To start with, how many times have you watched a sitcom or program on tv where the younger adult male was the “smart”, “educated” or “somber and sober” person in the relationship, or even the wise one in a relationship? Not too often! (Not counting the relationship that has a “ditzy” female who would be dating the “idiot” man making them both “funny”. Most usually, the men (regardless of race or religion) are shown as fools who need to learn some kind of a lesson for that episode. And, this portrayal of men is not random. This goes for men who are single, as well as men who are married, men who are black, white, red, yellow and otherwise. I would even go so far as to say the man in a homosexual relationship, who plays what uneducated people might call the “male” character in the coupling also plays the fool most times. Men in movies and television, especially comedies, are often seen as bumbling, fumbling, incompetent and finally repentant while learning a life “lesson”. Why isn’t the woman filling these roles? Because how dare anyone shame a woman!
The invention, mechanics, maintenance and implications to our culture of the washing machine; the chemistry behind the various Hints from Heloise as to getting stains out of fabric using vinegar and baking soda; the artistry of the selection and drape of a bedroom curtain, including discussion of the visual, neurological and biological impact of various colors and patterns on bedroom activities; the flexibility and design of a toilet brush and the most effective style of toilet bowl cleaning; and the ridiculousness of why someone always leaves their underwear right next to the hamper instead of putting it in (known in highly intellectual psychological/behavioral economics circles as “The Proximate Hamper Aversion Dilemma”) – there is nothing about life that isn’t either capable of being highly intellectualized, or reduced to the mundane. I love sitcoms. They’re my favorite things on tv. My favorite is the Big Bang Theory, which has 4 very nerdy, super high intelligent men and 3 women as the main characters. Two of the women are also highly intelligent but not portrayed as nearly as nerdy. Yet, whom are the ones who are made fools of and look ridiculous in every episode? The obviously super highly intelligent men. (From time to time, it’s Penny who doesn’t have a college degree and is an actress, but because she’s blonde and very pretty, although these episodes and moments are very rare. In her case, it’s the men she dates that fall into this role.) Another favorite of mine was Tool Time with Tim Allen, who portrayed a man who was very successful as a salesman and helped create a successful tool show on television but is made to look incompetent in every single episode. There were also two other men, Al and Wilson who were made to be more competent, Wilson more so than Al, but Al also had his moments, especially when he finally got a girlfriend. Tim’s wife, Jill, was RARELY made fun of or made to look ridiculous. You can go down the list of all kinds of television shows and check them all off – Cheers, Frasier, Friends, Two Broke Girls, just to name a few off the top of my head. And yes, as a man, I laugh my butt off at them!