Monday, May 05, 2008

" The question is why we feel no such decency toward men and the children who love them"

Kathleen Parker at National Review (Hat tip: Cory) has a good piece on the "Bad Dad" reality show that Fox is considering:

Of those everyone loves to hate, few can compete with the deadbeat dad for longevity.

How much do we hate him? While we’re counting the ways, Fox TV may try to help America organize its contempt and put a face on this loathsome character.

Bad Dads, redundant in these male-bashing times, is the name of a new reality show Fox is considering. While the network reviews the pilot, outraged fathers’ advocates are trying to nip this bad seed before it buds.

Parker makes some good points about child support stats and points out the hypocrisy of a society that has no problem denigrating fathers:

Clearly, some men are sinners and some women are saints. But sometimes the reverse is true. In fact, noncustodial mothers are 20 percent more likely to default on child support than noncustodial fathers, according to U.S. Census data. But we don’t see a reality show aimed at humiliating moms.

Is this because women, who have had fewer opportunities historically, are viewed as more deserving of the benefit of the doubt?

Or is it because civilized people would strenuously object to the public ridicule of moms whose children may be watching?

It’s preferable to imagine the latter. The question is why we feel no such decency toward men and the children who love them.

Why, indeed?


Blogger Cham said...

I think FOX has an interesting premise with this show, but my guess is that they are going to be selective with their victims: Making sure all the bad dads have money to spare and the good moms are penniless and living in a cardboard box with their kids.

I'd suggest a much better show called "Child Support Wars". They could bring the cameras in as clients meet with their lawyers. Here are possible scenarios that are very real life examples:

1) Alex grows tired of her husband and wants to have fun. Fortunately for her, she has 2 kids. Her husband makes big bucks. She wants not just some of the big bucks but all of the big bucks. Her lawyer is a barracuda and willing to fight.
2) Kara is bored with her job and wants to create an better income stream. Fortunately for her, she's taking fertility drugs and there is a rich married father of 3 that is hot of her. Watch what happens!
3) Liz hates her husband, she wants a divorce and his income. Unfortunately for her, her husband wants to share custody of their son. Watch them go!

See, now THAT is reality television.

1:24 PM, May 05, 2008  
Blogger Marbel said...

Cham, your comment cracked me up.

Besides the objections already mentioned here and on the other threads, I don't understand why anyone would be interested in watching a tv show like this. I suppose the creators have done their research and determined there is an audience, but I can't imagine spending any of my free time that way.

4:50 PM, May 05, 2008  
Blogger Joe said...

One possibility: We resent that some men are getting a free ride while the rest of us bust our balls for the ungrateful little bastards.

7:25 PM, May 05, 2008  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Fox, you Firefly-canceling idiots.

Please have your people call me. I can guarantee you that if you do a show called, "Monster Mom" your viewership would be three times as much as, "Bad Dad."

If there's one thing that enthralls shallow women viewers more than man-bashing, it's the vicarious thrill of rival-bashing.

Seriously, Fox. Have you never seen "Desperate Housewives"?

Thank me later, Fox, in the form of a nice check. Girls, you know I'm right!

8:49 PM, May 05, 2008  
Blogger TMink said...

"We resent that some men are getting a free ride while the rest of us bust our balls for the ungrateful little bastards."

When you produced children, you entailed a responsibility. A man fulfills his responsibilities. A real man does it without whining.


11:32 PM, May 05, 2008  
Blogger Mercurior said...

Again with the "real man" comments.

The reason why this series is planned, is that its mostly women who watch tv today.

Look at all the shows during the day, and at night. Hardly any are marketed just for men.

5:03 AM, May 06, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

I agree with Trey's sentiment. Your friggin' children are not "ungrateful little bastards" unless you yourself have made them so. There's nothing wrong with asserting a "real" man, woman or adult sentiment.

There are things that actual real grown-ups do, male or female. Caring for your offspring is one of them. I would be willing to entertain the logic for why it isn't amongst the characteristics of a real man as opposed to a poser.

6:22 AM, May 06, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't give network television that much credit. It is commercial after all. The dead beat dad scenario is big. It is fashionable to hate men. So, those in the board room, looking for profits, think a show such as this would be popular. Therefore they feel it plausible to be able to sell commercial time at a high price. Who's in the boardroom, as an overwhelming majority, anyway?

The show is definitely not being made as a public service announcement. I can't remember the last time I saw one of those.

6:41 AM, May 06, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post has nothing to do with this thread, but it irritates me to no end. Like millions, I put my incoming numbers on the national do not CALL registry. Evidently, there is not a do not FAX registry, as I had assumed, naive one that I am.

Like many, I have a fax machine at home as well as answering machine. I no longer get telephone solicitations (except from those running for office). I get as many solicitations now as I ever did, although it is a relatively new happening. I get them via facsimile. No name, no number on the caller I.D. They come early in the morning (just got another one) and late at night. Now they cost me money in fax paper and carbon paper rolls, not just inconvenience. Unbelievable.

7:16 AM, May 06, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:44 AM, May 06, 2008  
Blogger BobH said...

Do you suppose that men would watch a "Deadbeat Dads" series if it ran on ESPN? How about a "Deadbeat Moms" series?

10:35 AM, May 06, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A real man does it without whining."

You talking [sniff, whine] to me, tmink?

11:36 AM, May 06, 2008  
Blogger Joe said...

Your friggin' children are not "ungrateful little bastards" unless you yourself have made them so.

First, I was being sarcastic, but apparently "real men" don't understand sarcasm.

Second, bullshit. Nurture is way overrated. How a child behaves is much more a function of his or her genes; that they share many genes of the parents and thus demonstrate similar behaviors, fools parents into thinking it's them. It largely isn't.

11:38 AM, May 06, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"... but apparently "real men" don't understand sarcasm."


Real men don't joke around about RealMan (TM) duties.

Real men sometimes note sarcasm and then smile later after all of their duties to women are fulfilled.

12:39 PM, May 06, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

joe --

To paraphrase Zappa - sarcasm doesn't translate to print (unless indicated by context). The way a child behaves very early is governed by genes, then learning takes over. It largely is a function of nurture thereafter. By the way IAAB.

jg --

They also smile after the woman's duties to them are fulfilled.

12:59 PM, May 06, 2008  
Blogger Serket said...

My local newspaper had this article in the Sunday edition.

2:07 PM, May 06, 2008  
Blogger Whiskey said...

TV is a female and gay ghetto. With the exception of Sports and the History Channel.

Sponsors assume men don't make buying decisions, and more importantly ad buyers are nearly all women in their early-mid twenties.

That explains most of TV.

1:46 AM, May 07, 2008  
Blogger Micha Elyi said...

Whiskey_199 noted "Sponsors assume men don't make buying decisions." That's close to the truth. Sponsors know, they don't have to assume. 85% of all consumer purchasing decisions of all sorts, necessities and luxuries, are made by or on behalf of women. (Farrell W. The Myth of Male Power. 1993) It's time for men to reassert themselves regarding how the household's money is spent.

If Trey and Oligonicella don't like paying for other people's kids then they should stop doing it. (Duh.) Instead, they appear to me to be supporting those who'd cut down all the laws in their eagerness to exact revenge on other men. Sheesh. There is no moral obligation for anyone, even Real Men, to pay ransom to anyone who has taken away ones children.

4:54 AM, May 12, 2008  
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