Media, Commercials, and the Super Bowl: Women are objects to be objectified, marketed, and packaged for consumption.

I don’t want to be about censorship but at some point, some things deserve to be thrown in the garbage.  Commercials that exploit and objectify women aren’t only offensive and disgusting…but they’re dangerous.

First, some background:

Who watched the Super Bowl? Perhaps, a better question might be: “Who didn’t watch the Super Bowl?”

In 2011, the game drew the largest audience ever in history:

Last year’s Super Bowl drew the largest audience in American television history, averaging 111 million viewers. All total, 163 million people watched at least part of the game. That’s more than half of the population.

Yesterday’s game likely drew about 120 111.3 million viewers. This – in part – explains why the cost of a 30 second commercial was set at $3.5 million dollars.

Wow.

And while there were some good, funny, witty, and brilliant commercials, there were (and have been for some time) a growing number of commercials that are just downright offensive.  It’s not new but each year, they seem to be getting worse and worse – so much that the commercials are the things I least look forward to. After noticing couple of those commercials, I couldn’t help but send this tweet to Go Daddy:

Dear @GoDaddy: Your objectification and exploitation of women disgust me. #HopeAnElephantStompsAllOverYourServers Continue reading “Media, Commercials, and the Super Bowl: Women are objects to be objectified, marketed, and packaged for consumption.”

The dangers of being a woman, media, and our complicity.

I know folks use the phrase “must watch” video very loosely

but umm…

This is a must watch video.

Yes, it’s 8 minutes long (for RSS readers, click here), but it’ll likely be some of the best used 8 minutes of this month. I’ll refrain from saying the best used 8 minutes of your life (and it’s only a trailer) because that would be sad if watching a video is the highlight of your life.

The video, entitled Miss Representation, is about the gender inequity in this country – shaped largely by the media. The point is very simple:

It is dangerous to be a woman in our society.

Or to put it more bluntly from my male perspective: I thank God that I am a man and not a woman. 

Regarding the media, it’s easy to vilify the media (and because they deserve it!)  but when we’re such easy consumers and mindless pushovers, we need to really do a deep self-examination. For example:

Americans watch an average 31 hours of TV in a week, listen to 17 hours of music, and have 3 hours dedicated to movies =

an average of 10.45 hours a day of media influence

We have to self-monitor ourselves because let’s be honest, the media (in all of its forms) aren’t particularly invested in the development and beauty of our human souls. Granted, they have an agenda, too, and it’s not “spiritual formation.” I’m often reminded of this quote (granted from a larger context) from Michael Eisner, CEO of Disney:

“We have no obligation to make art. We have no obligation to make history. We have no obligation to make a statement. We are here to make money.”

Boom.

If you didn’t know, now you know…

As I’ve contended before on my blog, the treatment of women is the oldest injustice in human history. It’s so old and so taken for granted, that we don’t quite understand what’s at stake – not just for women, but really, for all of us. In more nuanced and simultaneously graphic ways, women are objects to be objectified and marketed and packaged for consumption. And these messages start early and often Continue reading “The dangers of being a woman, media, and our complicity.”

Thank God that I am a man and not a woman.

It’s likely that some of you will take offense at the title of this post. But if you read through the post, it’ll certainly make more sense in the larger context. But for what it’s worth, I was intending to entitle this post, “Fortunate to Have a P*nis” and maybe I should have but ultimately, I just didn’t want to receive too many rebukes and tense emails. Seriously, who wants emails about genitals?

Seriously, it’s not my intent to be sensational or even controversial but simply to make an important point.

So, what is my point?

I am fortunate to be a man.

Or to put it in other words, I’m fortunate to have a p*nis.

As I recently preached at my church or in another blogpost about the silence of women in the Church, there’s great privilege and power in simply being a man. This is why I contend that the treatment of women is the oldest injustice in human history. We can talk equality and equity all day long and while we can acknowledge how far we’ve come, we still clearly live – even in 2011 – where there’s great advantage in simply being a man.

