10 August, 2009

Pink and Blue

Women, throughout history and throughout Christian history have had it rough. If you think they haven't, take a minute to check out, "Women's Work," one of the most deeply moving videos I've ever seen. I link to it every year or so, and keep a copy on my desktop just in case it's ever not there when I go back. I've never watched it without tears.

The video does an interesting thing. It shows women. It doesn't show women "being" anything. It just shows women. Most of them are happy. Some are lost in thought. All of them are beautiful. A few of them are beautiful in ways of which Mark Driscoll and cosmetic ads would approve, but all of them are letting themselves shine through unguardedly, just as God created them. They're beautiful.

I believe beauty's important, and I believe egalitarians are in danger of mislaying the purpose of beauty in our quest for equality. We've started talking about gender-neutrality where gender-equality is the goal.

I offer this link not as an egregious example of some horrible mistake, but just as the little thing that made me sit down and write. CBE asks, "Are Men and Women from Different Planets?"

Evidently, at a recent conference one of the speakers wowed the crowd by showing how Christian bookstores are marketing differently to boys and girls. The impression I received from the article was both that the marketing portrayed girls as inferior and that marketing differently to boys and girls was in itself wrong. I left some comments to that effect, and was courteously received. My point was that girls wear pink and boys wear blue because of cultural conditioning. Commenters countered that girls wear pink and boys wear blue because of socializations.

That amused me.

I and my esteemed sisters at CBE agree that pink and blue are socializations. We disagree when they believe they are awful socializations while I believe they are wonderful socializations. I support pink and blue. I support pink and blue even as I oppose the abuse women have suffered over the centuries and continue to suffer over the last 25 years I've been paying attention to the issue.

The video above shows beautiful women, in all their individual and unique expressions of beauty. My question to my sisters in the struggle for equality is who doesn't want the bride of Christ to be beautiful? Christ, Solomon, and Paul certainly do. Beauty is a distinctly feminine thing, and a distinctly desirable thing in the bride of Christ. Why, in order to have equality, do we have to call femininity into question? What power is stripped from a woman because she is feminine?

Does a woman who is culturally feminine have to be irrational? Does she have to be less competitive or goal-oriented? Then let's fix the culture, but history and experience give plenty of examples of feminine women who were rational and effective. American advertisers falsely tell us femininity is a matter of appearance, but why does the egalitarian church agree by becoming unfeminine, gender-neutral?

When the culture says a Barbie figure and $200 hair are the defining characteristics of femininity, why do we flee into the arms of political correctness? Why do we answer their lies with "gender-neutral" toys and games? God did not create us gender-neutral, and He goes out of His way to emphasize His own assessment of the desirability of the feminine.

Gender-neutral is a path to nowhere, and I'll rejoice when the good folk earnestly pursuing gender-equality abandon it.

4 comments:

Milly said...

Ok I’m sick of equal. I just want to be me and I want you to be you. My daughter is vivacious
My son is analytical
We all find laughter in our day and thank God that we are different
I’m sassy nice to meet you

Lynne said...

well .. I won't confuse the issue by pointing out that my favourite colour is purple!! :)

But I agree. I am fond of saying that I don't have to be some sort of pseudo-male to be as-good-as. I can be a woman (whatever that looks like as the unique person God made me) and still have something to contribute on every level. I believe that male and female were meant to work together, side by side, in every sphere of life in order to operate fully as the new creation.

DugALug said...

Ken,

Great stuff. Both my daughters love blue (And both of their rooms are blue)... and they are all-girl.

Before I had kids of my own, I believed that a lot of things were dictated by society (like playing with dolls and loving clothes and jewelry). After observing both of my girls, I am convinced that girls naturally gravitate to things like with, with no prompting from culture.

I am not saying that there is anything wrong with not gravitating to these types of things, but to deny that this does occur is really ludicrous.

We raise our girls to believe that they have unlimited options. If they want to be president of the USA, that is still on the table. I believe that both of my girls will be great in whatever they choose to do and I wont let our stupid society crush their determination.

Our girls love beauty, but they also love substance. You hit it on the head when you say we live in a time where beauty is shunned. But we emphasize to them that it is the feet of those who bring good news that God finds oh-so-captivating.

God Bless
Doug

DugALug said...

Kevin,

Did I actually write 'Ken' in all my posts. ROFL... this shows you exactly what sleep deprivation does to you.

Love you brother. Thanks for your patience.

God Bless
Doug