Snarkling Clean

Snarkling Clean- because you don't have to cuss to make fun of stuff. Two dedicated readers discuss romance novels- from what made us weep with joy to what made us want to poke pencils through our eyeballs.

Thursday, April 27, 2006


My son was watching t.v. the other day and complained, "Mom, why do they always show guys as clueless idiots, and the women like they know everything?"

I could have made the obvious joke, but he was truly irritated. I started thinking about it, and it's true. Many of the family friendly sitcoms (the only kind I'll really let them watch) and commercials feature Dipstick Dad. He can't cook, he can't do laundry, he doesn't know how to do anything remotely domestic. He's totally out of sync with Good Parenting Today, and social situations only provide fodder for embarrassing faux pas, particularly in the marriage relationship. God only knows how he's stayed gainfully employed all these years- he can barely dress himself in the morning. Brother, even if the show revolves around him, is shown as a bratty Machiavelli or Dipstick Jr. Mother Superior guides them through life, wisely showing the way because only she truly knows what's going on.

I told my son that it's only the small price men pay for living in a patriarchal society. "It's still wrong," he grumped. "Why would any woman fall in love with these guys, anyway?"

He shoots, he scores.

Can you picture any of these guys as romance heroes? Even the more adult-oriented shows have men who are shallow, stupid, and sex-obsessed. They never have a deeper thought, never show a smidge of competence. I guess it's funny, because most of these shows are successful, but the women have become, for me, suddenly Not Smart. She may be omniscient and omnipotent enough to figure out what little brother is up to, what little sister is thinking, keep the house clean enough for a Southern Living photo shoot, do her own profession in which of course she excels, and tutor her hubby in everything from washing whiter whites to communication skills, but why would this superwoman settle for Dipstick? You can't even claim hormones, since these guys are usually...well, let's just say they'll never be cover models.

As for the fact that the women are all gorgeous and skinny despite their three kids...oy. Don't get me started.


Anonymous Megan said...

Pet peeve of mine. Remember "Home Improvement"? I have no idea why Jill stayed with Tim all those years. She made it quite clear she was better than him, and everything he did was wrong (or maybe, why did Tim put up with her garbage all of these years...). And is it just me, or this stereotype portrayed only in white men?

Good on your son for realizing this terrible stereotype that's become 'acceptable.'

7:07 AM  
Blogger Robyn said...

And is it just me, or this stereotype portrayed only in white men?

Nope. Remember Bill Cosby in The Cosby Show? I always wondered how the heck Cliff Huxtable became a doctor.

7:22 AM  
Blogger Missie said...

Is it any wonder why young men today think nothing of getting a girl pregnant and then leaving her to go off with someone else? (hmmm, who does that sound like? Mr. Britney Spears, perhaps?) We have perpetuated the myth that men are basically needed only for sex, and even then, WE will let them know when, where, and how often. We can raise babies by ourselves, provide for ourselves, and just generally run the world by ourselves, so why should they hang around?

( and do I have to put a disclaimer in here about how I know some single moms are great and some men are evil and shouldn't be around their kids and blah, blah, blah, or is everyone going to use common sense and realize where I am coming from? Don't want to start a war here, but sheesh.)

10:38 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Terry and I were just talking about this the other day. The only shows I can think of that aren't like what you are talking about are "Full House" (can we all say ick?) and "7th Heaven." And on the latter one, God bless mom and her child-bearing hips!

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

ARE there any sitcoms where both parents seem normal? You bring up a good point. My hubby may not LIKE doing diaper-duty and cleaning, but he does it. He's not an idiot, either. I wouldn't marry a guy who was a moron or who wouldn't carry his weight. I respect him. I think you could get by with a guy who was less qualified in one area as long as he was heroic in other ways.

3:46 AM  
Blogger Bernita said...

Yes, "respect" is an important function.
Very good point, Robyn.
A lot of bashing out there these days, even in commercials.

6:22 AM  

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