Monday, January 28, 2008

We're not perfect

The premise for this show is irking me just a little. (Okay, maybe a lot.) “The Week the Women Went Away.” I haven’t watched the show, so I can’t make any fair judgement on the content, but I am certainly entitled to my opinion about the premise.

When are we going to get past the stereotypes, assuming that men just don’t “get it” when it comes to household chores and raising kids? And that women are just so much superior in those roles (and every other role they put their minds to) that they are indispensable?

My husband has survived just fine without me for up to three weeks at a time. True, the kids’ clothes might not have matched as well, but does that really matter? They were loved and well fed and they’ve often survived various bouts of sickness when I’ve been away (okay, almost EVERY time).

The truth is, I’d probably have a harder time surviving if Marcel went away. There’s a pretty good chance the kids wouldn’t be fed as well – he’s the primary cook in the family. And I might miss a few appointments or soccer practices – he keeps a closer eye on the family’s schedule.

But you won’t see any shows about “the week the men went away”. No – that would be anti-feminist, suggesting women can’t survive without their men.

Why is it that we allow the media to do lots of “father-bashing”, but not an equal amount of “mother-bashing”? Watch the average sit-com (or the myriad of shows aimed at pre-teens on the Family Channel) and you’ll see the typical sit-com family, with a relatively smart mom who holds the family together, and a bumbling fool of a dad who’s more often the comic relief than the stable and wise father-figure.

Is that okay? No, I don’t think so. Perhaps we’ve done ourselves a dis-service by allowing feminism to paint an unrealistic picture of “super-woman” for all of us women to strive toward and by painting an equally unrealistic picture of “un-super-man” for men to be beaten up by.


Michele said...

Amen. I always hated Everybody Loves Raymond and the "Tim the Toolman" show (whatever it was called) because the fathers seemed so dense.

If this took place in MY small town, however, I think I just might swallow my convictions and take the free week at the spa. I wouldn't feel guilty though (I read somewhere that some of the women couldn't enjoy themselves because they felt guilty.)

Guilt is such a waste of time.

Anvilcloud said...

Interesting point of view. Perhaps because men have a history of being more dominant and secure, they can "take it"? Is it that women have a different history and are in a different place? Anyway, well done.

andrea said...

Yesssss. And on that note, in spite of the fact that my husband is currently suffering -32C at a copper mine in the great white north (though he IS working on their computer systems, not hefting a pick'n'shovel :) I wish it was me. I WANT TO GO AWAY for a week and leave him in charge. Teher'd be no anxiety here -- just euphoria!

But on a hausfrump note, can I use oat bran in those bran muffins? I have the ingredients, except wheat bran, and want to give the recipe a test drive.

Pamela said...

There is a lot of bias (is that the right word?) especially in commercials against men in that way

The Passarelli's said...

I just had this same conversation with my friend Peter about how it has been OK to put the man down on TV, but not the women in a family setting. I personally don't care and get a kick out of the fumbling Mr. Mom, even though in a lot of cases it's not true. It is just an old steroid type way of thinking that has been used in TV comedy for years.

Being a man alone with my son, I still get unasked for advise from some women. Maybe they think that all men are like the ones they married!

Most of these women that I am talking about never did what I am doing without any help.

Thank's Heather! From Mr. Man.


Michele said...

i'm laughing at the freudian slip in the last comment... old steroid type way of thinking...

Liz said...

That does seem to be the same old tired formula for sitcoms doesn't it?

The Passarelli's said...

Holy smokes! Mr. Man fumbled that up! I meant stereo type.

I ran my comment through a spell check before I entered it and didn't check it. Woops!Funny!

Mr. Mom

The Passarelli's said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
joyce said...

Yes, I've often wondered why we are so dense as a culture. We are horrified that sayings like "Women drivers" used to be commonplace, but now we make up entire shows about men being well-meaning idiots who can't be counted on for much.
Women do seem to do better with multi-tasking (at least in our marriage) but its odd that the very mockery that now seems inappropriate to aim at women is free game for the dad role.

Anonymous said...

Well YOU might not be perfect, but *I* am.