Thanks for your insightful article. A few of the reader comments suggested that the stupid-ification of men is Satan's war on various things, which all resonated as true. But one point that I did not see made in the article or any of the comments is that Heavenly Father (from whom Satan sought to take the glory) and Jesus Christ (who won over Satan in the War in Heaven) are both men. Psychology 101, or maybe 102, teaches that people condemn or ridicule others for the purpose of building themselves up when THEY (the ridiculer) feels inadequate. Connect the dots.
I am married, age 24 and about to have my third child. My husband is so magnificent. Every day he makes me feel like a queen. I had a little depression before marriage, but not at all now, because my husband is such a source of joy and confidence to me. He treats me with love always, I thought that was impossible. He doesn't have a huge list of expectations for me, he just loves me. I wish every one could enjoy marriage this much. I think all of the demeaning that goes on between men and woman is ultimately to further the gay agenda. The truth is, my life's purpose is fulfilled because of my husband, and I believe it is the same for him vice versa.
This article does not surprise me. I am thankful that the author wrote a personal story about the societal problems which are prevalent today. However, I don't think she wrote a convincing or a compelling argument (not that I need to critique her debating skills but I thought I would mention it). This problem of stupid-ification of men is a marketing tactic; it is so salient in our society because it sells; it sells because people like it; people like it because there is partial truth to it--they can relate to it in some sort of way or another. The TV show, The Simpsons was the first of my knowledge to make fun of the stereotypical American dad. Society loved the ideology of the stupid dad who was disengaged from his family as a relaxation technique to escape the realities of the workday--the viewers enjoyed it because they, themselves knew all about it.
If we consider the history (especially through the 50's and 60's; the Leave it to Beaver era) of the interaction of the "bread-winner" within the family, we see that the stereotypical man came home from "winning the bread", sat down, turned on the TV/or read the newspaper, kicked back on the Lay-Z-Boy, and expected dinner to be ready for him when he walked through the door. The problem was/is exacerbated more by the female workforce who was/is plagued with dual-social gender roles and the corollary expectations which are attached. The female workforce really became a big deal within society when WWII demanded that women enter the job force--commonly known as "Rosie the Riveter." When the men came back from overseas, society pushed the women from the workforce back into the home (when they were in the workforce they were not only riveting the airplanes, making bombs, welding tanks, ships, and airplanes together, involved in metallurgy, managing departments, etc. but they were also attending to their motherly, wifely duties of cleaning the house, changing diapers, making dinner, etc.). The women felt resentful and hurt that society did not want them anymore; the "men" had to take over the work and the women had to go back to what she is good at. Nowadays, women are gratefully accepted into the workforce but they are still plagued with the dual-societal gender roles; they are expected to not only complete a 40 hr. work week (more than likely more) but to also come home, make dinner for the "man," make lunches for the kids, bathe the kids, change diapers, clean the house, put the kids to bed, etc. Where is the hubby when the wife is doing all of this? He still needs his relaxation time of course; except now it takes on new facades like sporting events, video games, hunting, work, college, etc.
The stupid-ifying of men is not only instigated by women but also men; men are to blame just as much as women are. The fact that it is so prevalent in society today is because it is marketable; it is marketable because it resonates with the viewers.
In my opinion, the stupid-ifying of men won't stop till the roles of the family are brought back into harmony and shared by both the husband and wife. This is a societal problem but can be fixed by the fundamental unit of society, the family.
Thank you Mariah, I really appreciated this article.
I completely agree and it drives me nuts. There is also zero science or research supporting the supposed differences between the gender, but there IS evidence for the greater variation WITHIN a gender than between the genders.
All we have to do is look at a male being injured in any way and the laugh track tells us how far we still have to go.
Saying men "need" the Priesthood in RS discussions is another manifestation of this attitude that turns my stomach. How condescending.
I am a male, have been that way for 65yrs. and proud of it. I have a target on my back, I am stupid, I get directions from my wife when I am in the car, and I am from MARS. You woman last longer and we men die young after slaving all our years in factories to keep diapers on kids buts, feed a family and then die of a heart attack. Life is not simple, lets have a woman president, so we can take shots at her. We are doing it with a black president and he is a GUY. It is your turn now lady, to go off to war, get shot at, see what we have been living with since the dawn of time.
(as I step off the soap box and get into my lazy boy and take a long nap)
Thoughtful and very well written. I've worked in settings where such content is created. Each time I raised this very point I either received silent nods, or laughs---from both genders. It has been frustrating to the point of distraction. I believe the lowering performance of many young college men has these "expectations" as one source.
I have encountered many women who are quick to make snap judgments of men (assuming that we are all stupid), without making any effort to actually find out about our personalities or character. (This is one reason, incidentally, why I stopped attending single adult dances.)
There has been a General Conference Talk on this subject two of them in fact: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2006/10/let-us-be-men
Well said, Mariah. But then, I know your Dad, and his Dad, and the excellent example set by both.
Thanks for this article-for many years now I have been distressed with how men have been pushed aside, made fun of, mocked and ridiculed. While I am all for Woman not being objectified or pushed aside, I am unhappy with the new AMAZON WOMAN that has emerged at the expense of this portrayal of men that you have shown. As a mother of 4 sons and 5 grandsons, I think it is time to speak up! Men don't dare or cannot speak out but for the clarion call by woman of " discrimination". Thanks again.
