U.K. Bans Ads That Promote “Gender Stereotypes”
By Katherine Harrington, Contributing writer
This month the United Kingdom made good on their promise to remove “gender stereotyping” ads across the country. The goal of this ban? To remove unequal gender stereotypes so that men and women, boys and girls alike can feel like there’s a more “equal” and accurate representation. As 2019 continues to be the year of gender progressivism in the U.S. (gender-bending, removal of gender, queer, LGBTQ+ issues), across the pond the political correctness is becoming more and more totalitarian.
The ban states the following, “advertisements must not include gender stereotypes that are likely to cause harm, or serious or widespread offense.” The ban continues, “[ads] can’t show men or women “failing to achieve a task specifically because of their gender” and brings up the point of a female trying to park a car among other things. Interestingly enough, the ban doesn’t prohibit women and men performing stereotypical tasks that either gender would do, like a woman shopping or a man doing construction, which is actually self-contradicting.
The ban also fails to specifically outline what is considered to be gender stereotypes and doesn’t factor in the racial stereotypes which will possibly be removed or highlighted due to the ban. The ban’s lack of description and overall intention will lead to inevitable subjectivity on what is, in fact, a “gender stereotype.”
Advertising companies are out to sell the public a product, and the ban set by Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) will unquestionably construct a barrier for ads. In layman’s terms, companies want all the advantages that being a female or male entail without any of the negative flaws of either. They seek to reap the benefits without the work, and this is a toxic message which has been promoted in our culture for an extended period of time.
Last summer, Movieguide® reported about a series helmed by the British Broadcasting Channel (BBC) that hoped to promote that there would be “no more boys and girls” with an experiment conducted on children under the age of 10. Yet in 2017, The American College of Pediatricians stated that that gender ideology actually harms children.
The removal of gender stereotypes is the attempt in removing basic life structures which we are accustomed to and more importantly the structure that God put in place. Every person is born with either (a) two x chromosomes, in which case the person is female, or(b) both x and y chromosomes, in which case the person is male. There is no variation or gradation here. Moreover, there is no way to change a person’s genetic information. From birth to death, a person’s genetic information is fixed. It is carried by every cell in the person’s body.
Genesis reveals that God created gender with intentionality, “He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them “Mankind” when they were created” (Genesis 5:2 NIV).
This isn’t to say that men can’t be stay at home dads or women can’t be a CEO of a major company, but it does mean that God created men and women with separate functions, giftings, and abilities. In order to respect either gender, we must treat one another equally, but we also must not neglect that we all have flaws. No amount of gender removal can truly and conclusively end gender stereotypes.