After our delicious Easter dinner, there was an inordinate amount of dishes. I blame the sleepy side effect of the turkey’s tryptophan for inhibiting our usual sense of cleanliness and forcing us into bed. Early. Of course, Ben’s all-nighter due to homework and my all-nighter due to Andrew the previous night could have had some compelling force as well. Descriptions aside, I have been fighting dishes and laundry since Sunday.
As of this early evening, I finally overcame the dish monster. The laundry demon, though, is putting up quite a battle. I can’t be too sad about this, it allows me watch hours of mindless television. You know, on my computer.
Unfortunately, what I thought would be mindless has turned out to be a source of constant philosophizing about gender issues; specifically, negative gender stereotypes. Mostly about men.
What surprises me the most about this show is how progressive it purports to be. Underneath their neat script, they are perpetuating gender stereotypes that I was sure were on their way out. I am sad to say I thought wrong.
This TV series has the typical cast of characters. It has the brilliant, thin, and super attractive women, and the intelligent, athletic, and handsome men. This show, like most shows, does an excellent job of portraying the women as very successful. Kudos to them. But, also like most shows, they portray the men as horribly crude and sexually impetuous.
I find it disturbing that in one episode they proved that women are equally knowledgeable when it comes to traditional male interests, like motorcycle racing, yet managed to include the long standing stereotype of males being incapable of rational thought when they are sexually aroused. My husband refers to this as the “dumb men controlled by their testicles” stereotype.
In light of how much the image of women has changed over the years, going from “being in the kitchen” to running for president, I am appalled that the image of men as purely sexual beings has remained almost unchanged.
I am wondering, is this stereotype any different from the women of the fifties who were metaphorically tied to their kitchens because of society’s definition of a good woman?
Sure you might be able to name a few men who allow their sexuality to control much of their impulsive behavior, but you could also name off an equal number of women.
I am most disheartened by the image this sends to the younger generation: men allow their genitalia to overwhelm any sagacious thought. Men are capable of being rational beings, beings that do not allow their appetites to control their minds. It is a myth that is wrongly advanced by the media and carried around in our minds–one that I find awfully degrading to men.
In my own home, I am trying to combat these myths. I hope to raise my boys to respect all people. I hope to raise them to be just like their father.