The last few decades have seen men increasingly portrayed in a negative light, basically it’s now a choice between lazy, inept, evil, stupid, or creepy. Concerns raised about this trend are generally dismissed along the lines of “relax, it’s just a joke!”. Funny thing though, ‘jokes’ made about women elicit a very different reaction.
“Men have always made fun of themselves,” said New York Times best-selling author and social philosopher Michael Gurian. “The kind of things that are done with men in the media would never be done with women, and that’s just sort of a given. But men don’t mind. They live by joking and putting each other down and lifting each other up. But the negative is that they can only be OK if the rest of society has a basic understanding and respect for boys and men.” (Source)
I’m tired of Hollywood trying to sell me on the concept of “loveable idiots”, and I am disheartened by the ubiquitous content that tears men down. I love filling my life with laughter, however why are my current content choices trying to get me to laugh at a reduced version of men? Why is Hollywood trying to get me to focus on the broken-down, allegorical version of who they think my husband is? Obviously they don’t know my husband. (Source)
Now take a look at this article that appeared in that dreadful magazine ‘Cosmopolitan‘. It’s all about the ways that women are said to be better than men. Stomach-turning sexist tosh. Ah, but then treat yourself to this excellent rebuttal by Janet Bloomfield.
One wonders whether this ongoing negative portrayal of men reinforces hostility towards men, which may in turn influence the rate of partner violence towards men as addressed in this other blog post.
The various sources listed below discuss this issue in depth and/or provide specific examples of negative ways in which men are presented in the media and/or are subsequently perceived in the community-at-large:
The hen-pecked hero (24 January 2023)
Of Marx and Men, by Damien Coory (14 January 2023)
Misandry in Ads (a video from 2015)
Trashing men in the movies, by Bettina Arndt (28 September 2022)
Buy a real shaver – Jeremy’s razors (22 March 2022) Video satire
Ukraine’s disposable men (9 March 2022)
The dangerous pleasure of hating men (13 November 2021)
Of Bond, villains, and the average boy (15 October 2021)
Should we be concerned about the messages that men and boys are exposed to? (2 September 2021)
Sarah Everard missing: Why a curfew for men isn’t a bad idea (12 March 2021) Can you imagine a similar story saying women should be subject to a curfew? Err .. no
The team working for McDonalds fast-food chain (Mumbrella) seem destined to produce a Gillette-style campaign, but targeting boys (3 February 2020) “Just a bit a fun say the advertisers, while boys get demonised for slamming doors in girls’ faces” observes Bettina Arndt.
The marketing team at Lee Jeans thinks it’s ok to disparage men on the basis that only men spread over seats on public transport (July 2019) Tedious sexism. Video
A new German commercial takes man-hating to the next level (9 May 2019) Edeka takes up where Gillette left off
ABC’s The Drum – We’re all misogynists now (14 April 2019) Another great Scott Crowe video
The Victorian Government (Australia) has issued a video highlighting the horror of women receiving unwanted attention on public transport, and – surprise surprise – calling on men to step in and deal with other men (9 April 2019). ‘Independent Man’ responds to this rather well with his own video.
Ten things not to say to/about your husband (9 February 2010) Video. How rarely is this type of message encountered? Women have corresponding obligations to their spouse? What?
What is a man? A response to Gillette (January 2019) Video
Happy International Men’s Day, by Tom Golden (19 November 2018) Video
National Trust covers up male busts (6 November 2018) UK
White men are now the Democratic Party’s punching bag, by Saritha Prabhu (29 October 2018)
Rethinking Gender, Sexuality, and Violence, by Gideon Scopes (25 October 2017)
The mysterious invisibility of men’s good deeds, by Mark Dent (14 July 2018)
The beginning of the end, by Mark Dent (25 June 2018)
Men, you want to treat women better? Here’s a list to start with (17 October 2017) See the readers comments plus a related Reddit discussion thread here.
Sexual Assault Survivors Aren’t Just Daughters. They’re Actually Humans (12 October 2017) Stuff like this does my head in. Men shamed for speaking about the female experience (men can’t possibly understand!) Men shamed for not condemning sexual harassment (enough). Mainstream media runs many articles claiming that men only begin to understand women when they have a daughter (example1). Men feel unqualified to express a view so use justification of having daughter (etc) to qualify themselves as having a right to express a view. Men shamed for being seen to need to justify their views on the basis of having a daughter. Back to start and repeat.
Amanda Platell on the misandrous makers of TV drama (7 October 2017)
Does the NRL have a culture problem? (13 September 2017) Video
The Violent Sex (9 July 2017)
Between 1920 and 2005, men in USA increased their unpaid housework contribution x 3. Haven’t seen that acknowledged in any one of those countless articles about how men are such slackers around the house.
