Friday, January 21, 2011

Male-Bashing, Domestic Violence Against Men on the Increase - Part 1

In April of 2010, I did a post on the drastic increase of TV Violence Against Women. Subsequently, I received some anonymous comments about the increase in violence against men committed by women. The comments conveyed a general feeling that nobody is covering the issue of male-bashing.

Although there is a lot of male-bashing on TV – we’ll get to that in a moment -- I got the impression that the real concerns were about real-life domestic violence against men which may be an extension and result of the violence we see on TV. Real-life domestic violence wasn’t the issue addressed in my earlier post. But we’ll briefly explore it in Part 2 of this entry.

Regarding violence acted-out on TV
I’ve spent the last few months watching both movies and TV shows closely to compare the type and amount of violence shown against men versus that depicted against women. Men are generally represented to have been killed in murders, yes, including murders by women. The Oxygen show Snapped is a good example of this. But acted-out depictions of rape and spousal abuse against men are not increasingly appearing on's usually just the dead body we see. And that's getting more gruesome in detail.

Now, verbal and situational “male-bashing” is a different story! It’s everywhere on TV!

From early 1950s TV through the 1990s, we had family sitcoms where the TV dads were often funny, but nevertheless had the respect of their kids and wives. Male stars portrayed men who, in the end, dispensed moral duty and leadership along with tenderness. Many shows come to mind from Leave it to Beaver (1957-63) to Happy Days (1974-84), The Bill Cosby Show and Growing Pains (1984/85-92), and Prince of Bel-Air (1990-96). About the last of these was Home Improvement (1991-99). Granted, "Tim" was pretty nutty when he was around his gadgets. Yet, his morals were high and his family yielded to him and respected him.

But, centered in those forty years, the Feminist Movement turned from job equality issues to rampant male-bashing. Crops of single female stars boasted about having babies “without needing a father.” Respect for men decreased greatly. Television in the 2000’s has reflected the long-brewing result of this.

It probably started with “Married, with Children” which became so popular it ran ten years (1987-97). Since then, we’ve had a whole crop of sitcoms where the men look like total buffoons next to the women:
-No common sense;
-Cowering like wallflowers at the words of their bossy wives;
-Kids talking back at them with no consequences;
-Men sheepishly giving in to their family’s every whim and fancy except when they’re able to sneak out and do what they want.
-Being pushed and shoved, and of course it would be wrong to show men pushing back against women or children.

This isn’t only in recent situation comedies about married households like My Wife and Kids, Still Standing, and According to Jim. Men in roommate situations, like Two and a Half Men, haven’t fared much better.

These men are represented as fools with little intellect who drool after every skirt, care only for ballgames and booze, and are wrapped around their girlfriend’s or even their mother’s little finger.

Not only that, but it seems even on the TV dramas there’s a woman at the helm. Every police station now has a female lieutenant, every hospital a female chief administrator ordering the men around. We get it. Women can be in command.

Can this lead to verbal abuse and physical violence against men in real life? Please see Part 2.


Anonymous June 5, 2012 at 8:51 AM

c. cunn February 19, 2014 at 10:52 PM  

violence against males is accepted as comedy more and more on television even in commercials.

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