Sometimes a series of unrelated events cause a sudden realization...
A friend commented how men are poorly portrayed in the media, specifically on television in sitcoms and commercials. By chance I then came across an article that talked about the same idea except it expanded it to speak about poor portrayal of men in news and current affairs stories as well. Not to mention all the guys I've heard speak of this.
As I thought about it, I realized at least from my own occasional observations, they may be right. Now I don't watch sitcoms myself, in fact outside of football I don't even watch network television. Generally, outside of non-fiction programming of the History channel or Discovery (and football during the season), all I watch is adult cartoons (as in South Park, Adult Swim, Family Guy, etc), anime, or Science Fiction, all genres well outside the mainstream.
Still just from merely watching some of the commercials, at least commercials that involved men and women interacting, no matter the product or service being pushed, the guy is almost always portrayed as a witless dolt, a neanderthal, clueless, and hopelessly out of touch. Still was it just me? Was it my own bias that could be coloring my perspective of commercials, or was the anti-male bias in commercials (and possibly programming and news) it so blatantly obvious, how could I not notice even with my casual, disinterested viewing?
For example, the Capital One commercials, the theme is always the same here: The family wants to go on some vacation but the father through his incompetence is forced to take his family to the least desirable place in relation to what they want to do. Amazon over Ireland for visiting family, Antarctica over the Caribbean for a honeymoon, traveling a like Hobos in a boxcar and so forth. In addition he then eventually does something so mind boggling stupid on top of this the result is himself or his family injured or in mortal danger. The guy is always portrayed as inept, clueless, dimwitted, and even dangerous through sheer stupidity, if only he wasn't around...
Like I said I certainly haven't been alone in this perception, and let us face it, this isn't the most popular observation, it certainly flies in the face of our politically correct saturated culture where it is essentially seen as justified in a ironic twist that certain groups do deserve scorn, men being one of those groups. However there indeed been research into this very subject.
The University of Western Sydney did a survey on the subject of stereotyping of men in the media. They found overwhelmingly men are portrayed as incompetent, lazy, and narcissistic. For example, after the study went through more than 2000 news articles and TV stories about men, 69 percent were negative versus 12 as positive (19 percent were viewed as neutral). The study also revealed that 75% of all mass media portrayal of men showed them as one of four ways: villains, aggressors, perverts and philanderers. According to another study by the National Fatherhood Initiative of 102 shows that have a father as a central, reoccurring character, only 4 portrayed that same father as competent and actively involved in his family, the rest were fools, deadbeats, abusers, or something worse.
The only area were men are seen in a positive light is only when they embrace the metrosexual lifestyle, in other-words when they give up acting like men.
Now I know the media has a poor record overall when it comes to stereotypical portrayals, we have seen them all, promiscuous and ultra flaming gays, men hating lesbians, women who are all wafer thin, black men as thugs, Ameri-Indians as little more then tribal spiritualists and original hippies, Wiccans only in the "candy pagan" variety, Christians as fanatics, etc, etc. However men are one of the very few stereotypes that is PC and intellectual establishment stamped and approved, a high irony even the supposed mantra of the PC crowd and their "commitment to diversity" and their stated aim of absolute fairness, or perhaps not?
So what do you all think? Is this a valid concern? Men are being scripted on TV and other media in overwhelming negative and simplistic way? Or is this all really nothing?
I thought this was useful because of the links, and the proof that I am not alone in seeing this stuff.