Following on from Noah’s link to Linda Holmes’ piece about how the new American network TV season is a flood of eye-searing misandry like How to be a Gentlemen, Man Up and Last Man Standing: Quiet Riot Girl gives her take on the situation, a masterful critique of one of the sources of all this nonsense, namely Hanna Rosin’s “End of Men” article she wrote in The Atlantic then gave a speech about at TED and now plans to make into a book.
A half-dozen pilots were made by the three major networks, and they will all be released in September. Some of their names are interchangeable–Man Up!, Last Man Standing, How to Be a Gentleman. They all feature men who are unemployed or underemployed, love to play video games, and are desperately in need of a makeover. “Life is a big jerk and punches you in the face over and over again,” complains Bert Lansing, a lughead personal trainer in ABC’s How to Be a Gentleman, played by Kevin Dillon from Entourage.’
The misandry is apparent here, when Rosin says the ‘loser’ men in the TV shows are realistic:
Imagine if the tables were turned and women were suffering economic problems, and were simultaneously being portrayed on TV as ‘losers’? Would there not be an outcry? Do you hear a sound about the portrayal of men now? I don’t.
Now QRG is a controversial and provocative figure, and no, I don’t agree with everything she has to say. BUT she is committed to smashing the gender binary and taking down narrow and essentialist notions of men and women, as she says further:
Of course, men are not nearing their end, or if they are, women will go down with them. The two sexes are still, despite the battle cries of people like Rosin, interdependent. But what The End of Men seems to convey, actually in a not dissimilar way to the concept of the ‘real man’ retrosexual, is that currently men are pussies, and they need to Man Up. As Simpson said of Rosin it is a ‘femme macho’ stance.
I still plan to add my own thoughts on television’s unprovoked gender war, but this gives a great explanation to the wider issues surrounding it.