Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Good-For-Nothing Husbands

George and I have a real beef with how men are often portrayed on television. The good-for-nothing husband hatches a screwball scheme that falls apart at the get go, only to be rescued by the super competent, no-nonsense, hardworking mom who rolls her eyes and enlists the help of some consumer product or service to restore peace to the household.

The gender pendulum seems to have swung from the cliche of helpless, airhead girly-girl to hapless, hair-brained man child. Most likely, because mom is the one who controls the household purse strings.

Hotdog Commercial Tagline: "Men, easier fed than understood"
Of course, I'm dying to share ways that George does fit this stereotype. The most priceless one being that George was shocked to learn that the sun comes up earlier depending on the time of the year! Before Claire was born, his bachelor self hadn't been up in time (I'm rather jealous, really). Or that he had to check with me to make sure that he had the right date for Valentine's Day. And, yes, I've taught him what Cream of Tartar is and how to pick out a bunch of asparagus.

But these things certainly don't make him inept, and they don't show the complexity of our relationship. He also makes a mean Marinara sauce. And, while he does a manly man's job of taking care of the electronics in our home, I'm the one who brought a power drill to the marriage as part of my dowry (no, I didn't really have a dowry).

Our marriage is a partnership. We strive to work together as equals, while contributing based on our strengths. Some of our strong points may conform to gender stereotypes, while others may not.

I think that this picture is both truer to reality, and the way I want Claire to see men, women and relationships in her life. Also, there's a payoff for me. If George is constantly portrayed as the incompetent one, I'll have to do most of the work. And I certainly don't want to do most of the work!

I'm thankful that my husband does as much as he does for our family.

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55 comments:

  1. I think also ads like these give men the perfect excuse to 'act dumb', to get out of doing most the work!! Go you on the power drill front! I was shocked when I first met my hubby he didn't have an esky(ice cooler), I thought that was very un australian for a man!

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  2. Haha I agree totally with that last statement! I certainly don't want my hubs being thought of as not being able to do anything right. That's just more work for me!

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    1. There's always something that they can do!

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  3. I'm with you, I do enough work as it is :) I would love to see more couples represented as competent equals on tv and in movies, there's no reason why anyone has to be weaker or dumber, the man or woman. Maybe people are afraid there won't be enough drama or conflict for an interesting story? I also see my marriage as a partnership where we both bring our own strengths to the table and compliment the others - and there are still struggles and occasional drama.

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    1. Ha! I think you are right on about the drama. I don't need anymore drama!

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  4. I totally agree! I had this same conversation with my mom a couple years ago about that Ray Romano show.

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    1. Ray Romano came to mind, as I was writing this post.

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  5. Agreed!

    I want to scream at Peter Griffin and Homer Simpson, they are the poster boys for the insensitive, idiot husband.

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  6. Amen girl! And laughing still about the dowry! Priceless!
    Each person definitely brings their own to a marriage. It's important that we show our children that it's not one sided at all :)

    xoxo
    Lanaya
    www.raising-reagan.com

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    1. It's so important in a marriage and for the kids.

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  7. Good point on not wanting to do most of the work! I hadn't thought about it like that. You're completely right though that there should be a better balance of power in TV land. Because the fact is, when it comes to me and my husband anyway, we've both done some really stupid stuff that could qualify us as inept to breed. Breed we did, though and it turns out, we both can be pretty bloody awesome, too! :)
    Oh and I, too, had the power tools as a part of my "dowry" (hehe to that by the way!). My husband's tool contribution to our marriage was like 45 alan-head screw drivers. Really.

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  8. Love it! Great points! I respect your partnership approach to marriage. We view our marriage & parenting very similarly (even with my husband's own version of hair-brained-ness). And I am with you on the downside of portraying men as incompetent; I don't need any more work.

    Love your blog!

    Katie
    bitofwine.blogspot.com

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    1. Everyone is capable of hair-brained-ness. I have my share, for sure. It's a good thing my husband doesn't write a blog!

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  9. thanks for another reason we don't watch TV...

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    1. Love it! We don't watch TV either. Much to my dismay, it's ALWAYS on at various relatives homes. That's all it takes to see this nonsense!

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  10. 1,000 percent, chica. There are definitely some things my husband says that I'm like, WHAT? No, you can't do that. But he does A LOT around the house and a lot of things that I would never be able do or even be interested in learning how to do.

    Gender stereotypes cut both ways, and I'm with you. Turns out, R was the one who swaddled and diapered Henry the most in the beginning because I was like ACK! ACK! I'M GOING TO BREAK HIM!

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  11. Hmmmm... trying to remember my 1st and 2nd husbands... my first one did all the "manly" things, including drinking too much,and the 2nd tried to prove he could do it ALL just to prove he was superior. Ya got a good one there mija- hold on to him. BB2U

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  12. Stopping by to say hello Rachel! You too...I so agree! We take these stereotypes into our marriages and wonder why they're falling apart...hmmmm. Have a blessed week!

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    1. We have to stay conscious to these stereotypes. I don't want my marriage run by the media!

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  13. Good call on marriage being a partnership, so true! Thank you for stopping by and linking up!

