“Television and movies portray men as idiots, but we’re aren’t!”

These are comments by Eagle33, gk, Steve, and John Schtoll on the post “The Depressing Depiction of Men in the Media“.

Eagle33 said:

“It’s another reason why I’m hesitant to see Pixar’s new animated movie Brave. In it is every joke of a male stereotype in the book, portrayed as so incompetent compared to the main female protagonist. But I should add that it may be men who are writing and producing, but who’s allowing these movies and shows to make money? The public. Men and women, both genders, contributing to the degradation of men on screen.”

gk said:

“Thank you for writing this. Most of us men are decent guys. We do what we have to. Providing for and caring for our families. Loving our kids and doing our best to raise them. Television and movies portray men as morons and dogs. We’re not that. Television and movies don’t do any better in their portrayal of women.”

Steve said:

“I’ve been saying this for years now. TV shows/commercials and film are b.s. when it comes to relationships for one simple reason. In these media outlets, the woman is always smart and beautiful, and the man is always some fat/ugly dumb f*ck lucky enough to have married her. However, while it’s true a smart man will marry a dumb woman, a smart woman would NEVER marry a dumb man.”

John Schtoll said:

“I chalk it up to laziness, it is really easy (and safe) to target men for the butt of the jokes. In a comedy someone has to be the butt of the jokes that is the nature of the beast. Men are a safe target, the show won’t get protested, more than likely have have ad revenue pulled for making fun of them.” 

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Comments

  1. wellokaythen says:

    Here’s a crazy hypothesis.

    Maybe one (one!) reason that there are so many clueless, idiotic men on TV and in movies is that they serve as a kind of escape or comedic safety valve for men. Millions of real-life men don’t have the luxury of behaving like the male idiots on the screen, because we have responsibilities and intelligence and adult personalities. Sometimes we wish we could act as carefree and reptile-brained as the dudes on the shows, even just for one day, when in fact very few of us do. In a warped way, these dumbasses may represent a long-denied part of ourselves that we wish we could reconnect with.

    Sometimes, stereotypical characters in pop culture exist not because people are like that but because people wish they could be like that. Or because the characters represent some rebellion that real people would never engage in but like to dream about.

    • frank mundo says:

      More interesting is the question why men tolerate this kind of degradation… without so much as a whimper of objection. Disgusting.

      • wellokaythen says:

        I think one part of the problem is that there are not a lot of alternative portrayals of men on screen when it comes to men enjoying life.

        The men on TV and in movies who have fun are almost exclusively the idiot characters, the immature manboys, etc. The mature men with any responsibilities, careers, and any sort of real-world perspective are depressed, workaholic, joyless, and/or evil. The more irresponsible and immature the male character, the more fun he has, and the more joy he gets out of life. There are virtually NO married men having any sort of enjoyable sex, especially not if it involves their wives. Hollywood versions of marriage and fatherhood, of course, show the death of all forms of joy. In the movies, you can’t be a man with a direction or purpose in life AND enjoy anything in life – one or the other, but not both, and those are your only two options. (James Bond is perhaps a major exception to this rule, though the most he gets to express is a smirk.)

  2. Richard Aubrey says:

    Well.

    You might be right–I don’t think so but what do I know–about men wanting some relief. Thing is, though, that the same depiction of men is seen on ads pushing stuff to women.
    IMO, this is aimed at women, both ads and sitcoms.
    Ad and entertainment people sweat bullets trying to figure out their market and how to best impress/reach it. So, my guess is they think this is what women want. So far, their view has been borne out by sales and ratings.
    Says something about the women watching.
    Decades ago, the old Cagney and Lacey cop show had only businessmen as villains. As one producer explained, businessmen are the only group that doesn’t complain about being villainized. Kind of an example.
    We have the added obstacle that complaining would be “whining”. If blacks complained about being the go-to for bad guys, their complaints would not be considered whining. Ditto women, Muslims. So, don’t bother. Don’t watch the shows and tell the advertisers you’ll be avoiding their products.

  3. I don’t like when men are protrayed as idiots or like over-grown frat boys. I like roles that show men as strong, intelligent, fair and capable. The show Touch with Keither Sutherland is a great example of a positive male role model. He is all about championing and helping his son while helping other people.

