Posts Tagged ‘media’

In my previous post on Commercials: Misandry in the Media, I pointed out how a good number of commercials these days portray men as clumsy oafs who need women to fix the problems they cause.  The more research I’ve done, the more commercials I’m seeing that have no problem with portraying men as idiots or even displaying violence against men as acceptable.

Crumbling ManWhen you view commercials from this point on, I hope you’ll take a moment to imagine what would happen if the gender roles were reversed and males played the female parts and vice versa.  If the idea of a woman being treated as the man in the ad is angers you or sets off a cry of misogyny, then you have to admit it’s a display of misandry.  If a man punching a woman is not acceptable, then it shouldn’t be acceptable for a woman to punch a man.  If a man rolling his eyes in disgust at something a woman did is not acceptable, then it has to be equally unacceptable for a woman to roll her eyes in disgust at a man’s behavior.

Am I making more of this than there is?  I don’t think so.  Remember, I’m not talking about one commercial or even a handful, but I’m referring to a common practice in most commercials today.  For specific examples, I recommend the YouTube video series by Vinny Mac, Misandry in the Media.

I’ll admit that when it comes to sitcoms, I’m not up with the latest TV shows.  Several years ago, I realized the majority of sitcoms I saw were participating in a type of male-bashing that made me quite uncomfortable.  Now, I understand sitcoms are all about people doing silly things, but if we’re going to avoid either extreme of misogyny or misandry, the silliness needs to be equally distributed between the genders of the characters.

Back in the early ‘90s (1991-1994), we saw the Jim Henson Dinosaur family that gave us a recurring example of misandry by the baby and his reference to his father as “Not the Momma.”  Not only was the father denigrated as stupid and oafish, but he was so disrespected the child wouldn’t even call him Daddy.

As we peruse a listing of the common sitcoms in the 90s, we see several promoting smart women and stupid men:  Rosanne, Coach, Cheers, Designing Women, The Golden Girls, Murphy Brown, The King of Queens, and Everybody Loves Raymond (and don’t forget the short-lived Men Behaving Badly).  In each of these, the man was often wrong, stupid, messy, uncivilized, and the woman right, smart, clean, and civilized.  If there was a marriage relationship involved, the women ruled the house, and the man merely followed along with her leadership.

Of course, the long-running animated Simpsons is a perfect illustration of how the men in the family are the stupid ones and the women are smart.

Then we move into the 2000s with more men-bashing sitcoms like How I Met Your Mother, Scrubs, and Two and a Half Men to show us just how disgusting men can be.

In the 2010s, we have The Big Bang Theory to prove to us that even smart men are stupid inside, and Mike and Molly to remind us that women are really the smart ones in the relationship.

Are there women in sitcoms who are shown to be buffoons or less intelligent?  Yes, but the percentage overall is quite skewed.  If the antics of these sitcom characters was equally distributed between males and females, I wouldn’t be writing this post.  But this is not what we’ve seen.  We might see a mother or a wife used as the source of the humor in rare instances, but the great majority of laughter comes at the expense of the husband or father doing something idiotic that nobody would realistically do.

If you recall from my post about the different way men and women bully, I stated that girl bullies tend to use words and social belittling to inflict emotional pain on those they are bullying, so this is how women tend to perceive bullying, as verbal or social denigration.  Men, on the other hand, perceive bullying as a physical threat.

So when men are put down in sitcoms and commercials, who is receiving the message that men have less value than women?  Women in general and young girls specifically.  Verbal and social put downs are how women show disrespect for someone.  Portraying a man as oafish, or a slob, or unintelligent sends a clear signal to other women, including young girls, that the subject of that verbal or social put down is to be considered less valuable than other people (in this case, women).

My greatest concern with how men are portrayed in both sitcoms and in commercials is that it’s sending this subconscious message to young girls that men are less valuable and should be viewed as such by any real woman.

Is it sending a subconscious message to young girls that men are less valuable?

