Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Birth Control Commercials

Have you ever noticed how Birth Control Commercials are drenched in selfishness?

I'm literally sad when I watch them.

You know, I can conceive of a woman who uses birth control without understanding the extent of her choice. I do not automatically accuse that woman of selfishness. However, those commercials express and present birth control in a very selfish light.

The way that the commercials present children as desirable only when convenient is a selfish presentation. There are several commercials that go from "I don't want a kid a right now" to "Maybe I don't want to wait" and back to "On second thought, not now." All the while, showing scenes of child doing something well-behaved and cute alternated (in pace with the changing thoughts) with scenes of them causing some kind of mischief.

It's all about how the woman feels in the moment; it is not at all about the value of new human life. It places great weight on the importance of a woman's fleeting desires.

The child is presented as wanted and worthwhile only under certain circumstances. This is a far cry from the unconditional love a child deserves.

Perhaps you think that I'm over reacting.

Here's the thing though. The decision to have children should not be made based on convenience. Having a baby is not convenient. Raising a child is not convenient. Nurturing a family is not convenient. In fact, these are beautifully complicated and chaotic things. At times they are decidedly inconvenient.

But the thing about babies and children is that the gift that they are is to be celebrated even when they flushed your new watch down the toilet again right after they poured syrup all over the living room carpet. They are a blessing that perfect those around them. They teach to us to love by demanding that we hold on to less and less of our own selfishness as we learn to give more and more of the love we receive.

This is not something that women with the birth control commercial mentality understand. In fact, I'm sure that there are moments when the holiest mothers in the world struggle to hold on to that vision. The difference is that some women choose it anyway.

Those are the joyful women. Those are the women I strive to be most like.

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