For many years my husband and I have discussed the negative way in which media portrays men, especially fathers and husbands. I have listed several topics related to this issue on my “To Blog About List”, but decided that I would prefer to make a challenge for myself and anyone else who uses any type of media. So here is the deal. For 7 days I will tally up how many times I see, read, or hear the media portray a male as stupid or a fool. I look forward to sharing my results with you. I know that after seeing a Grey’s Anatomy episode where a mother hit her adult son because of a choice she did not approve of and also after seeing an episode of a cartoon, I feel that it is as important as it was ten years ago to be aware of the negative stereotypes of males represented in the media. I know my son and husband deserve better than what I have seen thus far.
I took the time to tally up the negative male stereotypes I saw on TV, heard on the radio, and read in print media this week. I watched eight hours of television, read 3 print magazines, read 10 online articles and blogs, and listened to two hours of radio. Some of the media was fiction or cartoon while other was real life “news-magazines” with a sensational spin put on it. I found that men were portrayed as clueless or confused 5 times. They were portrayed as scary or criminals 6 times, and they were portrayed as having low morals 3 times. I will say that I also noticed positivity as well. I saw a man portrayed as a problem solver. I saw another who was considered gentle and peaceful. I also saw two women portrayed as evil or criminals. Though this was not a scientific study, I do urge others to do a similar test on their own media experiences. Being mindful of stereotypes taken as fact as well as portrayed in jest can help us to create a better future for ourselves and our children.