How fortunate?

Consider this statistic from UNICEF and UN:

Women give birth to 100% of the human population. In addition, women do about 66% of the world’s work, produce 50% of the world’s food, but earn 10% of the world’s income & only own less than 1% of the world’s property. [You can also read more about these statistics from The Global Poverty Project.] Continue reading “Thank God that I am a man and not a woman.”

The oldest injustice in human history is the way we treat women.

Couple years ago, I read and saw this video and it tore me up. While perhaps this case and this girl’s situation may be extreme, the mistreatment and abuse of girls and women are nevertheless still common. It is and continues to be the “oldest injustice in human history.”

Don’t turn away. Read this article and watch this video:

Nicholas Kristof/NY Times

In every culture and in every part of the world, this injustice is present.  What is the oldest injustice in the world?

It is the way that “we” view, treat, and oppress women.

It would be erroneous for me to say that Asian culture is entirely proned to be against women but I can share my personal experience that as a young Korean man, I was influenced – partly through the Confucian culture and worldview that women were born to serve their fathers as young girls, their husbands when they got married, and their grown sons when they were older mothers.  Their lives and purpose – in part –  revolved around men.

I know that others may not have had similar experiences but for me, as a person of the Christian faith, I learned – in bits and pieces (both in subtle and occasionally in direct ways) that women should be our “partners.” They should be quiet, submissive and know their place.  Obey and honor their fathers, love and submit to their husbands, and raise godly sons and daughters.

Why didn’t I learn that women and men are both created in the beautiful image of God?  Why didn’t I learn that while we have different roles, we are also created equal in the image of God?  Why didn’t I learn that through Christ, women and men can do all things through Him who gives strength and grace.

I still remember this email that I received from a congregant couple years ago after a sermon I gave at Quest regarding women:

But at one point today, you said, “Women, you were created equal to men in the image of God.” I mainly write because I don’t know if you realize how powerful that statement was. I don’t know if you realized what it would feel like to hear that statement coming from a man — what it would mean to me, and possibly to other individual women and men. You didn’t even say it to me individually…I have never been told by a man, Christian or not, that I am equal to him. I have never been told by a man that I am equal to him. And equal in that we are both created in the image of God…I cried all the way home. How is it that I’ve never been told by a male person that I am equal to him? That I am equally beautiful and broken? That we are both created in the image of God?

…Women are deeply wounded by living in this world, and wounded that men don’t fight for us. Instead, they fight to rule us, and we…sometimes we fight, but most of the time we believe them when they tell us we aren’t worth our weight (sometimes taken literally). Today I felt like a man was fighting for me, not because I can’t fight for myself, but because he recognized the wrongs in a world and a Church that have benefited him unfairly.

So, I ask you a simple question for dialogue:

Why is it that women – across cultures, religion, and history – are oppressed? Continue reading “The oldest injustice in human history is the way we treat women.”

10 Reasons Why Men Should Not be Ordained for Ministry.

In light of some recent intense posts – Ultimate Fighting Jesus and The Oldest Injustice in Human History is the Way We Treat Women, this list is too funny not to sure.

But then again, the whole conversation about gender is also utterly not funny. Double negative, anyone?

The brutal fact is that the matter of gender violence is all too much of a reality for many around the world. Statistics about gender inequality via UN and UNICEF are even more discouraging.

Regardless where you sit, stand, or wrestle with the issue of women in church leadership, I thought this satirical list was worth sharing for both laughter and even reflection because that’s what good satire forces us to do.  And for what it’s worth, I’d encourage you to read some of my thoughts about why I believe  women should be included in all levels of church leadership.

Here are…

10 reasons Why Men Should Not Be Ordained For Ministry.

I’m personally very convicted about #5 – I am sorry for being such a stumbling block.  🙂

10. A man’s place is in the army. Continue reading “10 Reasons Why Men Should Not be Ordained for Ministry.”