Friday, September 23, 2011

Is Television Portraying Men in a Better Light?

I wondered about this as I watched the new show last night "Person of Interest." The show is about a different person each week who is either the victim or perpetrator of a violent crime and of course, the "good guys" who put a stop to it before it happens.

In the season premiere, the "person of interest" is a woman, Diane Hanson, an assistant DA for the city. Naturally, it is thought that she is going to be the victim of the crime, perhaps targeted by a gang she is prosecuting or her ex-boyfriend who works in the same office. It turns out, Hanson, the pretty DA, is actually the ring leader of a group of bad cops who she tells to kill her ex who seems to be on to them. So score one for the ex who is actually the good guy here.

I have also noticed in a few commercials lately that it is the wives, not the husbands who are put in a worse light. In one phone commercial, a man tells his wife that he got a contract for a cell phone and she mutters about how wasteful he is with money and how he doesn't consult her when spending money. It turns out, he got the phone for free and and she looks shocked and shuts up.

In another State Farm commercial, a guy is talking to his agent in the middle of the night innocently while his wife comes downstairs, yelling at him for talking to what she thinks is a woman he is involved with. The male agent is shown at the end of the commercial in his cubicle while the husband just looks slightly exasperated with his jealous wife. These commercials aren't the best but I wonder if it shows that the tide is turning with the "men are idiots and cheaters" theme.

What do you think? Do you see examples where men are portrayed on television in a more positive light or have I just cherry-picked a few examples that are not part of a trend?

45 Comments:

Blogger dr.alistair said...

cheery picked.

my son is an actor (out of work waiter) and he gets series of tv shows on dvd to study from his agent.

most of the new series portray mannish women with hyper fighting skills and alpha posturing (cop shows and post-apocaliptic and military genre mostly) where it's the women who are pulling things together and the men dither.

9:23 AM, September 23, 2011  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

cherry...i meant cherry.

9:24 AM, September 23, 2011  
Blogger Leatherwing said...

I can't remember the last TV show involving police or military where there wasn't a female in the role of either toughest person (physically) on the team or in charge of the team (with the requisite long history of heroic credentials).

I really like Castle, but when Beckett interrogates ax ex-Special Forces assassin, it's comical for her to intimidate him by throwing him up against a wall.

9:59 AM, September 23, 2011  
Blogger Jerry Blondell said...

Where have you been?

Fall TV’s mean women, milquetoast men: Post-feminist shows flip gender stereotypes
By Hampton Stevens -The Washington Times, September 21, 2011

11:30 AM, September 23, 2011  
Blogger By The Sword said...

Usually when i watch TV. I mute the sound. This forces me to use some of my vrain to figure out what is going on and invent my own or invent my own story. It is sort of the inverse of reading really cheezy fiction.

11:32 AM, September 23, 2011  
Blogger DADvocate said...

I hate that cell phone commercial because the woman comes across as as super castrating and the guy is too wimpy. Maybe it appeals to a segment of female buyers. The State Farm commercial is genuinely funny. I like the part where the wife asks the agent what he's wearing and he says, "Khakis."

"The Mentalist" is my current favorite TV show. Meanging, it's the only show I actually know what day and time it's on and make a point of watching. In the season premiere last night, a woman was cast as the innocent, unknowing wife of a serial killer the main character had killed. In the end, it turned out the wife had full knowledge of her husband's activities and was a partner in his crimes.

I'm with Leatherwing regarding the super tough females. There's a few out there but not at the level the show would have you believe. I remember when Joey Buttafuco (sp?) did a celebrity boxing match with China, the female WWE star. The middle aged guy pushed her all over the ring and he was taking it easy on her. The feminist tint and lack of believability hurts the show from the start.

11:40 AM, September 23, 2011  
Blogger HMT said...

Stay away from "prime time" junk. If you're going to watch "TV" then pick and choose.