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  14. Marriage really should be more of a partnership! I honestly think my husband idolizes Peter Griffin. Seriously. As we are growing older together, he's becoming less and less able to accomplish anything on his own. It's sad to say, but I think the 'stupid, inept' man is becoming a reality in my house. Ugh.

    So glad to see you on the GtKY hop!!

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  15. Please join us for a Friday Flash Blog, where you can share your favorite posting of the week and see what others are talking about at http://www.fridayflashblog.blogspot.com

    And be sure to sign up on our site to get an email notice when the next Friday Flash Blog is live.

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  16. Marriage is definitely a give and take, share the work and get it done type of institution. It should be a partnership because you are both in it together for the long haul.

    Kathy
    http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.com

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    1. Yes. I don't think we would make it the "long haul" if it were any different!

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  17. We call it 'stupid white guy' syndrome at our house since it's not politically correct to make fun of other races. It's really sad since so many guys don't fit the portrayal.

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    1. Oh, I like that. It's so true. For some reason, it's become ok to be mean to white men. I don't like that any more than I like when other groups are singled out.

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  18. I'm black and I noticed on a lot of commercial, they have mostly white men looking incompetent. I think companies feel that they would get a backlash if it is the other way around, IMO.

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    1. Yes, I don't like any group getting singled out. It's a dumbing down of humanity.

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  19. visiting from GYB hop on http://www.callmepmc.com/2013/01/grow-your-blog-link-party-1-10-call-me.html#more Thanks for stopping by, following you on G+
    ~ Paula www.callmepmc.com

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  20. Excellent job recognizing this portrayal in so many TV shows--it's sad, and it's just as wrong as portraying stereotypes of women or any group, really! Husbands are a good thing--not someone kinda dumb that you keep around but talk down to, belittle, and hide things from. Such shows really do portray a poor view of marriage!

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    1. Yes, husbands are a good thing. Why bother getting married if they're not?

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  21. I think television's doing a better job of portraying more competent husbands. I love Marshall Eriksen's character in How I Met Your Mother. He's a goofball but his head is screwed on a lot tighter than his wife Lily's at times.
    Then you have Modern Family who portrays Phil Dumphy as clueless sometimes but then Claire is just over the top.
    I think slowly, television's changing.

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    1. I'm not crazy about how that show portrays men. Or women for that matter.

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  22. Aren't all men good for nothing? Just kidding, I swear!!! Love my man :) Thanks for stopping by the GTKY blog hop!
    Leigh

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  23. Hi Rachel! It's wonderful that your able to share things with your husband depending on what your good at, rather than what a man or a woman is "supposed to do".

    Thanks for sharing with my NO RULES Weekend Blog Party :)

    Paula
    lifeasweknowitbypaula.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks, Paula! We work hard to do so, because it's what we want our daughter to see.

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  24. Hi, Great post. I found you through the blog hop. Now following you.Please stop by and say hi when you get a chance.

    Be sure and check out my new Blog Hop that we just started, It's Weekly Goals Link Up. It's a great way to stay on track. Have a great day. :) Here's the link in case you want to check it out. Thanks again.http://lenettacarnes.blogspot.com/2013/01/weekly-goals-linkup-1.html

    Also,My daughter, Kisha, also is taking over Fill In the Blank Fridays. The person doing it has decided she can't do it anymore so Kisha is now doing it. Her first one is today. Would love for you to join us there also. It's a fun one. Her blog ishttp://www.kjaggers.com/2013...

    You can also go to her page and at the to sign up for a reminder on both of these each week
 Have a wonderful evening. :)

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  25. Haha- so true! They are good for putting a beer in their hands and watching some football! I kid- my hubby is great but I totally see that on the old tv shows!

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    1. They are good at that too! It's all part of a package, right?

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  26. I have a hard time watching a lot of tv because of this reason. Men & women alike are put in these stereotypes. If you continuously watch these types of things, your opinions are going to start slowly changing to what you are watching.
    Great post to get the mind thinking! Have a great week! http://cbstoltzfus-intothewildblue.blogspot.com/

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    1. I agree. People say, "oh, just take it for what it's worth". But I think it can't help but seep into the culture, if you watch it long enough.

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  27. I think over time the dynamics have changed in marriages and relationships. Take my grandparents for example. My grandfather ran the family and the finances. These days women handle it all and men have taken a back seat. While this is great for women, and while you see more women these days enrolled and graduating from college, being a parent of two boys I wonder how this new portrayal of men, especially men in relationships will feed or deminish their egos. I think this whole men are dumb thing has really changed the way society works and thinks. I am extremely grateful for all the new opportunities out there for women and do believe it should be an equal playing field, but to do that, do we have to "dumbify" men on TV? Great great post!!!!

    Stopping by from the Weekend Blog Post showcase, sorry its so late I'm reading this. Had a busy weekend!

    Heather from Mommy Only Has 2 Hands

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  28. I agree - men are constantly portrayed on TV as idiots, and it doesn't do men or women any good to keep pushing these stereotypes. The sooner we can recognize each other's strengths and weaknesses, and appreciate how those allow us to work together in partnership, the better our marriages - or just, relationships - will be. Thanks for inspiring me to go thank my husband!

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    1. Aw, I'm glad I could be the inspiration for that!!

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  29. We are so quick to apply stereotypes aren't we.

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    1. Yes! I think it's so important to fight that impulse!

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