Complaints Claim “Real Men Provide” is Sexist Toward Women

A fascinatingly simple and pithy billboard in North Carolina has generated an unusual amount of attention and angst:

A billboard appeared last weekend on a highway connecting the city of Winston-Salem to Greensboro that reads, “Real men provide. Real women appreciate it.”

One woman is organizing a protest against the billboard, calling it insulting — but only insulting to women:

Molly Grace, a boutique owner in Winston-Salem, said she sees the sign as an attempt to silence women who want to be seen as equals to men.

It’s absolutely, absolutely insulting to single mothers, to women who have careers whether they are small careers or big careers,” Grace said…

We are protesting patriarchy and sexism, and that this antiquated way of thinking about women exists at all,” a post on the Facebook page reads. “We are protesting the implied demand that women be silent and appreciate, regardless of whatever circumstances, their role as non-providers.”

Lost, of course, is that Molly Grace’s own view is extraordinarily sexist: First, she’s offended at something the billboard doesn’t even say. The billboard does not say women can’t, don’t, or won’t “provide.” It does call for appreciation.  What’s wrong with a little appreciation?

Further, why is the ironically named Grace not complaining that the billboard belittles men who do not “provide” — something it does explicitly? That’s hypocritically sexist of her.

Men do need to provide for their families, and Grace would probably be hard pressed to find any wife who disagreed. The relationships between men and women — husbands and wives, more specifically — are stronger when the men who work to provide are appreciated by the women they love.

It takes a pretty jaundiced and jaded heart to find something evil in that statement.

Why is such basic decency objectionable?  It seems Molly Grace — the “human rights activist” with a “liberal mindset and outspoken attitude” — has revealed little more than how easily she is offended.

But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
1 Timothy 5:8 (ESV)