More than a Dress-Up Doll

There was a lot of backlash after Sunday’s Super Bowl ads.  I admit that I didn’t pay much attention to most of the event, the game or the ads.  But the one commercial I saw disturbed me, and the ones I heard about the next day even more so.

Sometimes I feel like we women stand up on the rooftops of the world, screaming our lungs out, only to be drowned by the voices of so many people who think we’re just being bitchy.  I’ve had more than enough of the way that media exploits women.  From the ideal body to the ideal sex partner to the ideal career woman (attractive, able to balance it all, and not too “mannish”), we’ve been whored out to the public long enough.  And don’t even start on me about how it’s happening to men, too.  No, it’s not, at least not in the same way.

If I sound angry, it’s because I am.

There are dozens of ways in which we have been reduced to little more than elegant mannequins (or possibly blow-up dolls, to be a bit more crude).  A few points of comparison (and if you think I’m making this up, try using Google):

•Female nudity is played up for sexuality, male for humor:

•On film, full frontal female nudity earns only an R rating.  Any full exposure of male anatomy is an NC-17.

•Women’s bodies are used to sell just about everything.

•Half-clothed women are often seen in the company of fully dressed men.

Is it any wonder that we have trouble distinguishing between when a woman is being modest and when she isn’t?  We’re training ourselves to view women as objects, rather than people.  We’re continuing to allow women to be viewed as the property of men, available 24/7 for their enjoyment.

We’re not going to get anywhere when we talk about women in leadership (of any type) if we don’t get this problem under control.  Those of us in the church must first talk about the ways in which women are exploited before we can begin talking about purity, modesty, and the role of women in the church.  We can’t be silent on this as we have on so many other cultural issues.  Once again, we are being called on to stand up and be the church.

The degradation of women must stop.

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2 thoughts on “More than a Dress-Up Doll

  1. I think women are more exploited now than they were twenty, thirty years ago! Young women dont even know or understand how they are being exploited, they accept it. It is extremely saddening to me. I agree, women of the church could help young women regain their personal dignity and worth but where are the Godly men teaching their young daughters and sons to respect women and not allow these disgusting and immoral attitudes and activities to continue? Who but men keep the women and young girl trafficking going? Who own the beer companies, the fashion ad companies, the advertizing companies. why arent these ever held accountable? And why do we seldom boycott companies to show our outrage? It is time, I believe, how about you?

    • Absolutely. There are products I won’t buy because of the ads. Too often, it’s women who point these things out. In this case, I hadn’t actually seen the Teleflora ad, I learned of it from a (male) pastor on his blog. We need more church leaders to do what he did and take a stand; people will listen.

      I like to hope we’re doing a good job with our kids. I am thankful every day to be married to someone who has never, ever treated any woman like an object. It’s clear to me that he learned that growing up, from the good example his own father set–also a godly man who treats women respectfully. I have no doubt that our son will carry on that same tradition.

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