Trivializing Women

Image result for images of women in 1950s commercials

When I was a boy, our popular culture often depicted women as trivial creatures who couldn’t do much of anything and whose primary interests in life were clothing, hair, and gossip. Just search “women in 1950s commercials” and you’ll see what I mean.

If the media had to take notice of a woman who had actually done something, pains were always taken to argue that she was “still a lady, still daintily feminine,” still bedazzled by a new dress, even while she ran a business, made a scientific discovery, or wisely managed her household.

The overall impression I got, as a 10-year-old boy, was that women were, well, boring. But then I knew my mother and my grandmothers and my aunts were not at all boring, not trivial, not silly or anything like that. It made for some confusion.

I think we can all be happy that this isn’t done anymore. Except by the fashion industry, Hollywood, fantasy novelists, and feminists. And men, for that matter, are now trivialized, too. Except for when we’re demonized. Our popular culture has a lot not to recommend it.

Women are not trivialized in the Bible. And if we cannot see that the Biblical images of women are infinitely truer to life, as we ourselves live it, than anything slopped out to us by the advertising and entertainment industries, and by liberal politics, then our vision doesn’t amount to much. Think of Phebe, servant of the church at Cenchrea, and a deacon, who picked up Paul’s epistle in Corinth and delivered it to Rome. Think of literally hundreds of other examples.

And I would not be writing this, or anything else, but for my wife’s wisdom and diligence in managing our household–not to mention also having to manage Aunt Joan’s finances and paperwork, too. The work she does is staggering to behold.

Moral: The way they show it to us isn’t like it is.

If it were, the human race wouldn’t last another week.

(P.S.–I know “Phoebe” is normally spelled with an “o”, but I’m going with the spelling I find in my own King James Bible.)

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations. View all posts by leeduigon

5 responses to “Trivializing Women

  • UnKnowable

    The beauty of it is that men and women can work together beautifully and that, I believe, is the design intent of our Creator. That doesn’t mean that one is better than the other, smarter than the other etc. Also, it doesn’t mean that we can’t do many of the same activities. I’ve met women that flew airliners, played jazz piano and were carpenters.

    One women of my acquaintance lives for the weekend, when she can break out her carpentry tools and do the work she loves the most. During the week, she is a medical professional and exceptionally skilled in her field. I know, because I have been one of her patients. She can dress like a fashion model or dress like a carpenter and is quite fetching in either role.

    One of the big problems is found in Genesis 3:16

    To the woman he said,

    “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
    in pain you shall bring forth children.
    Your desire shall be contrary to your husband,
    but he shall rule over you.”

    Sadly, men have cruelly dominated women at times, but smart men quickly learn not to do so. Also, many men pressure women for sexual favors instead of seeking a lifelong, loving and mutually beneficial relationship. There’s no doubt that women have some very legitimate complaints, but these sources of complaint do not spring from Christianity, although there are churches that teach things which are not in the bible and, at times, these can be sources of poor treatment of women.

    But the point is well taken, Christ treated men and women respectfully, even though that was not the norm at the time. Christ valued the women whom followed and lived as disciples. He valued the Samaritan woman at the well, even though the general population of the time and place would have treated her as a pariah.

    Not all persons claiming to be Christian actually live up to the standards of Christianity. Not all churches that claim to be Christian live up the the standards of our Lord. No one should tar all claimed Christians with the same brush. Jesus was way ahead of the curve when it came to women’s rights.

    Like

    • leeduigon

      Yes, one still does stumble upon horror stories involving so-called churches and their mistreatment of women. Makes you wonder why the women don’t just get up and leave–and their husbands with them.

      But that’s Original Sin at work. It takes no time off.

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      • UnKnowable

        It’s all part of one continuum. Original sin is behind the struggle between the sexes, it’s the reason that angry, confused women pantomime aborting Jesus. Everything in this world is really screwed up and becoming worse by the millisecond.

        The conditions of the last few months have been unlike any I’ve ever seen. People of every stripe are sensing a change. No man knows the day or hour, but something is truly wrong. I’m seeing it all around me. The vendors I reply upon at work seem to be less reliable by the day. When I drive to and from work on the Interstate, being all but run off the road by someone going 90 or 100 MPH is becoming a daily experience.

        My point is this, people are freaked out. Those among us That lack a greater hope are anxious and desperate. I am seeing things in the news that are very reminiscent of the events predicted in the prophets. No one knows exactly how events will unfold, our source of information comes in the form of symbolism, so there’s plenty of room for interpretation. But Bible or not, some serious things are rapidly shaping up in the world and I prefer greatly to think in biblical terms, the alternative is frightful beyond words.

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  • Erlene

    Some interesting comments here. I remember so well living through the 1950’s and thinking what a bunch of drivel, when I know women and they are nothing like the womens’ magazines portray us. A little later, after reading Proberbs 31:10-31, I thought now this is the real woman. I know some men would still like to trivialize women, but they are the ones who are insecure. Real men appreciate real women and vise versa.

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  • UnKnowable

    I grew up exposed to some people that misused the scriptures to justify treating the women in their life as chattel. I quickly learned that women are every bit as smart, capable and tough as a man. They may be somewhat smaller in stature, but pound for pound they are probably stronger than most men.

    The thing is that God knew what He was doing when He created us male and female. We are meant to work together and cooperate, as brothers and sisters, as neighbors and as husbands and wives. I’ve been single for a long time and will be the first to acknowledge that it’s not good for a man to be alone. I have a good life in many ways, want for nothing, but I would probably benefit from the counterbalance of having a life partner.

    God’s stuff works and mankind’s stuff usually does not work as well. God’s way is for the man to leave his parents and the woman to leave her parents to become one for life. It’s not always easy, but the option of divorce was not in God’s original plans.

    Mankind has invented divorce without cause and the rate of divorce has become shocking. As a result, there are many broken homes, many children living with one parent and visiting the other on weekends, etc. etc. Because mankind tolerates and even promotes fornication, many divorcees avoid commitment for the rest of their lives and have a string of friends with benefits relationships.

    This misses something important, because it’s the emotional framework of a lifelong relationship which brings satisfaction to our lives. Many men have mistreated their wives, and some wives have been unkind to their husbands, but that it not God’s way and it can’t promote happiness.

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