The following portray men (strong and weak) as men and women (strong and weak) as women

Burn Notice
Breaking Bad
Sons of Anarchy
A Game of Thrones
The Shield
Justified

Keep in mind none of these portray anything remotely resembling reality and all are pretty dark. Game of Thrones comes closest as a period piece. Burn Notice is your 'sit-com'

As for commercials, I never watch them. My DVR automatically removes them from recorded TV (which I don't watch live) or I pickup the DVD or stream. Life is so much better without commercials

12:32 PM, September 23, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

Given that the audience jeered Christina Hoff-Sommers during the "Men Are Finished" Intelligence-2 debate, and Hannah Rosin won her position by a landslide, I am not much warmed by a couple commercials. From what I heard, the debate was a corked bat, with Slate giving reduced-fee tickets to its readers.

To HMTs list I would add NCIS.

After that repulsive episode on The Talk, there has been a lot of activity in the MRM to harrass TV execs, but I really don't think the tide will turn. There is far too much money being held by women (80% of the GNP unless I'm mistaken), and nothing attracts women like seeing men treated like shit.

After The Talk and the Hannah Rosin debate, I am certain of that fact.

2:39 PM, September 23, 2011  
Blogger DADvocate said...

Zorro - I'm with on NCIS, the original.

...nothing attracts women like seeing men treated like shit.

Especially liberal women. Another reason I claim liberalism is a hate based belief system.

3:56 PM, September 23, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

I just read an article from one of the leading newspapers in Washington State (liberal Mecca) stating that this Fall's TV lineup is nothing but viscous women and pussy-whipped men. There's even a show called "Man Up," about a bunch of loser gamers trying to find their Iron John. The rest is tough-as-nails and sexy female cops (Charlie's Angels, etc.) that hunt down and beat the crap out of male criminals.

So, do I think the trend is reversing and TV is being less hostile to men? Not in the least. It is continuing to morph into an exclusively female fantasy projection device, aimed at perpetrating the lowest possible stereotypes about men and "wonder woman" myths about females to keep women in their seats so they will swallow the commercials.

One of many reasons I haven't watched TV since I was in college. TV rots your mind faster than cocaine. If I stumble across a good show (Justified, Archer, NCIS), I just buy it on DVD.

I hate television.

4:21 PM, September 23, 2011  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

mcluhan did studies on media in the sixties and found that between tv, radio and print, tv produced the best retention of information followed by radio and print came last.

we are being re-programmed.

4:49 PM, September 23, 2011  
Blogger Captain Capitalism said...

The question is are men even watching TV anymore? Aside from Venture Brothers, the Military Channel and the History Channel I mean.

6:48 PM, September 23, 2011  
Blogger DADvocate said...

The question is are men even watching TV anymore?

When they do it's not the major networks, except for sports. I look at my sons, ages 18 and 22, viewing patterns. Sports, History Channel, Discovery, stuff like that, plus HBO and rented movies.

7:43 PM, September 23, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

Capt & DAD:

1. Venture Bros are awesome (ditto Archer).

2. Are men watching TV? Sure, and for all I know more than ever. But because men spend less than 25% of the nation's "disposable income" who cares? They will be given low-production cost fare, and the prime time drivel will be directed at Her, because she's the one who does the shopping, chooses the curtains, decides if we get a Ford or a Nissan, and what color the curtains are.

TV shows exist for one reason: to keep the viewer in their chair between commercials. That's not a joke, it is a broadcasting fact. And the propaganda to feed the self-serving rationalization hampster will cater to that viewer's hampster.

Anti-male BS will flourish because it makes her feel better about herself.

When Toyota ran a very misandric ad spot in England, sales went through the roof, and the CEO of Toyota reportedly said in a meeting, "When we demonize men, women buy our cars!"

TV is only going to get far more anti-male. If there was a line in Vegas on that, I could retire in 5 years.

7:52 PM, September 23, 2011  
Blogger GPE said...

A few weeks ago, my wife and I were surfing through one of the video streaming services to which we subscribe. We like to roll the dice on the indie films and ended up watching "According to Greta." I was pleasantly surprised that not only was the ex-husband the sensible one (Greta's mom was not portrayed in a very favorable light), but the grandfather was also portrayed quite favorably. Shockingly, grandma and grandpa still enjoyed sex!

