On the occasion of International Women's Day, which is celebrated all over the world on March 8th, we would like to talk about a serious lack of respect that is often shown towards women: proposing a deformed femininity, that is without its fruitfulness (meaning in a wider sense than the mere biological connotation) and its tenderness. An example? The "woman object" of advertisements...
Women as objects of pleasure in advertising
If it is true that there are no cases in which women are shown full of energy to spend on their loved ones, their children, their homes, their work, and their passions, the danger of seeing an "woman object" presented as a function of men’s pleasure and used (in the most petty sense of the term) for their sexual appeal to sell products, then it is also true that this outcome is always just around the corner.
Many advertisers shun the image of the mother, to show a "free" woman, without constraints, a "hedonist" woman, devoid of commitments and dreams: a woman closed off to life - or closed off to the other, not only to a potential child - who, while deluding herself that she is more fully herself, ends up becoming a victim of the logic of consumption.
But do we really want women to be painted this way?
It provokes a little sadness that on the day of 8th March, groups of heartfelt feminists align themselves with this vision more than the one they believe, yelling that with their bodies - perceived as an object, not as a part of the person, understood as a result of the perfect unity of mind-body-soul - they "can do what they want,” even if that means “selling it.”
March 8th, an opportunity to reflect on the profound meaning of femininity
Every year the anniversary of International Women's Day brings with it initiatives, celebrations, and slogans often full of claims.
They organize concerts and celebratory evenings, and the locals show up in droves. Florists and confectioners work almost as much as they do on Christmas day.
At the base of all these happenings, there should be the intent to remember and promote the dignity of a special creature - too often trampled over through the centuries and in different civilizations - in order to foster a greater recognition of her qualities and rights.
But is that, in fact, what happens?
The danger of exploiting and promoting "false rights"
Honoring women should imply encouraging a contemplative look at the beauty of femininity.
Unfortunately, however, that is not always the case: it happens - and not infrequently - that women become a brand to sell and it may also occur that the "rights" decanted in its favor are more in conformity with mere ideologies than with a real good. Some examples? The "right" to live sexuality in absolute "freedom,” regardless of its generative scope or the "right" to access pornographic content with the same ease of man.
We may be a bit old-fashioned, but we believe that the first right of every woman is to be loved: in a complete way, without lies and half-done agreements.
No competition with men: women are appreciated for their specificity
In addition, women are not in competition with men. They must not "overcome”; on the contrary, they must be able to remain themselves, benefiting from the same respect.
Instead of "forgetting” that they can create life, they have the right to be valued and admired for the miracle they are able to accomplish.
This does not mean that, for her to be a fully woman, she must necessarily bring children to life . There are innumerable ways in which a woman can be fruitful and give life. We think of the ability, totally female, to "bring someone into the world" thanks to her way of caring, consoling, and sharing, with a care more linked to her being than to the number of children she has.
A challenge for the media: to rediscover femininity
It is regrettable to see how, in many contexts, especially in the media - in the name of an emancipation that denies femininity instead of exalting it - women are deprived of this innate motherhood, as if amputating her were signs of progress.
So, advertisers, this year, on March 8th, we are launching you a challenge: to recover the authentic meaning of femininity. Cannot you represent a woman as a mother, perhaps without a child in her arms and not necessarily inside a house, cleaning and tidying?
How so? We leave the task of imagining it to your own creativity …