Gender Lessons from a Happy Meal
In December of 2014, The Guardian (a British national daily newspaper) published an article regarding the push for “No Gender December.” This initiative was to address how toys were being marketed to children and how “children shouldn’t have to conform to gender stereotypes.
This month, the editors of the Swedish Academy have announced that the official dictionary of the Swedish language will introduce a new gender-neutral pronoun. The word “hen” will be added to “han” (he) and “hon” (she). This new pronoun will be used to refer to a person whose gender is either unknown, transgender, or for the person deeming that their gender is of no importance. This new edition of the Swedish dictionary will be released on April 15th.
Recently, an article came out addressing the rise in the number of children who are choosing to become transgender. Camille is six years old and loves to paint her fingernails, play with Barbie dolls, and sing along to Disney’s Frozen. However, Camille was born a boy and named Sebastian. Camille is one of a growing number of children who claim to have gender dysphoria – this is the belief that there is a mismatch between a person’s biological sex and their gender identity.
What do all of these stories have in common?
Ultimately, they each refuse to acknowledge that people are created in the image of God and that God is the author of gender. Instead, they believe that gender is self-determined and changeable. Recently a visit to McDonalds reminded me of this simply truth. Today, you can go to any McDonald’s and when ordering a children’s happy meal, you will be asked is this for a boy or girl. When observing the two happy meal toy options, there are clear distinctions between each of them. I couldn’t help but think how ironic it was that a McDonald’s acknowledges gender differences but society doesn’t.
Every person has been created uniquely in the image of God. Part of being created in God’s image is to have gender distinction. Genesis 1:27 shows that God created both male and female in His image. Because of the Fall in Genesis 3, God’s image within man has been greatly marred. Therefore, Paul explains that salvation is the process of believers becoming more like Christ. Romans 8 says that the goal of salvation is to be conformed and transformed into the image of Christ (Romans 8:28-30).
Ladies, the way that we fulfill our calling to reflect the image of Christ is to strive to accomplish the responsibilities to which we have been called as women. As we are conformed to Christ we fulfill what it means to be a woman created in the image of God.