Ladies, if you haven’t heard the news your waiting is over. Bic has, at last, released a pen just for us.
Yes, you’ve been using man pens all these years. How embarrassing.
In case you missed it, here’s Ellen’s review of the new pens.
Fortunately you men, don’t have to put up with women candles anymore. There’s ‘man candles’ now.
And if you’ve noticed the recent Christmas huggies ads, little boys and little girls are now clear on who’s who. Elf nappies are apparently masculine whereas reindeer nappies are feminine.
It’s a pretty simple trick for marketers. To set your product apart, just add gender. Consumers love to feel like a ‘real’ man or ‘real’ woman, and this way you can probably sell twice as many.
I get a little irritated by the assumption that as a woman, I should like this and that (sleek pens, woman candles and reindeer), but I’m more amused by it than offended. There’s a whole pintrest page dedicated to Pointlessly Gendered Products – enjoy!
But when it comes to gendering the Bible I get really worried. Walk into Koorong and you’ll see the pink floral ‘women of faith/grace and hope/his Princess/captivating kittens devotional Bible’ and the khaki ‘NIV MANual Bible for Men.’
Even this isn’t too bad either. Calling the Bible a ‘manual’ is probably more problematic than the need to package it as uber masculine. The gendered Bibles possibly suggest that men and women are so different that they relate to God differently and that they find different things important in the Bible so need their Bibles packaged differently.
More likely though is that it just indicates that Christian consumers are a little anxious about their masculinity or femininity and shop accordingly.
But these two really alarmed me.
In ‘Bible Stories for Girls’ and ‘Bible Stories for Boys’, it’s not just the packaging of the Bible that differs according to gender, but it’s the content too. There are different stories for boys than for girls.
Not only does this suggest that God reveals himself differently to men and women, but that he actually has a different revelation for men and women, a different message. It suggests that parts of the Bible is for men other parts are for women. Ultimately it suggests A girl gospel and a boy gospel.
Finding meaning and identity gender is fine, if that’s what you’re into. It’s fine to buy and enjoy gendered products. What’s not ok is putting gender before our identity in Christ or suggesting that God relates differently to women and men. The whole Bible is for all of us, the whole gospel is for all of us. Through the Gospel of Jesus, we are all children of God, there is neither male or female, we are all one in Jesus.