Let’s just get it out there. I’m 100% pro-choice. Meaning I do not believe Roe v. Wade should be overturned and I think abortion should be legal. I’m 100% pro-life. Meaning I believe that life begins at conception and is a precious and intentional act of God.
I take static from both sides of the Pro-Choice/Pro-Life campaigns. I’ve been told by Pro-Lifers that I’m not “voting my conscience” and I’ve let my Christianity become secularized (at best – I had one person call me a eugenicist.) Pro-Choicers vilify me because I am in favor of educating women about the nature of the fetus and responsible procreation. I don’t see anything wrong with having reproductive choice and responsibility. I also don’t see anything wrong with being Christian and not wanting to legislate my religion on others.
C’est la vie. I find it much more disturbing that abortion becomes this polarizing topic that people expend all their passion arguing while other issues are ignored. For example, this recent brouhaha about a 30 second Super Bowl Ad.
Focus on the Family paid CBS to air an ad during this Sunday’s Super Bowl game featuring Heisman Trophy winner, Tim Tebow, and his mother sharing their personal pro-life story. Focus on the Family certainly espouses some views I find heinous but all reports point to this commercial being very uplifting and mild as political ads go. No pictures of dead babies and picketing with signs scrawled with “murderer.”
Nonetheless, the National Organization of Women (NOW) and other feminist groups have called for CBS to cancel the ad. I’m certainly no fan of CBS. They have repeatedly denied ads for other groups with social messages and have accepted the Tebow ad because it was “responsibly produced“(?). I don’t think any of us should assume that the Super Bowl commercials will be a fairly distributed and balanced look at American social life.
And here is the crux of my problem: People everywhere – Pro-Lifers, Pro-Choicers, Feminists, Christians, Network Execs, and Sports personalities are expending tons of energy arguing about the appropriateness of this one commercial while it will no doubt be sandwiched between something far more sinister. Case in point, previous years’ Super Bowls had the following ads:
So, an ugly woman needs a gimmick to make men notice her, which of course she does and of course the men treat her like an object.
The Go Daddy Girl? Really?
This commercial is not only degrading to women but offensive to a slew of minorities.
Focus on the Family’s Tebow ad will at its worse spark debate because it is overt in its purpose. The half-naked woman selling a product in the commercial before it is much more insidious because it is covert. It adds to the subtle and systemic culture of misogyny. It will spark subconscious disrespect for women and cause a new generation of girls to have self esteem so low it leads to anorexia, bulimia, dangerous cosmetic surgery, years of therapy bills and drug abuse. While boys learn that women are objects – collections of body parts to be oogled.
NOW missed the boat*. Tebow and Focus on the Family win this round of the abortion merry-go-round. Unfortunately it is all of us and our children that really lose.
*Planned Parenthood did a better job with this nice rebuttal video.