I agree! I watched "I Love Lucy" as a child and noticed how dumb Desi was portrayed---and how dishonest Lucy was. Whenever re-runs came on I would tell my kids to watch for the unkind, dishonest behaviors of both the sexes. I tried to teach them how to be mindful and critical consumers of media. I believe one of the big problems with men not wanting to get married these days is that they've been raised on plots on TV and TV ads that portray the dads as doofuses who can't do anything right and are belittled by their wives and children. Who would want to sign up for that?
Long overdue! Thank you for this timely article. The men in my life have always held a very special place - father, husband, and two wonderful sons - all kind, considerate, caring and intelligent. Let's honor them as we wish to be honored.
I like all these comments, especially Aprils. Could this be a cause for the young men not wanting to make the marriage commitment.. ??
What a timely article! The lazy person's way of arguing is to "bring your opponent down to your own level of intelligence" and TV is certainly an excellent example of this technique.
From a religious point of view, this type of advertisement is just another way Satan uses his persuasive techniques to "make naught" of family values. This type of advertising is not just belittling men, but it's also a slight against womanhood!
Quite frankly, I'd like to see this topic publicized to the point where it becomes a topic for a talk in General Conference!
Thank you so much for saying something that really needs to be said.
I grew up watching Father Knows Best, My Three Sons, Andy Griffitth and other television shows and movies in which the Father was truly the wise father and husband figure. Slowly, the "dumb" husband and father shows krept in. "Married With Children" was the first one that I found really offensive. Men were stupid and women were sex objects as well as stupid. But not quite as stupid as men. Then came Everyone Loves Raymond and the Simpsons and a host of other offensive so called television entertainment. I looked up to the aforementioned heads of their houses on television, but have found that most men, since the "stupification" of men has occured, seem to resent any expectation that they "man up" as it were. The feminist movement was good in many ways, but much of the good has come at a huge cost. Men no longer view themselves as providers and protectors of their wives and children and women and children no longer look up to them as providers and protectors, Yet there is an undercurrent of resentment on both parts for the roles that this mentality has forced them into.
I agree with my husband that this is a timely and well-written article. NOW
maybe he'll stop telling those blond jokes that he thinks are so funny...I'm blond.
What an excellent view!! I have hated "The Simpsons" and "The Flintstones" for years because of these very reasons and forbade my children to watch these shows. Shame on our American society for celebrating the portrail of the American father as bumbling, deceitful, inept husbands and fathers!! It makes me sick!!
I completely agree with you. Thank you for this article. The men in my life are kind, loyal, incredibly smart, and wonderful. I'm so thankful for a husband, father, and father-in-law who know who they truly are and who strive to live in accordance with that.
Then there are those commercials where a woman keeps hitting a man until he begs her to stop.
FYI this issue has been raised in feminist discourse a lot. It is bad for everyone to treat people, men and women, as nothing more than archetypes. If we have low expectations for men it damages them and everyone around them, either by giving them licence to live down to those expectations, or by making them feel frustrated by unfair and unrealistic expectations. People should always be treated as unique children of god, not as someone who you know everything about the second you know their gender. If we don't assume people are beautiful, complex, important and capable then we are short-changing both them and ourselves.
I so agree with you on this! I also decided while teaching Sunday School yesterday that this whole "men just aren't naturally as spiritual as women and we need women to keep us on the right path" attitude from men has got to stop as well! It's like they I think that gives them a free pass in developing their own spirituality, but we need them to step it up and be our partners in that regard! Thanks for this article and for the opportunity to vent :-)
THANK YOU!!! I have two girls & then two boys. My girls had every opportunity handed them on a silver platter by people who had high expectations of them. They felt they could meet those & did.
The boys however are being told constantly by the school system they ARE the problem, they can't have problems NOR solve problems & thus not be expected to achieve. They struggle more with that than the girls ever had to struggle to excel!
I am reading two very good (older books) right now: The War Against Boys & The Myth of Male Power. Both very good reminders of how we as a society have been sold a bill of goods w/regard to feminism. IT IS SATAN's WAR ON THE PRIESTHOOD!
Both my husband and I have seen this trend and agree with you that is it a really bad thing. I feel that itis one more way Satan is using to tear apart the family. Husbands and fathers should be respected as the leaders of the home.
I'm glad someone has finally said something about this. But it is not just ads. Look at the comedy(?) shows on TV. There have been nights that I have dubbed "dumb Dad" nights because of the back-to-back sitcoms with clueless bumbling men. This is funny? I refuse to watch any of these shows. In a way we re-enforce this idea at church by saying "if we want anything done we need to involve the Relief Society". Really?! No, we need to work the program of the church and have the organizations work together when appropriate and separately as they should. But call the RS in to save the bumbling men. No, this is not how it should be done. Some might may say I am missing the point because it is "comedy" - I just don't see what is funny. but I also don't find "blond" jokes funny.
Could you come to my ward and give this article as a Relief Society lesson? A fifth Sunday combined meeting? There's a real problem with this in our ward. We even have girls in Primary with this attitude.
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