Wednesday, May 21, 2008

My Dad is _______________

Have you ever noticed how the media portrays fathers and husbands? By far the majority of advertisements that have an adult male in them (and even some that don't!) make the man look either like a complete idiot or a fumbling loser or lazy or in some way is disrespectful to him. Sometimes it's the kids that roll their eyes and make some smart little comment that makes their Dad look like a fool. Often it's the wife being cocky, clever and all-wise and all-knowing and the husband contrasted as very, very stupid. Canadian Tire is a bad one, State Farm is also often that way, it seems to be everywhere! When I was a little girl, My mom would hate it if I brought home Berenstein Bears books. She noticed how every lesson seemed to be at the expense of Papa, he was always portrayed as the simple-minded one. It's even in our children's literature!
Honestly, it drives me absolutely mad. I will change the channel or shut off the radio if I hear or see an ad that does this. Aahh! I'm worked up just writing about it! Who really finds it funny? Is this really what wives and children believe about their men? Is this really what men believe about themselves?

It is definitely not what I believe! I respect my Dad so much. I look up to him for all kinds of wisdom and I know better than to doubt his all-around common-sense. I have learned in my marraige than it is so very important to respect my husband, too. He carries a good head on his shoulders, full of common sense and wisdom. I look up to these guys - they are smart, strong men and seem know something about almost everything! My daddy is my hero and my husband is my knight in shining armor.
I know that not all guys know how to be a "jack-of-all-trades" around the house, not all of them are good at fishing or building or sports or whatever other stereo-typical mold we want to fit all men into. But there is a huge gap between that and this stupid-man image that is so prevalent. A man should be respected even if he perhaps doesn't know how to rewire a ceiling fan or cut down a tree or score a goal or whatever!
Is this man-bashing the result of our selfish destructive natures becoming more evident? Dare I suggest that this may be a dangerous side-effect of the women's lib movement?


Jay Boaz said...

Shoot, you got to this topic before I could!

I think part of the reason the image of the bumbling dad is so prevalent is it's societally "safe". If you make fun of a woman in the same manner, it's oppression of women. Think about sitcoms. The wife can only be an off-the-wall character if the husband is too. I can't think of any sitcom in the last 20 years that featured a larger-than-life wife with a "normal" husband.

I could go on and on discussing the portrayal of both sexes and their "acceptable" roles in the media, but if I'm going to rant that long I may as well save it for my own blog!


Elayne said...

Great blog Julie!
My grandson just brought home a book that I refused to read more than once because it was all about how a little boy did not want to go shopping with his mother because she would embarrass him. I saw NO GOOD in that book at all.
So much of our society seems to think it is cute when children are disrespectful. Just watch a few segments of "America's Funniest Home Video's" if anyone needs convincing. I don't know if it's the fault of the women's lib movement when it comes to male bashing. I just know that if children are not taught respect to their parents they will not show respect to any authority including God. How sad!
I applaud you for introducing this topic and would love to hear more comments about it.

Julie said...

Elayne, the link between kids respecting their parents and later respecting those in authority and ultimately God, is so true!

There is so much more that could be said about this! Maybe Jay will do a series...