We need to empower women, but we can’t dishonor men in the process. Are the negative stereotypes of men in media warranted? The backlash might make some sense. Men have sparked wars, drugs, and human slavery/trafficking. Some men have been bad fathers. But, it’s also men who’ve stopped evil villains through acts of heroism. Evil isn’t just a man issue; it’s a human one. For every Adolf Hitler we find an Irma Greve, a Myra Hindley to an Ian Brady, a Jihad Jane to a Jihad John….
Today we’ll continue the narrative from How Society Shames Men for Being Men with How Society Dishonors Men.
Two ways society dishonors men as fathers: evil or incapable.
It seems like good fathers are a rare breed today. Some use the word “patriarchy” as a negative word to denote an oppressive system. But, at its core meaning, patriarchy means anything led by men. When a father is portrayed in media, he’s often portrayed as manipulative/controlling or distant/uncaring. In the event he’s a good guy, he’s incompetent as a parent.
The Buffoon commonly appears as a bungling father figure in TV ads and sitcoms. Usually well-intentioned and light-hearted, these characters range from slightly inept to completely hopeless when it comes to parenting their children or dealing with domestic (or workplace) issues.”
These depictions of fathers in media subconsciously may affect cases within the legal system. Even when men are good parents, they still lose a majority of custody battles in the event of a divorce. “By some rough estimates, about 60% of cases wherein sole or primary custody is awarded to one parent (as opposed to joint custody to be shared by both) [the] mother is awarded custody, despite the father appearing to be just as eligible, if not more so, to carry that responsibility.”
If society wants to break down gender stereotypes, we might benefit from getting rid of this destructive image of fathers..
Depending on your age and what area of the country you live in, being single is looked down upon. Someone recently asked me in my hometown, “So you waited until later in life to settle down?” I got married in my mid 30s! While that often can feel like you’re out to pasture in Los Angeles, CA, I got married at the perfect age for me.
Much of society seems to dishonor both men and women for staying single, and for different reasons. People assume you’re immature, gay, or poor if you’re a man.
Single people are subconsciously viewed as ripping apart the moral fiber of society, but in reality, many single men (especially in our LA Men’s Group) are involved in community service and are making a big difference.
While we still have a long ways to go in healing the racial divide in the US, statistics are clear: men, specifically black men, are considered dangerous.
Black men are often are depicted with negative associations in media through drug-related crime, unemployment and poverty. Successful black men are often portrayed in limited roles such as basketball or rap careers. These representations affect public perception and make black men look problematic. The reality is this: a clear majority of black men are good men who build strong and healthy communities.
Empathy and education could go a long ways in overcoming these male stereotypes.
Blue Collar Men
During the Great Recession, three quarters of the 8 million jobs lost were lost by men. Which jobs suffered? Manufacturing and construction.
Even though blue collar jobs are an important part of our economy and make up the infrastructure of the nation, these jobs are referred to as “dirty jobs,” and unworthy vocations.
Do women experience disrespect from society as well? Absolutely. Even though women now make up a higher percentage of working class workers, a low percentage of female CEOs comprises corporate America.
Society looks down on many groups, but because GoodGuySwag.com is a site for men, we’ve focused on negative male stereotypes. The problem with stereotypes is that they can be internalized, and in extreme cases, these stereotypes can be perpetuated. Frank Outlaw said,
Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”