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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

In His Image

KFC had to apologize for their sexist ad. The ad had a young woman in a low-cut outfit using a nearby reflective car window to check herself out. The window rolls down and a mom with a couple of teenage boys are looking back from inside the car. Mom as not pleased; the boys are agape. Embarrassed, the woman recovers with, "Did someone say KFC?"

Never mind that the commercial is stupid. What does one have to do with the other? What did they tell me about KFC that would ... advertise KFC to me? Makes no sense. But the ruckus isn't over that. They're upset because it was a "regression to tired and archaic stereotypes where young women are sexually objectified for male pleasure." You see, in real life you don't find women with low-cut clothing displaying too much to all who look merely to get attention, nor do teenage boys actually care to look. What nonsense! See?

I don't. The mother was not pleased. She was not in "boys will be boys" mode. Beyond that, however, those who are outraged don't seem to realize that this is how it works. Women don't display as much flesh as is legal because it doesn't work that way. And, yet, so many seem surprised that guys look. Strange.

I also find the double standard disappointing, even if it's expected. Women are perfectly capable and even permitted to return the favor. They can objectify men for income, weight, "size," "sexual satisfaction ratings," manliness, dress, etc. Men must not (and they really must not) objectify women, but women are permitted, indulged, and applauded for doing it to men.

The world has a double standard these days between women and men. Where men once ruled, women are working hard to push them out. It's everywhere. Well, almost. In the early days of Christianity women flocked to the faith. Why? Some of it was simply because of the power of the Gospel, but on top of that the view of women in Christianity was radically different than that in their world. Women were diminished in the culture, but Christianity held them in high regard. In the Church they were respected, important, "joint heirs." They were deaconesses, hosted churches, and were commended by Apostles. They were so far propelled in the churches over their cultures that Paul had to ask them to tone it down (e.g., 1 Cor 14:34-35).

Scripture is clear. Men and women are made by God in His image (Gen 1:26-27). (I would argue that the language of that text implies that "in His image" includes "male and female," that the two as complementary (Gen 2:18) together form a more complete image of God than either one alone.) Our world seems to only be able to manage either "Men are supreme" or "Women are supreme" where God says, "I value both as My image bearers and you ought to do the same."

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