I have grown very tired of the popularity in broadcast media of making men appear stupid and ridiculous. We see it every time we turn on the television -- from commercials showing men incapable of preparing breakfast or hanging mini-blinds to a host of situation comedies depicting them completely incompetent as husbands and fathers.
I know this male-bashing trend has risen from liberal feminism trying to force society into seeing men as incidental and unnecessary. I am the mother to a son and grandmother to a grandson and I am highly offended that Hollywood has bent to this influence. I have no unnecessary men in my family. They do not deserve to be told every time they turn on the TV that they are dim, slow-witted bunglers.
Many will say that these shows are all in fun and I should lighten up. But as I watch my ten-month old grandson stop what he is doing every time a Little Caesar’s commercial comes on where the people do nothing but mumble I know that television has influence. Children learn what they see. And there is a lot of offensive programming on television right now.
The worst offender on TV is advertised on one network as “the most popular comedy on television.” It is a sitcom that portrays two brothers living together with one brother divorced and having joint custody of his 11-year old son, who lives with them part time. My biggest problem with this show is that it depicts the father as an idiot, despite the fact that he has a thriving practice as a chiropractor and depicts his brother as the competent one, despite the fact that he is a hard-drinking womanizer who sleeps with a different woman in almost every episode. The 11-year old boy sees and comments on all of the lewd behavior of his uncle and the failures of his father. It makes the son appear to be the level-headed one. What kind of example is this for young men? How can we expect boys to grow into honorable men with this kind of mentality so prevalent?
I gladly spoke the words of my marriage vows to love, cherish, honor, and obey my husband—because he is trustworthy of those promises. He gladly spoke the words of our marriage vows to love, cherish, honor, and protect me—because he meant them and demonstrates them every day. Obviously, I am not a feminist, but I am also not a weak woman who needs to prove her self-worth by clinging to a man for every need. I can change a tire and install ceiling fans. Together, my strong, intelligent husband and I have raised two strong, intelligent daughters and a strong, intelligent son.
There are young men out there without the positive influence of good male role models. It is imperative that people of conscience speak up for those who can’t. It is time that wives and mothers who respect the men in our lives demand that Hollywood produce entertainment that is more worthy of our husbands and sons. If we want more appropriate programming, we must not stay the “silent majority.”First printed January 2, 2006 on the Op-Ed page of the Herald-Dispatch Newspaper, Huntington, WV