Starting a new weekly event here at Chez Not A Stepford Life…I’m going to be doing some thinking on Thursdays, addressing different things that come up.
This may be a frightening look inside my head.
You’ve been warned.
One thing I’ve noticed about the media, is the negative way men are portrayed. I mean, seriously, the last positive, strong male role model I can remember on a sitcom was in The Cosby Show.
Since then, we’ve been inundated with Daddy Duhs.
Think about it for a moment. When is the last time you’ve watched a show that had Dad who wasn’t a bumbling nitwit, who was saved, if not by his wife, by one of the kids?
The Giant Mouse Network takes it a step further, and basically portrays all the parents as clueless dimwits, who have no clue who their kids are, what they’re doing, and everyone hugs at the end.
Myself, I’m really sick and tired of the way men, fathers are being portrayed. It’s as though they’re an accessory in a family, vs a necessity. Nice to have, but hey, not needed.
Which, in my humble opinion, is terribly, tragically wrong.
I wonder, does that portrayal in the media impact the growing statistics of single parent families? Does it at all feed into men thinking that they aren’t needed, so therefore, walking away has little to no impact?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that divorce should never happen, or that there aren’t simply bad men out there. I’m not naive, or a fool.
What I am saying, though, is that so many people that pride themselves on being feminist, well, their heads would explode like a row of firecrackers if women were portrayed the way men are.
If it’s not OK for women to be generally portrayed as stupid, ignorant, and constantly needing someone to come in and save their familial relationships, then why is it acceptable for men? Why is it that men are assumed and portrayed as being incapable of parenting their children? That they cannot possibly manage if Mommy isn’t around?
Wolf and I never cease to be amazed at the folks who express shock that yes, Wolf takes care of the kids without me. That he cooks, cleans, and parents without my constant supervision. We’ve both been known to sharply correct anyone that comments about Wolf ‘babysitting’. He doesn’t babysit his own children, he parents them. Funny how nobody has ever commented about ME babysitting our kids, isn’t it? Why shouldn’t he have the same respect?
Society gives a lot of lip service about equal rights, and gender equality. There seems to be an unspoken addendum to that statement, that of, “if you’re a woman”.
Don’t believe me? Find a Dad that stays home full time while his wife works. Wolf spent some time as a Stay At Home Dad. He and I both received insulting comments. Coworkers of mine told me that a REAL man wouldn’t live off of his wife. That it’s the MAN who should be working.
Why? Why is it that if the woman stays home, she’s parenting, yet if a man stays home, he’s living off his wife? Why is one more acceptable than the other? And why, when a couple makes a decision, such as having a stay at home parent, does anyone outside of their home think they have the right to comment?
Let’s have true gender equality. If women can be firefighters, soldiers, police officers, then nobody should bat an eye if men are stay at home parents. While we’re at it, let’s also eliminate this running ‘joke’ in the media that men are stupid, ignorant, and incapable. If the joke wouldn’t be funny if it were about a woman’s stupidity, then it’s not funny being about a man’s.