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Men in media: why are they portrayed as dumb?

As a child, I grew up in an era of women being second best in society. It was a mans world. In the 70's the women's lib movement changed all of that for the better. Lately though, I have noticed that the pendulum has swung to the other end and now men are being portrayed as mindless airheads.

Examples in television:
Everybody Loves Raymond---Raymond is a big mess-up of a husband and father.
Homer Simpson: Need I say more?
King of Queens: Doug is also a mess-up husband.
Other examples abound. Men are only interested in watching television; they don't help with the kids; they are lazy slobs only interested in sex, food and the remote control.

I my recent college classes: A political science class had the main project to be an essay on Women's Roles in the Middle East.
An American History class: Women and the Oregon trail--essay on their roles.
A recent advertisement in a kids magazine for Ninetendo: the ad shows a family of three: the mom has a normal brain; the dad has a walnut sized brain; the son has a very large brain.

While this was cute at first to me, it has gotten very old and I am not happy with my sons and daughters growing up in such a sexist society. I would not be happy if it were women being put down in such a way and I am not happy with my sons futures being portrayed in such a negative way.

Do you know that there are more women than men attending colleges now?

Men: Why are you not protesting this unfair treatment of your gender?

Women and Men: Why aren't more people fighting for equality for both sexes?

Fri. Sep 29, 7:26pm

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I completely agree and have been talking about this with my wife for at least a year. Advertising is also horrid- men are consistently portrayed as simpletons and fools. I'd be very interested in this thread continuing. I have some ideas as to why this is, but I'd like to hear some other voices before I weigh in further.

Friday, September 29, 2006, 7:50 PM

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It is called marketing. You market dumb men to women, naked women to any man, dumb parents to kids, get thin quick to overweight people, etc on and on and on. It is sterotypical and worthless to society, but you wouldn't see it if it wasn't selling something.
Women have born the brunt of this type of advertising forever because men held the that women make money as well, the marketing firms have new one is safe now.

Friday, September 29, 2006, 8:07 PM

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I think it is a poor marketing idea. My husband is a very smart man! After all he married me.

Friday, September 29, 2006, 10:20 PM

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You've got to be kidding me right? You're upset about comedies making fun of stereo types??? Puh-lease.

Everyone loves Ray also portrayed MIL's in bad lights, and wives too. We gonna start campaigns for them too? While we're at it, let's condemn Trailerpark boys for making trailer park inhabitants look like trash, and reno 911 for making cops look like idiots. And let's not even go near Desperate Housewives...

Or let's also look at shows that have really smart males, in leads or major roles. Law-n-Order (Jack McCoy has been DA for how many years???) CSI- all three versions have males in charge, House, DaVinci's Inquest, Shark, Justice, Criminal Minds, NCIS, JAG, etc., etc.,

Friday, September 29, 2006, 10:55 PM

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Good call! They are comedies...they are playing on steriotypes....that's what makes them so funny. I still think that some women are still undervalued and underpaid, however, we are making major leaps in the business world. Things will never be equal and that is very unfortunate. Men are often steriotyped as well, don't get me wrong, I do see that.... but I highly doubt that it will ever be equal. Keep in mind the US presidents -- now that is really equal!!

Saturday, September 30, 2006, 12:09 AM

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I'm a 90% match to those TV husbands.

If allowed to resort to my more basic nature I am 50% King of Queens (food, frisky and freakishly lazy), 20% Home Improvement ("I can build that... er...start that... er...who said anything about finishing the project anyway!), 20% Everybody Loves Raymond (the sensitivity of a block of cheese and I never did see a difference between the baby PJs I left my children in all day and the "outfit" I was suppose to put them in)

The other 10% (the 10% that probably keeps me alive and married) is from the movie, As Good As It Gets. A frustrated Helen Hunt says to Jack Nicolson "Quck say something nice thing to me, compliment me right now or I am out of here!". Jack replies, "You make me want to be a better man".

Ditto for me and MBH (my better half)

Lighten up folks

Saturday, September 30, 2006, 7:21 AM

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Equality vs. Fairness

I hope men and women NEVER become equal. I do hope, however, that we move closer and closer to a world that treats both men and women fairly.

Those who are shouting "equality! equality!" are usually the ones who want to have their cake and eat it too (especially here on PEERtrainer! ha ha!).

Saturday, September 30, 2006, 2:12 PM

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I think it is more a matter of respect for each other than equality. Poor choice of words on my part. Yes, I realize these are comedies and they make me laugh. I am married to a "Ray Ramano" type guy and my mother-in-law was very much like his mother. Still, I worry about my sons being raised in a society that seems to show so little respect to males.
Women should be able to pursue careers or motherhood--their choice. I don't want women to be forced into military service if it came to that either. I don't think men and women are the same, so they CAN'T be "equal", but I want women to have the same life choices (career or family) as men do.
What I am talking about however, is how we are raising our girls and boys to see men as wimps and mess ups.
Let's all have more respect for each other.

I am currently considering divorce, so right now adult men are not too high on my "good" list. Yet, I still think men should be shouting "foul" about the way they are treated in the media.

Saturday, September 30, 2006, 11:35 PM

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Whoa! "Equal" and "the same" are two different things.

Re the television question, I wonder if the end result of watching these silly shows is that women don't expect enough from men, and conversely men expect too much of women. I don't watch TV and saw 1 episode of (I think) King of Queens. And really, I had to ask myself:

1) Couldn't this woman have done better for herself? She is the "mom" to her husband and her father! She's clever and hardworking and gorgeous, and her husband is dumb and lazy and ugly. Did they run out of men in New York since the last time I was there?

2) Does every fat slob who makes no effort to do anything other than watch football (okay, he IS a stereotype, I realize there is nobody 100% like that) expect his or her spouse to be drop-dead gorgeous, AND responsible for him, AND the wage-earner in the family?

Clearly it's just TV. But if there are a bunch of shows like this, and they are all popular, I do wonder how they start to influence people? It seems as if

Sunday, October 01, 2006, 7:43 PM

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Actually, I've never thought that these shows were making men look stupid .. what bothers me is that they really make American mairrage seem hellish - sitcom spouses are so rude to each other. I hate it! ... and I'm not even married.

Sunday, October 01, 2006, 8:03 PM

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why not stop letting your kids watch so much bad tv.

Sunday, October 01, 2006, 8:11 PM

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as mentioned above, there are many, many programs that do not portray men as described in the shows the op listed. if you don't agree with the overall messages that a show sends out, change the channel. i was not allowed to watch "the love boat" or "fantasy island" or "three's company" when i was growing up because of the sexual content in these shows, but i was also not deprived-there were plenty of other options even in the 70's and 80's without cable tv and satellite channels and vcr's and dvd's.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006, 9:42 AM

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I didn't notice that men were being steriotyped as stupid either...but then again, I like to watch CSI, Law and Order, 24, etc...all the leading men are intelligent in these shows. I guess it is just the comedies that are using steriotypes...or am I wrong?

Thursday, October 05, 2006, 5:03 AM

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i've noticed on some of the shows that the op listed that the men aren't the only ones being portrayed badly. the wives on two of the shows that i've seen are very bi*chy and condenscending towards their husbands.

Thursday, October 26, 2006, 3:58 PM

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