GPE

8:04 PM, September 23, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

Helen's question, "Is TV portraying Men in a Better Light?" is answered here.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/sep/21/mean-women-milquetoast-men/

Enjoy. And, no, it isn't.

9:50 PM, September 23, 2011  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

my wife had a book called "bitches and the men who love them".

that about summed up that relationship.

there is a class of women who's mothers told them they could do anything better than the boys, and despite the reality of it all, they bash on.

so what's next?

out and out fist fights at the pottery barn?

that would be funny actually.

7:26 AM, September 24, 2011  
Blogger Mario said...

So, how long until we start reading articles in the media about the "backlash" against women?

9:05 AM, September 24, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

@Mario:

5...4...3...2...

9:40 AM, September 24, 2011  
Blogger Ern said...

The question is are men even watching TV anymore?

This man hasn't even had a television since late 1976.

1:25 PM, September 24, 2011  
Blogger NotquiteunBuckley said...

There is a commercial on Fox News Channel often about speeding up a slow computer (speedupthedarnpc.com or something hopefully not too close to that lest someone actually visit the site because of my complaining about the ad) with the guy not only dumb, but horrible at acting dumb. It's like melodramatic camp acting done poorly with an attitude of helplessness.

His wife is cheating on him. He's thankful his wife told him how to speed up his computer.

1:28 PM, September 24, 2011  
Blogger Jerry Blondell said...

Hmmm, earlier comment seems to be lost??? Hope this isn't double-post

Thanks to ZorroPrimo for posting the link to the Wash. Times article, I was too lazy to provide - which does answer Dr. Helen's question.

Learn more about the implications of our misandry in media from "The Security Sex" in American Thinker
http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/09/the_security_sex.html

2 paragraphs to wet your appetite:

"Here is how you would proceed: Portray men in sitcoms, movies, and commercials as inept, foolish, and pusillanimous; Father Knows Best must become Father Knows Bupkis. Make sure these overgrown Hollywood boys are always outshone by the female characters, who will roll their eyes at them as they come bear the wo-man's burden. Also ensure that there are at least as many female characters in action roles as men -- and don't neglect to make them as hard and as tough, if not more so, than the fellows. And definitely show them beating men up as much as possible. Then men certainly won't seem very strong."

"To reinforce this, an explicit "girl power" creed must be instilled in young lasses. Be sure to tell them not only that they can do anything a boy can, but make sure they get the notion that they can do it better. You can even print up t-shirts with messages such as "Girls Rule, Boys Drool" and "Boys are Stupid; Throw Rocks at Them." Also be sure to replace prominent male historical figures in textbooks with women -- and if the latter are of dubious accomplishment, just massage the truth a little. And understand the goal here. If a woman can't make herself feel safe and secure, it follows that a man whom she sees as inferior to her will not be able to, either. Realize that another way of saying that women like strong, wealthy, powerful, intelligent men is that they like men who seem superior. So the goal is to get girls to believe, at as young an age as possible, that men are quite the opposite."

Be sure and catch the comments after this article and the commentary on it "Man-Bashing On The Road to Serfdom" by Elusive Wapiti on September 22, 2011
http://www.the-spearhead.com/2011/09/22/man-bashing-on-the-road-to-serfdom/

2:12 PM, September 24, 2011  
Blogger Cham said...

Putting the men aside for a minute, I'm getting concerned about how unmarried women are getting portrayed. We have 2 new series, "Whitney" where we find an unmarried woman kvetching about whether she should be married or not, and "Up All Night" where we have a married couple with baby that clearly can do no wrong. The couple spent last night working what an unmarried career woman who doesn't like children. They taught her to love and cuddle a baby never mind that she didn't want to have anything to do with the kid.

TV not only thinks men are idiots but unmarried women should be darned concerned about getting married and loving babies.

The clear heroes and righteous people in TV World are married women who have children.

4:18 PM, September 24, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

"The clear heroes and righteous people in TV World are married women who have children,"...superpowers, glam-fabulous careers and super-cool crime-fighting skills.