We Need More Balance In The Media’s Depiction Of Men (13 April 2017)
When did men (particularly dads) become so idiotic? (3 March 2017)
The myth of white male supremacy (14 February 2017)
Husbands Are Deadlier Than Terrorists (11 February 2017) USA. Wives are too, but saying that won’t get the author a tummy scratch from the feminist lobby. The thing is, even if the author had titled this piece ‘Spouses are deadlier that terrorists’, it would not have detracted from the main thrust of the article one iota … ie. completely superfluous sexism. (My readers comment is here)
‘Women kicking balls, I’d like to see that’ (22 January 2017) New ad campaign promoting women’s sport. How about ‘Men grabbing pussy, I’d like to see that’. Hmm, still not funny.
Son, let me tell you all about how dadsplaining works (13 January 2017) Whether this piece was a weak & inappropriate attempt at humour, or a serious bid for a tummy-scratch from feminists, it undermines the role of men/fathers at a time when we need to be doing the very opposite.
Cab firm is forced to pull ‘derogatory and sexist’ ad campaign featuring an overweight model with the slogan ‘If I start to look sexy book a taxi’ (4 January 2017) No complaints about sleazy man poster – you can portray men any way you like.
Advertising Standards Board rules Allpest commercial ‘vilifies’ husbands (29 December 2016)
An open letter to men, who can help female runners feel safe (6 December 2016)
Misandrist advertisements (1 December 2016) Reddit discussion thread
Stock photographers have all got the same idea of what it looks like when things go wrong in bed (17 November 2016) Reddit discussion thread and linked article.
Hating men is mainstream (23 September 2016)
Social Justice’s Punching Bags: Men, White People, Straight People (17 September 2016)
‘White men are being blamed for everything‘ by Mark Latham (30 August 2016) Australia
The all men (and only men) are potential serial killers meme: ‘What mass killers really have in common’, by Rebecca Traister (17 July 2016), and ‘One group is responsible for America’s culture of violence, and it isn’t cops, black Americans, Muslims or rednecks. It’s men‘, by Melissa Batchelor Warnke
Andrea Leadsom suggests men should not be nannies because they may be paedophiles (15 July 2016) UK. This gender bigot is a senior member of the newly-appointed British cabinet. A subsequent article regarding the reaction to Ms Leadsom’s odious comments.
Doting dad’s hilarious approach to housework (2 July 2016)
Can’t you take a joke, love? Why the ‘banter’ isn’t funny any more (20 June 2016) This article listed here as a further example of how feminist journalists are so wonderfully adept at describing problems affecting both genders as female-only issues. Meanwhile ‘jokes’ about men continue to go unchallenged.
Michelle Obama urges men at women’s summit to ‘be better’ (14 June 2016)
Top 10: Worst male-bashing ads (undated)
War On Women? OK, But What About The War On Men? (10 May 2016) USA
“Although the participants didn’t personally endorse those stereotypes, it’s clear that they affected the participants’ unconscious thinking. Stereotypes can be like poison in the water we all swim in, and the brain, like a sponge, absorbs them, Freeman said, even when we don’t want it to.”
Chilling Australian PSA shows how boys learn domestic violence (21 April 2016)
What’s the value of that item? Walmart does the #ManMath (16 March 2016)
Powerful Ad Urging Husbands To Help With Chores Goes Viral (2 March 2016) with related Reddit discussion thread here
Branded for life? Sending the wrong message to young perpetrators of family violence (24 March 2016) Typical feminism-inspired ‘education’ campaign that piles all the sins of DV at the feet of men/youth. The value of such campaigns is dubious to begin with, but it should have featured some female perpetrators. Naturally this article, in pro-feminist The Conversation, conveniently ignores that issue. Here is a video of a similar campaign now underway in the UK – again no hint of there being any female perpetration.
Heineken’s ‘Drink Responsibly’ TV ad (January 2016) Only men drink to excess. ‘Good men’ don’t drink to excess. ‘Good men’ get to go home with a hot girl. The subliminal message here being that men’s irresponsible behaviour is best addressed through a combination of shaming and dangling the carrot of sexual gratification. This not-so-flattering portrayal of men dreamt up in the (I’m guessing) feminist-sodden environment of some ad agency or another. Sure they score a point for making an effort to reduce over-consumption of a pernicious legal drug, but they lose two for lacking the courage & conviction to produce a companion ad for the ‘I’m so drunk!’ millennial female set.
