It calls men to something better than misogyny, bullying, sexual harassment, and the objectifying of women. It encourages men to use their strength and influence to protect the weak, to treat other human beings with dignity and value, and to hold one another accountable. It admits that not all men are bullies and misogynists, and it praises the virtuous acts of those doing the right things.
Nevertheless, the ad has generated a conflicted response from the public.
I hadn’t seen the ad. I wouldn’t have except the social media uproar prodding me to what all the to-do was about. I watched it. I loved it. (I love it with one exception: Gillette products are used to prevent beard growth, which is an abomination.)
I understand there are various reasons that people take issue with it: It attacks masculinity in general. It conflates “toxic masculinity” with all masculinity. It stereotypes all men.
I don’t see those things in the ad. I won’t address them.
There is one criticism that I want to address—namely, that Gilette is being opportunistic, seeking to build a customer base and make a quick buck by pandering to the social issues of the day. In other words, they are acting with insincere motives.
Several years ago, I went for a long walk in my wife’s hometown while staying there on vacation. As I looked down the sidewalk, I noticed a well-to-do looking woman walking toward me. As she reached the intersection a block ahead, she crossed the street. Then she continued to walk in the same direction. I assumed she lived on that side of the street. At the end of the block, I glanced back. Once past me, she crossed back to my side of the street and continued on her way.
I wondered for a moment at her action. Why had she crossed the street? There was no mud or broken sidewalk or dogs to avoid. Then it dawned on me—she crossed the street to avoid me.
I wondered at that for a moment. Why did this woman want to avoid me?
I’ve been looking for, noticing, celebrating, and writing about the place of women in the storyline of the Bible a lot this year.
Why is that?
In seeing and celebrating women in the storyline of the Bible, I’m not sliding down a slippery-slope of liberalism, about to careen off a cliff into goddess worship.
In seeing and celebrating women in the storyline of the Bible, I am attempting to climb the ladder of careful exegesis and Bible interpretation. I am recognizing the rungs that the Author put in place, and stepping accordingly.
Why should we notice and celebrate women in the storyline of Scripture? Where do you look when you’re expecting someone important? If you’re a child waiting for mom to come home, you look at the front door. You look toward the place from which you know they’ll first appear.
When God first proclaimed the Gospel, he promised deliverance through “the offspring of the woman” (Genesis 3:15). The deliverer will come through her. This promise encourages us to “Look for the offspring!” We read the Bible looking for the arrival of the Redeemer. We read expectantly, hoping each birth brings him. Because of that, this promise then teaches us to “watch the woman” as the storyline unfolds so that we see the Redeemer when he arrives.
Join me in noticing her in the text and celebrating what we see God doing through her (then and now).
The #MeToo movement has sparked some good conversations about the value and significance of women, a conversation that has moved into the church in helpful ways (#ChurchToo).
A friend’s tweet got me thinking about the significant role women play in the Bible’s storyline of redemption.
So, for my own benefit, I started jotting an off-the-cuff list of notable places women show up. I stopped at twenty.
I ended up posting it to Twitter as “Twenty observations of women in the storyline of redemptive history from Genesis to Revelation.” (I’ve updated this list to twenty-one observations. The new #4 was just too good to leave off!)