FIFY

5:03 PM, September 24, 2011  
Blogger Nikita Blue said...

Both men and women are being portrayed pretty poorly. This fall lineup involves "jiggles and giggles" as one Washington Post writer put it. And here's a prime example of guys being stuffed into the little stereotypical box of what's manly and what's not. It's ridiculous.

It'd be nice if men could do whatever they wanted to do without being ridiculed for it.

Here's one example where a Vodka ad in People magazine portrays men as "whipped" just for doing certain things: http://goddessblue.wordpress.com/2011/09/24/whos-whipped/

7:53 PM, September 24, 2011  
Blogger J. Bowen said...

I've stopped watching TV almost altogether, so I couldn't tell you.

On a related note, I received a Nielsen rating survey and sent a polite letter with the survey explaining that I no longer watch TV because of all of the negative portrayals of men. Hopefully someone reads it.

12:59 AM, September 25, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/09/the_security_sex.html

Suck on that.

Men are Evil / Worthless / Useless

...is an inside job!

8:55 AM, September 25, 2011  
Blogger Cham said...

Yesterday, we had another fatal vehicle accident locally. 5 white people had several beers, climbed on an ATV and drove over a cliff. 2 dead, 3 to the hospital.

This got me thinking, in my metropolitan area this summer we've had no less than 30 people kill themselves and their vehicle passengers by doing stupid things while driving a vehicle, mainly driving at high rates of speed on windy roads, then crashing into telephone poles, trees and fences. Even though I would suspect that racially we are evenly split between blacks and whites with some latinos and asians too, the drivers have all been white. All but one of them have been male.

Looking toward the fare we see on TV, the media has been portraying young white males for years as irresponsible beer-swilling dolts. Our young white males have taken this persona to heart, and are emulating what they see on TV-Jackass style. No network in their right mind in 2011 would portray a woman or a black man like this. The young white men have gotten the message loud and clear, with disastrous results. However, with white men being extremely sensitive these days nobody is willing to discuss this matter. These men are just going to keep killing themselves and their loved ones, I hope they don't kill me in the process.

8:02 AM, September 26, 2011  
Blogger Jerry Blondell said...

Cham's comment is on target. You tend to get what you expect or as it is also known "self fulfilling prophecy". Here's a recent article that provides scientific evidence of declining educational performance among boys. I've provided a link and the first paragraph:
Gender bias may fuel under-performance among boys September 3, 2010 by Toysoldier http://toysoldier.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/early-gender-bias-may-fuel-under-performance-among-boys/

It seems obvious that boys’ poor performance in school may be linked to gender bias against them. Fewer boys than girls graduate high school or attend and graduate from college. Fewer boys than girls score well on standardized tests, pass basic courses, or receive high marks. More boys than girls are diagnosed as ADD or ADHD. More boys get held back a year, placed in "special" classes, and reprimanded for their behavior.

All of this occurred within the last twenty years, the same time frame in with the education system shifted to address girls’ needs.

10:14 AM, September 26, 2011  
Blogger Peregrine John said...

Random thoughts:

It's so prevalent that it's getting noticed. Good start. See also here.

I make mental notes of ads that engage in mindless misandry, and am careful not to patronize them. There may not be many who do that, but I can't be the only one.

Conversely, several have presented not just individuals but manly virtues and viewpoints in positive light; I put them on the "top of mind" short list for their product. See also the ad with the guy dropping off his daughter at school (sorry, can't remember the SUV just now).

10:55 AM, September 26, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

@Peregrine: It is getting more than merely noticed. It is becoming impossible to ignore. This culture of ours openly and proudly regards the male of the species as shit.

12:12 PM, September 26, 2011  
Blogger J. Bowen said...

Not to take this slightly off-topic (feel free to ignore this if you feel this is the case), but why do you all watch TV knowing this? As I see it, doing so is no better than someone repeatedly going to a restaurant when the service has been bad every previous time. It makes no sense.

12:33 PM, September 26, 2011  
Blogger Eman said...

