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Watching Television

We don't watch much television at our house. In fact, we don't even have cable. Just the broadcast channels. But every once in a while I do like to turn on the TV and see what's on.

Tonight I turned on the TV and tuned in to NBC, which was playing a show called Meet Mister Mom. You can guess what the show is about from the title, but I'll explain a little bit just to make sure we're all on the same page. Basically the show producers have picked some families with working fathers and stay-at-home moms. For one week the show has the parents switch rolls, with the mothers going off for week of fishing and golf (because that, apparently, is what the show's producers think men contribute to society) while the fathers stay at home and manage the "chaotic household."

Am I the only one who's a little tired of this premise?

Maybe its because I'm a single father, but I take a little offense at the idea that men are inherently deficient at caring for children and doing household chores. Why do all the mother's get sympathy? I'm not saying that caring for a home and children is a challenging endeavor, but is it all that more difficult than what men do? Are we really supposed to believe that there are no men out there who would trade in their jobs hawking car insurance policies or counting widgets down at the factory for laundry and diapers at home? If given a choice between dishes and laundry or selling insurance, I know what I'd do.

And why the double standard for fathers and mothers? You know that many in this country would consider it "sexist" and "offensive" to imply that a stay-at-home mom couldn't go and do "man's work" at a job, but implying that men can't stay home and do "women's work" is considered "funny" and "heart warming."

Mocking men, in fact, has become a staple of prime-time television. Look at most of the sit-coms that we've seen come out in recent years. A good percentage of them seem to always feature a fat, beer-swilling bumbling father who has to be rescued from himself by a smart, attractive know-it-all woman. The King of Queens comes to mind as a good example of this sort of thing, as does Everybody Loves Raymond.

Do I think we need to march on Washington or start up some support groups in response to this trend? No, not really. But I do think that, in an age where good fathers are too few and far between, maybe mocking fathers isn't such a great thing to do.

By Rob Port of Say Anything.


Comments (12)

Just more of the lefts atte... (Below threshold)
Doug:

Just more of the lefts attempt to immasculate our society.

Rob,I was with you... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

Rob,

I was with you until this:

...in an age where good fathers are too few and far between, maybe mocking fathers isn't such a great thing to do.

That might explain why sit-coms and others feel that such stereotyping may be perpetuated. This is a false assumption and I fear you have subliminally adopted their premise. Say it isn't so! Tell me the pod-people haven't absorbed your being!

Hmm. I thought I read somet... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

Hmm. I thought I read something like this somewhere else.

This is just another reason... (Below threshold)
captaindog:

This is just another reason I don't watch TV. And, it's not really a really good reason beyond being vacant in so many ways. At least it's not murder and mayhem, sex, or an endless stream of gay inuindo(sp.?). Anywhoozzil, TV is for chumps, I don't know if I get broadcast bands, (no antenna) and i certainly don't have sat or cable.

*steps off soapbox and bows*

Holy crap, Rob. I'm still g... (Below threshold)

Holy crap, Rob. I'm still getting past "In fact, we don't even have cable."

That helps explain your prolific blogging...

There's just not much I wan... (Below threshold)
Rob:

There's just not much I want to see on cable. I can get the shows I do want to watch on DVD (Sopranos, etc.) and I can get my baseball games on my laptop (mlb.tv). My news and everything else I get on the internet.

And Ryan, there's been more than a few posts in this same vein made on many sites on the internet. I've covered it on my own blog more than once. I just like to trot it out every once in a while when it comes to mind. Its something that doesn't get nearly enough attention.

You know, now that every sh... (Below threshold)

You know, now that every show comes out on DVD (and the turnaround is pretty quick) I can totally see where not having cable isn't such a big deal anymore. Plus, you aren't left dangling week to week with shows you enjoy.

What's your opinion on mlb.tv? Worth the dough?

Right, Rob. I think it's a ... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

Right, Rob. I think it's a sentiment that transcends partisanship. And the position that a lot of us share, which is line with this post, seems to come about from personal experience.

As far as TV goes, I don't watch it. How does that saying go?

"Television is called a medium because it's neither rare nor well done." Heh.

RE: Ryan's post August 17, ... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

RE: Ryan's post August 17, 2005 12:29 AM

"Television is called a medium because it's neither rare nor well done."


The first time I saw this play on words, it was on a chef's apron as a gift for pledging money to PBS:

"PBS - A Rare Medium Well-done"

Both are quite clever though I think your reference rings more true.

This falls into the same ca... (Below threshold)
OC Chuck:

This falls into the same category of society's behavior concerning minorities of all types (race, religion, sexual preference, etc.). The white male can be cast as stupid, bumbling, evil, moronic, and its no problem. But put the minority in that position and someone or some group will be offended.

Being a white male, I don't really care when other white males are portrayed in that fashion - big whoop. Its just interesting to observe the protesters getting bent out of shape. George Lopez is a good example. In his standup, he often makes reference of how Mexicans are portrayed on TV and in movies. His routine may by funny to other Mexicans, but it is boring to me and gets old real fast. If it works for him, fine. I'll just turn the channel.

"The white male can be cast... (Below threshold)
Toby928:

"The white male can be cast as stupid, bumbling, evil, moronic, and its no problem. "

I actually like that presentation. Its always good to be 'misunderestimated'. Only the top dog can afford to laugh at himself. ;-)

Tob
Nixon'08 Death is no excuse!

Simpsons, family guy, etc..... (Below threshold)
zach:

Simpsons, family guy, etc...




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