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This Nike Ad Seems To Say That In Order To Be Accepted, Women Need To Be Achievers

Posted: July 8, 2021

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The ad sends a powerful message about valuing women as they’re capable of incredible achievements, but this also implies that a girl/woman has no integral value for simply being herself.

A Nike ad went up recently in Japan, and at face value it appears to be quite optimistic and appreciative of the girl child. But it comes across as hypocritical. The ad glorifies achievers and says that a girl can become such and such, while also showing expectant parents distressed until they have the baby in their arms.

I agree that the primary objective of the ad is to deliver a powerful message to value women since they are capable of incredible accomplishments, but this by default says that a girl/woman has no integral value of merely being herself, and needs to accomplish something extraordinary in order to be accepted, to even be allowed to be born.

But why an ad made in Japan?

Why are we talking of an ad made in Japan, you may ask. For all its advancements as a mover and shaker globally, Japanese society is just as patriarchal as ours, with all the issues of discrimination and gender based violence.

This ad is thus representative of what Indian society may think as well. In the recent past we’ve been asked to “value the girl child because she can also get us Olympic medals”.

Value a girl child for herself

Female foeticide is the direct product of a gender-biased social institution that devalues women and considers them as intrinsically lesser than men. A girl child needs the right to be born just because she is an individual in her own right,, not because we have expectations from her to be successful one day.

We don’t expect this ‘extra’ from a male child nor give a second thought about their possible future achievements to value them. But the possibility of a girl child immediately creates a fear of burden on society and to validate her existence, she certainly gets associated with the value and accomplishments in order to be accepted

And this begins at home, so welcome your girl child

Although there have been significant advancements in different areas of the globe, the problems of gender inequalities still remain to be addressed. While I appreciate Nike’s ad for the portrayal of possibilities for women, it significantly needs to address not attaching the achievements to them to validate their existence.

Equality between men and women starts at home, and families need to take the lead. For the next generation, parents, foster parents and the extended family should take the initiative at home to shape their thinking about gender and equality.

Image source: pixabay

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