I wouldn't turn another cheek to watch that show...of course, I'm still in love with the retro shows [pre-1990]. I'm just too busy romanticizing MeTV and AntennaTV since it's sa little 'low-key'!

Eman

2:33 PM, September 26, 2011  
Blogger Vader said...

What is this "television" you speak of? And what are you doing to get rid of it?

2:58 PM, September 26, 2011  
Blogger Peregrine John said...

JB: I don't watch the crap shows, just the ones which fail to offend. Though I am absurdly forgiving now and then, my tolerance for this particular sin is getting rather low. But commercials are somewhat harder to ignore, as I don't always skip over them. There's good TV out there.

3:59 PM, September 26, 2011  
Blogger J. Bowen said...

Lol, what shows aren't crap?

7:47 PM, September 26, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

@J. Bowen:

I loathe television, but there are good shows out there.

Justified. Archer. Venture Brothers. NCIS (the original, not the faggoty L.A. series), numerous others.

Yes, 90% of TV is porcine fecal explosions, which is why I never watch TV (I buy shows on DVD and flip the bird to commercials and editing).

Still. One wishes to keep an open mind (you know what they say about an open mind? It's like a parachute. Its only purpose is to retard your progress in life.).

8:16 PM, September 26, 2011  
Blogger Greg Kemnitz said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:41 PM, September 26, 2011  
Blogger redrajesh said...

When a negative impression is created, it takes twice as much work for twice the time to change it to positive. TV has been busy cultivating a negative male image for 30 years. For that impression of TV to change, they have to work the other way for twice as hard for 60 years. 60 years down the line, maybe people might start feeling that TV has stopped portraying men negatively if they just try hard enough.

6:39 AM, September 27, 2011  
Blogger bmmg39 said...

Cham: "Looking toward the fare we see on TV, the media has been portraying young white males for years as irresponsible beer-swilling dolts. Our young white males have taken this persona to heart, and are emulating what they see on TV-Jackass style. No network in their right mind in 2011 would portray a woman or a black man like this. The young white men have gotten the message loud and clear, with disastrous results."

You're absolutely right: the women are supposed to be reading/watching JANE EYRE, whereas men are given other men doing faceplants on the concrete while their trousers are set on fire.

3:14 PM, September 27, 2011  
Blogger J. Bowen said...

Are you trying to suggest that faceplants aren't funny? If so, I suggest you watch this.

10:50 AM, September 28, 2011  
Blogger bmmg39 said...

Thank you for proving my point.

12:51 PM, September 28, 2011  
Blogger Jennifer said...

And the Spike channel, Captain :P

"It turns out, he got the phone for free and and she looks shocked and shuts up"

How funny; I misunderstood what he meant (or haven't listened properly for a while) and thought he said that he'd already bought a deal that would save money, which simultaneously meant he'd spent more money without her, and was his way of saying, "Guess what honey? I actually bought the whole freakin' deal, and yes without asking you. Chew on that."

10:32 AM, September 29, 2011  
Blogger Jennifer said...

"One wishes to keep an open mind (you know what they say about an open mind? It's like a parachute. Its only purpose is to retard your progress in life.)"

Or save you from an unexpectedly hard landing.

But it's good not to have a mind that's TOO open; that'd be like having a hole in the parachute: you land stunningly hard anyway when reality strikes.

And please, NCIS was always gay.

10:36 AM, September 29, 2011  
Blogger Nick said...

I'm glad someone besides me (and of the opposite gender) noticed this too. In most commercials with multiple people, it's usually the woman who comes up with the brilliant solution (the product being advertised) while the oblivious men fail to see the obvious.

Don't get me wrong, I'm content to not see women constantly depicted as preening housewives. I'm just tired of the deliberate and systematic reverse discrimination coming from leftist Hollywood and their associated television counterparts.

I saw a trailer of the new Three Musketeers movie showing a woman in a Victorian dress engaging in unbelievable and ridiculous looking swordplay. I was less offended by similar stunts in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, but I can't say why.

6:42 PM, October 02, 2011  

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