I was reading through some of the blogs I follow, one of them listed a link to this article, “Ladies, Men don’t have it as easy as you think (If you have a few minutes, check out the post below it too. It’s pretty funny).” The article made me think and when I think, I write. If you have a differing opinion, suck it up and leave an offensive comment at the end. Offensive comments make me hard.
Essentially, the article says that women are constantly bombarded with imagery in the media that says they are unattractive unless they use certain products, or need to lose those extra pounds, etc. Then, on a day to day basis those same women are constantly receiving the opposite message from men. Men call them attractive, hit on them, gawk at them, etc.
Then, the article parallels the female experience with a man’s. Men are constantly bombarded with imagery in the media that says we’re fat, unattractive, need to make more money, or need a more expensive car to be attractive. It’s similar to women, but the difference is that men don’t get that day to day reassurance of their attractiveness. Men are rarely complimented, are rarely hit on, are not gawked at like women are. We have the negative pressure but little of the positive pressure.
I can feel the female hatred radiating through the screen. No, I’m not saying that being gawked at constantly, hit on constantly, and rude passes are a good thing. I’m sure those are a constant frustration, but I am saying that men don’t get any of that. Not even a smidge. None of it. No positive reinforcement on a day to day basis. I can’t remember the last time that a woman I wasn’t dating, or wasn’t family, complimented me on anything. I don’t even get “Hey, that’s a nice shirt” from female coworkers. And that was my feeling-sexy shirt 😦
Every once and a while, it would be awesome to get an unsolicited compliment from someone of the other gender. Reassurances like that might boost men’s confidence after being bombarded by the negative images we get on TV or in Movies.
One thing that the article doesn’t mention is the slight difference in how men are portrayed in the media. One of the most interesting distinctions between male and female portrayals on TV, especially sitcoms, are the stereotypical “fat, stupid, father/husband” (or the gawky, nerdy guy in Romantic Comedies). The woman is always attractive, but half the time the main male character is an overweight dumbass (The Simpsons, King of Queens, Family Guy, etc).
I could see a female perspective arguing that those representations show that men don’t have the pressure to be physically attractive. However, I would argue that those characters reinforce negative feelings about our bodies. Those guys are constantly mocked for being the fat, stupid father/husband. Those characters are the retards that lucked into a good situation and are desperately trying not to screw it up on a day to day basis.
If you look at male characters in movies or TV that are considered attractive, sex symbols, or successful they are just as bad as the media representations of female characters. The guys are ridiculously fit, tall, dark, handsome, usually well educated, talented, make a lot of money (or have some sexy job, like being a spy), and generally make us ordinary guys feel like fat, stupid, ugly, awkward idiots.
I’m not saying that either gender has it better or worse than the other, just that there are pros and cons to each. However, there is a lot of awareness and support around women’s issues and maybe there isn’t the the same level of awareness around some of men’s issues.
I don’t know, but it is worth thinking about. And writing about.