Through some helpful commentary from my sisters in gospel ministry, I have been made more aware of how male-dominated and chauvinistic our society is. Whether a suggestive ad or a completely distorted picture of femininity, I am becoming more sensitive as to how difficult it is to be a secure, God-fearing woman in our society. I thought I’d illustrate this by putting a humorous artifact from our culture on display – the Bic Pen for Her. The Huffington Post, ABC News, and NBC News reported on the hilarious backlash that this little pen is drawing on Amazon. This also demonstrates the incredible wiki-power of social media, but that’s for another post. Here’s how Amazon described the pen:
I love it – ‘elegant design – just for her!’ ‘thin barrel to fit a women’s hand’. But even better, are the reviews of this pen.
And a couple others for good measure…
In all seriousness, this strikes a chord in me as a male pastor serving alongside many women in our churches. I am a firm complementarian, but I see that as more reason why I need to pay attention and exert more effort to serve my sisters by helping them to identify and empowering them to use their gifts. I know too many like-minded brothers in ministry who are complementarian in doctrine and chauvinistic in practice. If we believe that men and women have distinct and important roles in the church and home, and each are uniquely gifted with the same gifts by the same Spirit, shouldn’t it follow that we do whatever it takes to help both genders use their gifts in obedience? In the same vein, isn’t it more imperative that church leaders pay special attention to empowering women to serve given our culture’s tendency to marginalize women by stereotyping their femininity? Granted, we could make the same argument for men, but I wonder if it’s a bit more one-sided than most of us guys would like to admit.
It’s little cultural artifacts like the BIC pen for her that remind me how far our society has to go, and even moreso, how much our church culture could and should pave the way in demonstrating true masculinity and femininity in all of its complementary functions for the glory of God.