    I also dislike how women are protrayed toward men in a lot of media that men frequent. Such as women being protrayed as tireless, sex hungry kittens that just want sex all the time and are willing to do anything to please a guy. This isn’t a nice way to see your gender protrayed either.

    Unfortunetly, some of these less pretty ideas really do appeal to some men and women. Some men love seeing women playing as tireless, sex hungry kittens eager to satisfy his every whim and some women do like seeing men protrayed as stupid guys where the wife is more intelligent.

    Question is, how do you fix that when you are someone that doesn’t like it. And the other question to ask yourself is are you someone that enjoys seeing the other gender protrayed a certain way even as you are bothered by how your gender may be unfairly be protrayed. And lastly, is it okay to uphold stereotypes about each other even in “fantasy”? These questions are rattling around in my head.

    • Peter von Maidenberg says:

      Erin, you’re onto something re stereotypes and fantasies. I don’t think all fantasizing is stereotyping, but like stereotypes, sex fantasy roles and scripts exist because they have some basis in reality. Not interpersonal reality, though – the reality of what gets you or me off.

      The issues come up when we need to objectify another person in a way they’re not ok with. If I need to do that, I’m better off pounding the ole tenderloin. It concerns me that evo psych conditioning, with its code of predetermined roles, is taking the place of traditional gender scripts in hopes that men and women will keep on objectifying one another.

    • Erin, I don’t know any movies and television series besides porn that showing women are tireless sex hungry kitten that want sex all the time. I thought the article talk about movies and television series and not porn.

    • I think the point of all 4 responses is that ,if you wish to present a strong Female lead as part of a story that’s fine, but why is it ecessary to surrond her with mental midgets with questionable character traits and morally arrested development. To me it’s actually kind of sexist to think that a strong Female character can’t stand on her own without these sort of embellishing side kicks. In other word, in order for her to soar like an Eagle, you must surround her with a bunch of turkeys!

  4. I stop watching T.V a LOOONG time ago, the mid 90s. It was one insult after another and I got burnt out on it.

    • Peter von Maidenberg says:

      I stopped for a long time myself. Then I realized that all I had in common with most people was the crap available on television. So I just watch now and then, to sort of keep up to date with our collective assumptions.

      • Like Furiouz, I stopped watching network TV a long time ago (except for sports). My wife however, LIVES for TV and has it on constantly! Whenever I walk by and see what she has on I just shake my head.She loves Lifetime channel , you know ‘Television for Women’ , or as one local newspaper columnist (female) refers to it ‘The Men Suck, Men Suck, Men Suck’ channel. Every male character is either somewhat dim witted or a physocotic killer. She ocassionally complains that I don’t sit with her and actually watch his! I asked her once ” Which one of these characters do I most resemble, the dimwit or the pshyco killer”?

  5. At least there is still a television series that shows how real men are, and how complex we are. My favorite, Breaking Bad . Walter White, a man who would do anything for the sake of his families, even making drugs and killing other people. The complexities of Walter White personalities really fascinates me. He is a very loving and caring husband and father. He never cheated on his wife and very caring towards his son, but in other way he could lie, do an immoral and dishonorable things for the sake of his families. And don’t forget Jesse Pinkman, another complex character who have a kind heart but sometimes could do stupid things because of his unstable emotions.

    And Dexter, another television series that shows even cold blooded serial killers could have sensitive and emotional side, and could be loving and caring towards his girlfriend, sister, and his son.

    And thats the kind of men image I like from television, that we are complex, not one dimensional. I like the way some movies shows a honorable good men that never do anything wrong, but men are not like that. We could do something bad and stupid and still have an emotion and kind hearts.

    The author of original article like seeing honorable one dimensional good man on the movies and television, while I like seeing complex emotional men like Walter White, Jesse Pinkman, and Dexter Morgan more, even if they are not really good man.

    Because men are complex too.

    • But why John, is it only men who are outlaws, who sometimes do hard core criminal acts, Walter White, Tony Soprano, etc. are these the only types of ‘Complex’ male characters that exist in the world? Aren’t there any good guys that aren’t ‘comic book’ characters. The only ones that come to mind to me are the ones on the only show I’ll watch if I’m around NCIS. Here’s a show that truely’ breaks the formula’. Imagine Strong , complex MALE & FEMALE characters TOGEATHER! Maybe that’s why it supposedly has the largest audience of any TV show!

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