The Deprecation of the Ideal Male by Pop Culture

As you may have noticed, men have become the brunt of a lot of jokes lately. For example: there are several TV sitcoms poking fun at a man’s role in society – with names like “Last Man Standing” and “Man Up.”

This trend has been taking root for a while. You may remember shows like “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “King Of Queens,” which portrayed men as selfish, lazy, inconsiderate husbands and poor parents. And the commercials in between aren’t any better. In a commercial for the game Trivial Pursuit, a dorky guy asks a beautiful woman: “How much does the average man’s brain weigh?” Her answer: “Not much.”

Basically, the way men are portrayed on TV has become increasingly negative and the trend is so noticeable that it's been criticized by men’s rights groups. It's even been studied by academics Dr. Katherine Young and Paul Nathanson in their book, "The Teaching of Contempt for Men in Popular Culture." They say men are routinely portrayed as unintelligent on TV.

In fact, in a recent poll, most people thought that women on TV were “intelligent, assertive, and caring,” while the men were “pathetic and silly.”

So what’s the big deal? Well, for men in real life, it can lead to problems with self-image, self-esteem, and personal aspirations. Young men learn that they're expected to mess up, that women have the brains and that childcare is over their heads. Even kids now describe men on TV as angry or dumb.

Bottom line: There are too few positive male role models for young boys on television. That's why, in real life, the future of manhood depends on boys having good role models, from parents, coaches, and teachers. So guys, we need to man up!

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