or HER singular expression of God's epitome of personhood and personality in the world.  A clear view of God's creation makes this definitive and certain.

We don't need an ad campaign to do that.

1 comment:

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