I had a shocking moment recently when I was watching a commercial made by the Canadian Women’s Foundation which shows a baby shower and a woman giving a gift of a rape whistle to the mother-to-be. The statistic of 2 out of 3 women being sexually assaulted or raped is then displayed. Everyone at the baby shower stops laughing and having a good time and the mother to be looks baffled and upset.
I was shocked that the underlying message of the commercial was to stop celebrating having a baby girl because she is likely to end up a victim. Heaven help us if we ever stop celebrating having baby girls.
In Judaism we are awakening to the celebration of baby girls and adolescent girls with baby naming ceremonies and meaningful Bat Mitzvah ceremonies. We are watching traditions being created around women re-owning Mikveh and pre-marriage celebrations. What a shock to see my Canadian media portraying anything that would question the celebration of a baby girl.
I don’t often feel the disconnect between my secular and religious worlds as I did at that moment. I spoke about this on my video blog since it really stuck with me. Hopefully we’re seeing a the effects of a bad marketing decision with the commercial and not a new cultural trend.