I got this nicely articulated email from a guy who perfectly captures something that drives me crazy as well about this culture that so often engages in male-bashing without realizing that it IS engaging in male-bashing. Dan, I think you’re right on. All of my readers, I would love for you to take a look at his comments and tell me if you agree.
Dear Mrs. Feldhahn,
In your book “For Women Only” you mention that the culture has ways of showing disrespect for men. This is especially true in TV commercials.
Last night I saw another example.
The commercial was for the Sprint “Framily” pricing plan which allows both friends and family to be on your family plan. In those commercials the women are introduced before the men. The daughter is portrayed as an attractive and intelligent child busily working on her laptop computer. The mother is shown next lovingly smiling at the camera as she also works on a computer. However, the family’s “friend” is a sullen faced male who appears to be wearing makeup while he glares as the camera. A grandfather is briefly shown but he has no lines and seems rather silly. Finally, the father is shown last of all. He is a gerbil (literally) who lives in a clear round ball. The gerbil “father” talks to the family from inside his ball and objects that “framily” is not a word. But his daughter soon points out that he uses the word “brunch” which is also not a word so he does the same thing. Naturally, the father has to concede that she is right and he is wrong. The ad closes with a “framily” picture.
Naturally, someone has to hold the gerbil “father” who cannot even pose for a picture without help.
This ad is really insulting toward men. However, my wife and daughter don’t see anything to worry about. They do not agree that TV ads often show women as attractive, educated and productive individuals forced to correct their less informed and foolish male counterparts (or at least roll their eyes at the things he says.)
As a man it pains me to see this male bashing theme in so many TV ads. It also hurts to see my four sons growing up in a culture which portrays them as simple buffoons whose only hope for survival is to find a strong woman who will protect them from themselves.
Wives and mothers should take this trend more seriously. They should not just brush this concern aside by saying “It’s all in fun” or “just take it like a man.” They should realize this culture of male bashing means the men in their lives have an even greater need to hear positive and supportive messages from the women who love them.
Thanks for listening.