After years of this kind of treatment, some men are starting to realize the damage these verbal and social assaults are causing.  However, with the current brand of ultra-feminism, if men try to object to how they’re being portrayed, they’re likely to be accused of being misogynists or told to shut up.

When I started this series about misandry, I posed the following question in a closed writers forum I’m part of:

I’m working on a blog post entitled, “Misandry in the Media.” I’m interested in hearing opinions about whether you think misandry does or doesn’t exist in the media and if you see any connections with social trends that might be causing more or less misandry in the media.

That sounds rather noncommittal, I know, but I’d like to hear all sides of it (even though I do have an opinion of my own that is my starting point…I’d like to hear a variety of opinions). Since this could very well end up as a political brawl, please feel free to message me with your viewpoint instead of responding to this post.

Again, since this could end up being a very hot topic, I’m very open to people sending me messages instead of responding on the post.

Hope I don’t regret this.

I regretted it.

Over 200 pages of posts later (509 individual posts), I had heard more vitriol than I’d imagined existed in the world.  Because this was a closed forum, I’m not at liberty to directly quote anyone, but I’m going to include this video because it represents much of my experience.  (Warning:  Strong language…mostly by Feminists.)

My conclusions after reading the entire thread were similar to the conclusions of the man in the above video.  Feminists ignore and deny that any misandry exists, and anyone who suggests it becomes a target for their hatred.  (By the way, most of the women and men who expressed support for my idea that misandry exists did so in private messages to me instead of in the thread itself.  They told me they were not willing to be flamed for their opinions, which is what those brave souls who did post publicly experienced.)

But let me give you some statistics that might surprise you.

Did you know that (these are taken from here):

  • in 2010 the CDC’s report revealed that about 40% of rapists are women?
  • In a study of 7667 university students, 3% of men reported being victims of forced sex, but only 2.3% of women reported the same?
  • In correctional facilities, 94% of youth who are sexually abused within those facilities report it was done by female staff, even though only 40% of the staff is female?
  • Significantly more men are victims of violent crime than women?
  • If a man and a woman are arrested for the same crime, the woman will have a better chance of acquittal and receive a lighter sentence if found guilty merely because she’s a woman?
  • The suicide rate for men is three times that of women?
  • Most homeless people are men?
  • In 2009/2010, women received $57,562,373 from the government while men only received $1,516,460?
  • In custody battles, mothers are awarded primary custody in 68-88% of cases, with men coming in a distant second at 8-14%? (from the Huffington Post)

While Feminists might like to claim misandry doesn’t exist or that men are never discriminated against, the facts contradict that stance.

As Christians, we have to remember that this is not a power struggle where women have to rip power from men in order to build themselves up.  It’s about respect, and any loss of respect for one gender loses respect for the other gender as well.  Men and women were created equal in substance, both in God’s image, and as such, both men and women deserve respect.

When it comes to surviving in our current age, the key is to think. Not just think about your everyday life, but about every piece of information that comes your way.  If we accept what the media tells us at face value, we’re setting ourselves up to be manipulated by those who control the media.

Before you discount me as a crazy conspiracy theorist, consider this.  Every human being has a worldview, and the decisions they make every day, the choices their behavior is based on, is rooted in that worldview, whatever it is.  In other words, many people can observe the same phenomenon and yet interpret it in different ways.

Ask any policeman who has to interview eye witnesses to an accident.  The factual details of the accident never change, but each eye witness saw the event from a different perspective.  One person might swear the blue car stopped, and the red car ran the stoplight.  Another might say the blue car caused the accident because they were standing on the opposite corner of the intersection.

The same thing happens with those who choose which news to feature in their newspapers and television programs.  They are, in a metaphorical sense, standing on various corners of the intersections of life, so we shouldn’t be surprised that their perspectives will vary.

This is why today, even more than ever, thinking is more vital than ever. As access to expressing your opinion online becomes easier, the differences in worldviews becomes even more obvious.

So think through what you hear, sift it through your own worldview, and realize that no one (and no media outlet) has 100% truth because it’s all filtered through their own personal worldview.