I will admit to watching the Netflix series Cobra Kai. Any fan of the Karate Kid movies will enjoy binging the show as good escapist fare. What I did want to highlight is that the male characters, both good guys and bad guys, occasionally cry. I find this significant evidence that we are no longer giving boys and men the message that it is not masculine to cry. Too many male apologists, female journalists and authors perpetuate the trope that we teach boys not to cry and they therefore wind up suppressing their emotional lives to their detriment. This stereotype of masculinity might have had merit in the past but there are countless examples of male behavior in the media with a contrary message.
Another personal irritant is the way men are generally portrayed in various television advertisements. We are often made out to be lazy, sloppy and inept needing female intervention to clean up a mess, correct a mistake or to motivate a man to achieve a goal. A recent example is a life insurance commercial where, after a couple found out an acquaintance had passed away, the wife inquired of her husband whether or not he had purchased life insurance. He hemmed and hawed and admitted he had not. She then assertively told him about how to obtain life insurance that was affordable and pretty much told him to go buy it or else. Another commercial depicted a couple on a vacation trip unloading their kayaks from the roof of the car. She asks him for the life jackets and he responds that they do not have them. He states that it was her responsibility to pack them. She counters that it was his. Magically, an individual appears with a laptop showing a video replay of what occurred in their household before they started on the trip. Sure enough, on the video he states that he will pack the life jackets. She was correct and he blew it presumably ruining their kayaking vacation. There are many other examples of male malfeasance or nonfeasance in the media and I ask my readers to comment on them on the blog website.
On the other extreme I have also noticed men in roles that appear to portray men that just doesn’t seem realistic. An example is a commercial with a man with a baby in his front pack singing and dancing around the kitchen praising a product. Give me a break. I have no issue with a man carrying his child in a front back but dancing around in domestic ecstasy just doesn’t fit. Other examples of men praising a particular brand of laundry detergent while smelling clothes with a blissful smile is a ridiculous portrayal of a man doing household shores and frankly is also insulting to a women who gets her rocks off by smelling clothes coming out of the dryer.
I would really appreciate seeing men and women portrayed in a more realistic fashion that respects the best of masculinity and also respects women. A great example would be a commercial where a man and a women are having a discussion over a needed decision or disagreement with both parties listening to each other with respect and with the couple coming up with a compromise that both can agree with little resentment.