Are Women and Men from Different Planets?

by Liz Sykes | July 24, 2009

The whole thrust of this conference is the issue of gender (pink & blue?) What constitutes gender ? How much are we influenced by the culture around us and particularly the Christian culture ?

Tonight we had an excellent demonstration of the marketing of gender division through Christian bookstores. Jenell Paris who is an anthropologist as well as a wife and mother, very ably showed how gender stereotypes are projected through Christian marketing from as early as babyhood. Through a power point presentation she displayed the different books and novelty items for boys and girls right through to books on young adults and marriage. The images conveyed very direct messages about how girls and boys are presumed to be different and caused much laughter even though it is in reality such a serious subject with far - reaching consequences.  The overall thrust was that girls are portrayed as fluffy, pink, needing direction, prone to depression and generally not very strong. Boys on the other hand were encouraged to be strong, warrior types with exciting, adventurous lives. All this showed that there are strong gender messages being portrayed which are not only un-helpful but certainly not what God intended when he created people female and male in the beginning.

Maybe some readers have experiences of this kind of marketing in your country - please share it with us.