Let’s Get Real!

4 06 2011

I have seemingly failed at the mission I set out to achieve when I started this blog. I had hoped to tackle some of my issues and use this blog as an outlet for myself and my feelings and I have been holding back. I’ve been holding back out of fear that my ideas were not filled out enough. I’ve held back out of fear that my ideas would be rejected or shot down. But I was just looking back over my notebook of musings that I’ve been carrying with me, most of which has to do with my thoughts on Men in America. See, there seems to be a lot of talk about men in this country and why we are seemingly failing at doing our jobs or being our best. There are lots of people willing to discuss why men are losing jobs and not going to college or not graduating from college. But I feel that there is a greater issue here. One the affects not just the men of America, but the children and the future of America. This post may be written in a bit of anger, but I am fed up with the representation of men in our media. If you watch television in America, you know what I’m talking about. You’ve seen the commercials and the television shows and the movies that seem to enjoy casting the man as dumb or inept or lazy. Men are being represented as fodder for comedy. As punching bags and something to be laughed at. I really question why this has become okay? I want to know why our culture has gotten to the point where we sit down and watch a show where a character is hit, belittled, laughed at, and even disrespected by children and find it not only funny, but totally acceptable! I am sick and tired of turning on a TV show and seeing the incompetent, lazy, slob of a husband sitting around watching TV, while his wife yells at him to take care of the kids because she’s too busy taking care of everything else. It has gotten to the point in our culture, I believe, that this is okay because it is merely a reflection of our actual lives. It seems that everyone is okay believing that men are lazy slobs who don’t contribute to the household in any way other than money. I cannot abide this notion, and I don’t think this notion should be allowed to continue. I think it’s about time that men step up and say it is not okay that we are being represented this way. I think it’s time that men step up, if they aren’t already, and work to make our relationships a true partnership. I think it’s about time that men say to their significant others that we want to help. That we want to be a real working part of the relationship and the household, and that in return, we be give more respect. Because I think this trend has some very real negative consequences that are going to hurt our culture severely if we don’t put a stop to this.

I think the most telling example is the programming available to children and young adults. This representation of men as lazy, worthless, and weak minded individuals has begun to spread to our children’s programming as well. I cannot tell you how angry it makes me to know that the programming that is available to children now, the programming my kids may one day watch, is showing the boys as a weaker, dumber, and less assertive group than the girls. Not only that, but because boys fill that role, a lot of shows are now portraying the idea that it is okay for those boys to be physically and emotionally beaten by their female counterparts. What is this saying to our children!? What will our boys grow into when they think that they are weak and dumb and deserve to be beaten? What will our girls grow into when they think that any boy they come across is weaker and dumber and needs to be beaten? If this does not stop, I fear that there will be a generation of men who grow up to be exactly that. And that there will be a generation of women who just let it happen, because that’s what they expect! This is not okay. This should not happen! A little boy and a little girl each should be given the same opportunities and the same motivation. I think they idea that girls can do anything is fantastic! Girls can do anything and should be told from an early age that they can do whatever they set their mind to. Girls should be told that if they want it, they should go get it. But let’s not neglect our boys! Tell them the same things. Let them know what they can do and be whatever they want. Tell them to go and get what they want. Because if we tell girls all those things and neglect to tell the boys, then the girls will be out achieving and dreaming, while the boys are left wondering what to do.

I admit that as I write this there is much in it that applies to my own life. I know how it feels to wonder what it is I should be doing. I know how it feels to be beaten back emotionally and physically for being a boy. I know the pain of being bullied because I was deemed weak. I can say that my experiences were not the worst ones possible. I know that and I am thankful for that. But the experiences that I went through changed my life and affected me for years. Sometimes I still feel a bitterness that haunts me for those that did me wrong when I was young. However, I also know that this is not an excuse. This is not a reason to sit back and just let the world pass me by because I’m wondering what to do, or I’m too afraid of rejection. Part of this blog is to get real and let my issues air so that I can begin the process of becoming a better man. I want to become the man I need to be. I want to become the man that provides for his family. I want to be the man who provides not just financially, but emotionally. I want to be a real part of my relationship and my household. And I want to step it up and be the man I’m meant to be in all areas of my life. The time is now. I start today. Will you join me?