What do many television shows, movies (mostly comedies), and reality TV have in common? Almost all of them have a male lead role portrayed as childish, stupid, and horny. After my latest blog post on “5 Reasons Why Christian Men Are Not Pursuing Women”, several men expressed some of the struggles they face and shared how they felt which has lead me to follow up with this post. The more I speak to men, the more I see how this frustration is an issue that many of them share in common:
Think of shows like “The Big Bang Theory”, “Modern Family”, and “King of Queens”; even superheroes that used to be sophisticated, intelligent, and hopeless romantics, are now being portrayed in a different light. Chris Pratt’s character “Peter” in “Guardians Of The Galaxy” and Chris Pine’s “Kirk” in “Star Trek” are the heroic protagonists, who also happened to be childish, stupid and horny. If you take a look at almost all reality TV, you will notice that they always cast at least one guy with these attributes.
Another irony you will find is that all of these shows and movies typically have a sophisticated, intelligent, woman that has to continuously “fix” the man or knock him down a peg or two if he shows any signs of strength or confidence. If a show or a movie portrayed the woman with those negative attributes, there would be an uproar and endless accusations that the writers, producers, and networks are sexist.
When we as men are being told from almost every media outlet that we are stupid and our brains aren’t located in our heads, we start to believe it. It’s becoming more difficult for a man to embrace their opinions and to embrace any sort of a leadership abilities whether at home or at work.
This serious problem is leading to many negative outcomes. When men are being forced to shut their mouths and believe that they are just immature boys, they end up getting stuck in their teenage years. A huge percentage of millennial males are uninterested in the idea of getting married. A lot of this lack of motivation comes from associating marriage to being controlled. When men say things such as “A happy wife is a happy life”, they are really saying “We are too dumb to understand women so we will just shut up, be submissive, and do whatever they want so that we can keep them happy and our lives aren’t miserable”. These men don’t see marriage as a place of respect and compromise from both ends.
Emasculating men in our society has lead men to stay boys. Our society applauds a guy that sleeps around with girls without any sort of commitment or sacrifice and despises a guy with any sort of expectations from his wife or that wants to be a leader leading a home.
Don’t believe me? Let’s compare two big shows, Hugh Hefner’s “Girl Next Door” and Kody Brown’s “Sister Wives”
Hugh Hefner, the Playboy founder is celebrated by many in our society and is viewed as a powerful man. After all, he is able to get as many girls as he wants into his bedroom while making a lot of money doing it. On the other hand, Kody Brown, a Mormon that is married to four women, is despised and looked at as a sexist pig.
While I find polygamy to be extremely disturbing, I think it’s a tragedy that we praise the player who uses women as objects and despise the man whose religious beliefs gives him the option to have multiple wives. After all, both of them are sleeping with bunch of women. The main difference is that one is in long-term committed marriages (Brown) while the other is using them until he gets bored (Hefner).
The way our society has praised and criticized men for the wrong reasons, has lead the way for many men, like Hugh Hefner, to stay teenage boys; unable to commit and unable to treat women the way they should be treated.
There are legitimate reasons why men have been portrayed in a negative light including women legitimately feeling used and unsafe by men. The solution, however, is not to bring men down as some sort of revenge. We are called to call men to rise up rather than embrace lies and spread them to a whole society.
Even within the church, I have seen so much emasculation that has not only discouraged me, but also scared me, of the idea of marriage. For some reason, it is acceptable in a small group setting for a wife to tell her husband “You are just a bad cook” or “honey, you can’t function one day without me” in front of people for a good laugh but imagine a husband telling the same words to his wife in front of others. Why have we accepted a double-standard? Have we forgotten that one of the core longings for a man is to feel respected?
It seems that the church has accepted the notion that men have clear roles in marriage but women have none; that men are guilty until proven innocent but women are innocent until proven guilty.
My all-time favorite show is “Friends”; when I recently watched it, I was disturbed by how, for so many years, I thought Joey, the guy who is childish, dumb, and horny, is hilarious. One of the main recurring jokes throughout the seasons is that Joey sleeps with many women but never remembers their names or calls them back. This is not funny. It is wrong and it sends a message to women that they have every right to look down on men and treat them as children, idiots, and horny beings.
What can we all do about it?
- We need to encourage boys to grow up and become men: sophisticated, intelligent, and romantic.
- We need to recognize mens’ leadership skills, opinions, and the need to feel respected.
- We need to stop praising or even laughing with boys that sleep around, objectify women, and refuse to commit.
- We need to stop the double-standard adopted in our society were it’s okay to casually mock and criticize men.
If you are a man, do you relate to any points mentioned? If you are a woman, what’s your thoughts? Comment Below!