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Men in the Media: Changing Our Society and Affecting Families

November 8, 2011 | Elizabeth

Last week there was a CNN article about men becoming the target of jokes in the media. The subject of being manly or man enough is showing up in recent commercials and tv shows, reflecting how our society is perceiving men these days. A new Miller Lite commercial says. “That’s the second unmanly thing you’ve done today…Man up.” and then a new McDonald’s one has a husband and wife going on their honeymoon until he sees the McRib is back, which prompts his wife to say “I married a 14-year-old.”

We may be unaware of how the media is taking a poke at men these days since there is more talk and hype over advertising and how it portrays women and how it affects our behavior. However, this ‘comedy show of men’ is unhealthy too and deserves attention as well.

The author of the article William J. Bennett says:

In all these shows, men have become the butt of the jokes. From weakness to irresponsibility to immaturity, the modern idea of manhood is in doubt. A shift in cultural norms, a changing workforce and the rise of women have left many men in an identity crisis. It makes for good comedy, but bad families.

Then he talks about what women told him:

They explained to me how they have to lower their standards to find a man. Young women, in particular, complained that men are dragging them down and holding them back. As one woman told me, if 60 is the new 40 for men, then 25 is the new 13.

And what about the feminists?

Most feminists are not celebrating the decline of men and shouting it from the rooftops. Certainly, the far-left feminist movement has sought to diminish the role of men, but a majority of women want able, competent men of their equal. Strong men make stronger women (and vice versa) and stronger families, and women want that. Many men today aren’t sure what they want.

He even relates this to the Occupy Movement:

While diverse and scattered, some of the mottos and slogans on display are in stark contrast to the traditional and time-tested ideas of manliness. Instead of industriousness, responsibility and entrepreneurship, these men demand free college education, required living wages and greater distribution of someone else’s wealth. Rather than look inward and rely on their own self-sufficiency, they look for a handout. A man’s livelihood once depended on his hands, back and brain. Today, the government can do all that for him, if he lets it.

Bennett says that the way to change this is for boys to have better men as role models. Think of the recent headlines of powerful political figures wrapped up in scandal, movie stars in and out of jail, and sports heroes not following rules and thinking they are above everyone else. What’s to become of our men and our boys? When we think about our future families and children, this is an important thing to consider how the media portrays men and how we will counteract it.

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