It’s the worst of times (for men)

Feminist1If a visiting alien was asked to evaluate the roles of men and women based solely on the current rash of books, movies and TV shows, the E.T. would undoubtedly conclude that all men are not only dolts, they're also emasculated fools who can't make any decisions on their own.
 
In fact, I think the title of Maureen Dowd's 2005 book best sums up the current wave of ManBashing. It's called "Are Men Necessary'?"

And, sadly, Alessandra Stanley's review of the Fall TV season in the New York Times confirms that these are, indeed, the worst of times for men.
 
Every new show, ranging from 'Man Up!' and 'Last Man Standing' to 'How To Be a Gentleman' and 'Whitney' go to ever greater lengths to marginalize the role of men in society. And, says Stanley, the trend will only continue since "…female viewers outnumber men and network executives know what women want."
 
That may be great for feminists (and the ratings), but it's very bad news for male adolescents and boys. I don't care how many problems you have with men, ladies, but you need to speak up and stop this never-ending, ever-escalating emasculation. Here's why: you owe it to your kids, nephews, younger brothers and friends' kids.
 
By focusing on the short-term ego gratification of women, the mass media is dealing a major psychological blow to future generations of men. Not only will boys and adolescent males buy into this totally ersatz, politically correct stereotyping but, worse, their female counterparts will reinforce it.
 
But, maybe that's OK with you, Virginia. Maybe you're fine with women becoming the dominant gender. But, somehow, I doubt it. If 50 percent of the population feels permanently marginalized, how in the world will we ever regain our global competitiveness? You ladies are terrific. But, you can't do it alone. Sorry. You can't.
 
So, here's a plea to the movers and shakers in Hollywood, and on Madison Avenue and at the major publishing houses. Lay off men. Now! The psyche you save may be that of your son. And the future you save may be that of your own country.
 
 Now, though, we return to our regularly scheduled programming…
 
“…Male lead admits he's too afraid to lift weights at the gym. Female lead nods her head knowingly and sighs, “I always knew you were a dumbbell, Adam. But, I never thought you'd be afraid to lift them.” Audience laughs and applauds. Screen fades to black.”

And a tip o' Repman's gender neutral beret to Jackie Kolek for suggesting this post.

12 thoughts on “It’s the worst of times (for men)

  1. My take on this (qualification though – I don’t watch any TV except for two shows – Top Chef and The Big C), you Rep should write a pilot and submit it. I think it would be a huge hit and not the mind-addling crap that is television today.

  2. As the mother of a young son, I agree with your position that the current portrayal of emasculated men has the potential to be harmful to their self-image, but I think the issue is larger than that. These so-called “funny” sitcoms are also portraying female characters as mean, bitchy, overpowering women. It’s true that women have changed the scales quiet a bit in terms of numbers of women in the workforce, pay scale and challenging traditional male vs female roles. These shows suggest that there is something ludicrous with a woman working while the man stays at home or a man who changes diapers. There are all types of family situations in today’s economic realities, both parents working, dad’s staying home and women being the primary bread winner. I know families who fit into all those categories today and the reality is that these couples are true partners, nobody is dominating anyone. As a working mom, I don’t want my son or daughter thinking there is anything wrong or funny about a successful mommy or a dad who likes to spend time with his kids.

  3. Great POV, Jkwestport. Sadly, sitcom writers don’t try to reflect reality but, rather, to distort it to absurd lengths they believe will make people laugh. The emotional carnage they leave in their wake is someone else’s problem.

  4. I’m not saying that the wave of male-bashing is right, but… Women have been bashed and condescended to throughout history… The bashing of the genders needs to stop — on both sides. Can’t we all just get along?

  5. I think the issue is larger than that. These so-called “funny” sitcoms are also portraying female characters as mean, bitchy, overpowering women. It’s true that women have changed the scales quiet a bit in terms of numbers of women in the workforce, pay scale and challenging traditional male vs female roles.
    free css templates

  6. Think of it this way — you can’t make fun of women, gays or minorities anymore. On top of that,the decision-making power on sitcom production and airing is increasingly shared by men and women. Who else are they gonna pick on?
    And men are easy pickings. Enough of us conform to these idiotic stereotypes with metrosexual fashion/style rituals and trying to be friends with their kids by wearing the same clothes and playing with the same toys.
    A few years ago, a group of men and I formed a group to rise above this. While I can’t repeat our name in a family blog, we did take our initial teachings from David Deida. He advocates that men and women form deep, open, and powerful connections with each other and let go of boundaries.
    Of course that’s not the kind of stuff you can convey in a 23-minute sitcom and prompt laughs with. Nonetheless, I look forward to your attempt, Repman and will be glad to review the script before submission to the powers-that-be.

  7. I doubt it Repman; I respect wiccans too much to reduce them to sitcom fodder. But some characters’ attributes would probably rhyme with witch.