Have you seen the average man in a movie, commercial, or TV show recently? They are bumbling idiots who can't put a rational thought together, much less handle a relationship, take on responsibility, or think about anything but sex, sports, pleasure, and money.
This is especially amplified when we talk about fathers. The average father is inept and pitiful. His children loathe him and his wife can barely tolerate him. The "stupid dad" commercial is everywhere. Here is a taste of what I am talking about.
Dad is an idiot:
Men lie for football/pizza and are idiots just the same:
Dad is a complete and utter idiot:
Now, think of some of the portrayals of fathers in TV shows, who did only one thing right his whole life, which was marry a woman better looking than he is - Al Bundy, Homer Simpson, and just about every father from a family-based sitcom (with a few exceptions such as the Cosby Show).
But, the incompetent husband and father figure is frequently shown as other areas such as comic strips, animated TV shows, movies (esp. comedy), etc.
It is sexist, but most people in our society have become so numb and comfortable with these portrayals of men, that they don't even think it is sexist. Well, what is mothers and wives were the ones portrayed in this manner? How would we feel then? If it is unacceptable for women, then why is it acceptable for men?
As a father and a husband I think it is a shame. We need to be supporting fathers, not tearing them down. Especially in a culture that is falling apart, with a large part of the blame on men who aren't acting like men (think of the deadbeat dad, the husband who runs away with another woman, the men who abdicate their responsibilities to their families, etc.).
Part of the problem is that men are now conditioned to live in a state of permanent adolescence. They are not raised, coached, mentored, and taught to be men. They are just "guys". Women don't want to marry a "guy" then want a man. This problem is highlighted in two recent articles:
- Where Have the Good Men Gone? - The Wall Street Journal. A snip:
Not so long ago, the average American man in his 20s had achieved most of the milestones of adulthood: a high-school diploma, financial independence, marriage and children. Today, most men in their 20s hang out in a novel sort of limbo, a hybrid state of semi-hormonal adolescence and responsible self-reliance. This "pre-adulthood" has much to recommend it, especially for the college-educated. But it's time to state what has become obvious to legions of frustrated young women: It doesn't bring out the best in men.
- What Porn Does To A Relationship:
What I would like for everyone to see is the devastating change brought to the marriage from pornography, from a woman's viewpoint:
Not only was I shocked when he told me, I was also hurt, confused, scared, betrayed and angry. I felt like my world had just been turned upside down; my safety and security were crumbling away. His confession was overwhelming.
Within minutes, the foundation of our marriage was shaken. The trust we had built was destroyed. I no longer felt safe or loved. I was suddenly bombarded with lies—he doesn't find me attractive; it's my fault he strayed; I'm not beautiful; I'm not sexy; I am a horrible wife; I'm a failure; he is stuck with me; he doesn't love me ... these seemed to instantly go from ridiculous to quite possibly true.
The idea of the full-grown man living as an adolescent guy, who is only out for himself, isn't masculinity but a betrayal of what a man is supposed to be.
Porn twists a man into believing that he is masculine by conquering women for his sexual gratification. It isn't being manly at all.
Catholic men and women need to stand up to this corruption of masculinity. To be a real man is just what I posted about earlier this week - it is to respect, protect, love, and serve.
We must live this true calling of being a man out, model it for others, teach it to our children, and challenge others to live it out. We cannot sit back and allow the culture which portrays us as pleasure-seeking, bumbling, incompetent fools do it for us. They see men, fathers, and husbands like this: