A VIDEO promoting the Vatican’s outreach initiative toward women has been widely ridiculed as a sexist stereotype of the modern Western woman.
The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture, which made the video, is sponsoring the conference on Women’s Cultures: Equality and Difference.
The video features Italian actress Nancy Brilli asking for women to contribute 60-second clips of their lives to be broadcast at the conference.
“I am sure you have asked yourself many times,” she says, “who you are, what you do, what you think about your being a woman, your strength, your difficulties, your body and your spiritual life.”
The video drew intense criticism. Some said it was just “too sexy”
Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with it.
“What are they thinking at the Vatican?” asked Phyllis Zagano of Hofstra University, writing in the National Catholic Reporter.
“Sexy sell has long gone by the boards in developed nations, and is totally unacceptable in Muslim countries,” she wrote.
Outrage was so strong the Vatican’s culture minister, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, removed the English version of the video from his department’s website.
But at a press conference he stressed that criticism came primarily from the United States and Canada, where many thought the video hit all the wrong notes: a sugar-coated message, delivered by a privileged white woman, that failed to acknowledge the serious problems poor women face.
“These critics said, although I disagree, that when we speak of women, we must start with the abuse to which they are subjected, to focus on all that is negative,” he said.