Men have it tough in the social minefield, writes Jess Leo (7 February 2016) Australia
Advertisers now portray men the way they portrayed women in the 1950s: as either dumb or pretty, by Martin Daubney (27 January 2016) UK. Related reddit mensrights discussion thread here
When Gender Hatred Is ‘Funny’, by Mark Dent (20 January 2016) Australia
It’s comic schtick, not sexism: Why it’s OK for Julia Morris to drool over Dr Chris (18 January 2016) Australia
A poor start to the year for the Men of Australia (6 January 2016) Australia
You’re going the wrong way (2 January 2016) Australia
On Hating Men (16 December 2015) USA
Pajama Boy Redux: The Male in Modern Society (20 November 2015)
Emma Freedman: The terrible dates we can all learn from (16 October 2015) Perhaps there have also been similar articles about women who were terrible dates, but I can’t remember seeing them
How to stop mass shootings (2 October 2015)
The feminization of America accelerates as universities shame men for being men (20 September 2015)
The depiction of dads as schmucks by ad agencies (June 2015)
Astute Dr Elizabeth Celi UNRAVELS Truth about Men in todays Feminist world (11 June 2015) Video. Australia
Why this is the end of the dumb dad era (7 May 2015)
Too many young men with negative attitudes to sex and violence, survey finds (7 May 2015) And what of the attitudes of young women? We’re not told, and increasingly surveys don’t even bother to explore that side of the equation. This article is typical of the one-sided (anti-male) hit-pieces continually being fed to the public by left-leaning progressive journalists, eagerly supplied by obliging local feminist advocacy groups. Agenda? What agenda?
The denigration of men: Ridiculed, abused and exploited, by Peter Lloyd (18 April 2015)
Men are now objectified more than women (9 February 2015)
“Sorry, it’s a boy” – Superbowl advertisement (2 February 2015)
Man-slamming: another reason to slam men (10 January 2015)
Proved at last: Men really are idiots (12 December 2014) and of course Jezebel gleefully jumped in with a companion piece. Related reddit mensrights discussion thread here which discusses the flipside of this issue. And here is a related article by ‘Inside Man’ magazine that’s well worth a read.
Wet wipes blocking Sydney sewers as more men flush them down the toilet (7 December 2014) Yeah sure, and the sample size of the survey that determined that men were flushing wet-wipes, was how small? This article would have been worth writing if it had suggested promoting the use of Asian-style ‘bum-guns’ in Australia, but they chose to waste bandwidth with another hit-piece on men instead.
Parents warned of dangers of Santa’s lap (5 December 2014)
Men need to stop taking up so much room on public transport by Janet Bloomfield (16 September 2014)
Most advertisers keep up with ever-changing family roles (24 August 2014)
Men still hidden as victims of violence in the home (24 November 2014)
The internet hates men, and no one’s a winner (13 November 2014)
YouTube video of men trying to take ‘drunk girl’ home with them receives nearly 3 million views (12 November 2014) All articles admitted that the video was probably staged but were content to promote it anyway, because it was “shocking” and “disturbing”, and perfectly supports the dominant ‘all men are pigs’ trope. A subsequent article confirmed that people were recruited to ‘star’ in the video.
Miranda Devine: Stop your bitching about poor Bachelor Blake Garvey (12 October 2014)
It’s Time to Retire the ‘Dumb Dad’ Joke Once and for All by Mike Cruse (7 November 2014)
Casual misandry (4 November 2014)
Misandry in the media A video series on Youtube
Why do television shows belittle the feelings of men? (2 November 2014) Reddit mensrights discussion thread
“It would have been disingenuous at best to pretend that a male subject could represent such systemic abuse” (27 April 2012) Because men are never victims so how could they ever understand?
The “real man” dogma (15 October 2014)
I hate this insidious trend for belittling men, says Melissa Kite (23 October 2014)
How to get kicked in the nuts (October 2014) Because assaulting men is soooo funny!
Nine out of ten people pictured in charity posters are women (25 September 2014) As people have no sympathy for men
Don’t take pot shots at fathers (24 September 2014)
For Father’s Day give us men who aren’t shown as fools and clowns (5 September 2014)
When is ‘Violence against men day’? (1 September 2014)
http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/mans-penis-mistakenly-amputated-during-routine-circumcision/story-fneuzlbd-1227001450218 (25 July 2014) Oh look at the funny pictures that accompany the article! Why is it that I doubt they would use the same pics if the article was about a women who had one breast removed by mistake? Oh, that’s right, because it wouldn’t be funny then.
Are advertisers finally beginning to take dads seriously? (14 August 2014)
Make men better (such pigs) (September 2014)
Do men start wars? (7 August 2014)
If men acted like feminists, by Thunderf00t (28 June 2014) Video
When gender hatred is funny (10 June 2014)
Retire the bumbling husband: He isn’t helping (21 July 2014)
It’s Time to Stop Treating Dads Like Idiots (25 April 2013)
After seeing so many commercials where men are portrayed as bumbling, clueless idiots, this ad by Dove was refreshing (Reddit discussion on 12 June 2014)
Why are men on TV always such fools? (13 March 2014) Note the 433 readers comments – clearly many people are fed up with the current situation of rampant double-standards
Why do advertisers portray men as idiots? (25 April 2014)
Lay off men, Lessing tells feminists (14 August 2001)
And now for some good news: ‘Move Over, Mom, It’s Dad’s Turn In Ads‘ (27 January 2015)
And finally here are two representations of men, one from a country where feminists ‘call the shots’, and one from a country where they don’t. Can you guess which one is which?