Thursday, April 05, 2007

Daily YouTube: Men Are Not Clueless Goofballs

I detest the way that men are so often portrayed in the media... on TV sitcoms, in ads, even in films... as clueless goofballs and loveable idiots.

TV examples of this condescending trend includes King of Queens, ABC's According to Jim and CBS's Two and Half Men. (For an intriguing perspective, see Slate 2005 article, Why are fat sitcom husbands paired with great-looking wives?)

The most recent example of husband-as-childish-idiot is the following offensive TV ad:

Burger King Commercial with Outlandishly Childish Husband

The men in my life... husband, sons and son-in-law, father and father-in-law, brother and brother-in-law and nephews, as well as friends, pastors, doctors and the like... are not clueless goofballs.

They're serious, loving, responsible, funny, interesting, imperfect people... just as women are.

Can you imagine the angry outcry if women were portrayed in a similarly demeaning manner in the media?

I grew up with men portrayed on TV as middle-aged, suit-wearing Wise White Fathers... Father Knows Best, Ozzie & Harriet, Leave It to Beaver and the like.

Thankfully, we've grown past that shallow 1950s stereotype.

When will we grow past the 21st century impulse to devalue men, and instead, value them with the gratitude they richly deserve?

As I watch my sons learn to make their ways in a confusing stressed-out world... to build careers, support families, uphold responsibilities... I realize anew that it's not easy to be a man, anymore than it is to be a woman.

Why make life harder via a mean-spirited media campaign demeaning men?
It's wrong... just wrong.


Anonymous said...

Right on, Deborah. Nice to see a woman make this much-needed point.

Anonymous said...

Your right, but men are often portrayed as idiots not because it is trying to demean a gender. We are humans with many different personalities. Don't forget that women were and are still portrayed this way too. The characters relate to us on how we act under certain situations. Sure, they don't happen everyday, and in many instances, not as bad as in many tv sitcoms. Our flaws make our lives a comedy and drama. We just rather see it happen to someone else.

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