Sunday, August 24, 2008


One Way Hollywood Makes Men Look Bad

USA network airs a show called The Starter Wife. Obviously this is a show about a woman trying to make her way in life after being dumped by her husband for another woman, or something. I've never watched the show and probably never will.

But, the premise of look what another bad man did to this wonderful woman underlies premise of the show. I'm reminded of the movie "The First Wives Club." Another Hollywood production about the evils of men. (I never saw this either so I'm speaking from second hand knowledge.)

I'm still waiting for sympathetic shows on the men's side of divorce. Considering that women initiate divorce some where between 66% and 91% of the time, you might find a large male audience for such a show, except that men don't tend to wallow in self-pity.

Some interesting divorce facts:
The proportion of divorces initiated by women ranged around 60% for most of the 20th century, and climbed to more than 70% in the late 1960s when no-fault divorce was introduced: so says a just-released study by law professor Margaret Brinig of George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia and Douglas Allen, economist at Vancouver's Simon Fraser University. The researchers undertook one of the largest studies ever on divorce, using 46,000 cases from the four American states that keep statistics on which partner initiates the action. In addition to women filing twice as often, the researchers found, they are more likely to instigate separations and marriage break ups.

The Brinig-Allen study also explodes the myth of the brutish husband, finding, for instance, that cruelty is cited in only 6% of divorce applications in Virginia, one of the few states that still uses fault grounds for divorce. More women than men obtain desertion-based divorces in Virginia, but adultery cases are evenly split between men and women.
Hardly shows men to be the cold hearted clods they are often portrayed to be on TV and in movies.

Yet this is the message Hollywood tells our boys and young men they are insensitive jerks and tells our girls and young women that men are not worthy of their love and commitment.

One of the many reasons we don't watch tv, don't see many movies, and just to avoid popular culture as much as possible.
When I was a kid, my Dad hated TV. We didn't even have one until I was 8 years old although we could have easily afforded one. After we got one he strictly controlled what we watched and how much.

If we strayed too much he would take the TV to his office and keep it there for a month. I consider this one of the best things he did as a father.
well, yeah, it's true, but there is a lot of monetary reasons to reinforce the concept. Women buy an astonishing amount of goods that would be advertized on TV. Advertizers pay large to have shows that cater to specific demos, and in this case it's to demos that ended up with Joe Anyone instead of Prince Charming (tm) A lot of women are annoyed over time by gender differences, and a show that contains all the bad sterotypes or all the good ones appeals strongly to certain demos. It's true in every demo band...

That said, you see lots and lots of clearly incapable men, in all sorts of situations... usually with some strong, beautiful woman. The question I have usually is "why would somebody with such brains make such poor decisions in mates?"

'course I have gotten chastized for that a few times.

Which is why I watch Discovery, History, or the speed networks... regular TV not so much.
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