How to Get Mad at Your TV Like a Man

A surprising number of men are freaking out on Twitter over how they're being depicted on TV. Amateurs.
Publish date:
November 14, 2011
TV, Tim Allen, last man standing, male outrage, man up

"Male outrage" over fall TV first came to my attention via Twitter. Specifically, from the account of the very appropriately (if not insanely creatively) titled web site, MO and a score of other individuals are unhappy with how men are depicted on new shows like Tim Allen’s “Last Man Standing.” A surprising number of guys have taken to social media to express their upset over being depicted as "henpecked" and ball-less, but they're less angry at the writers or networks than they are at women. Like, as a whole.

For example:

It makes some sense: Most people don’t appreciate being reduced to clichés in television, advertising, movies, magazines and on the Internet. That’s not how real men look or act, you say? Sets a dangerous example, you say? Sounds familiar!

Yes, there are shows that are genuinely grostesque when it comes to depicting men and maleness, but blaming all female people and feminists in particular for it is just kind of ridiculous. But then, maybe a lot of guys just don't know how

But, as women, I guess we have way more experience and visibility as far as being outraged on behalf of your gender goes goes.

So, from a woman, some tips for the angry bro, or for the angry bro in your life:Have Perspective!If, in the middle of the worst recession since the Great Depression you are spending your time writing indignant Facebook status updates and tweets about how you feel wronged by a TV show, remind yourself of your (probably very long) list of bigger problems. Protecting maleness is very noble, but probably not very high on society’s To-Do list at the moment.Do Something ProductiveIf you feel that your gender is being unfairly portrayed in popular culture, why not do as women have done? Try doing something positive about it, like paying to see films that depict men positively (one of the "Madea" movies, maybe?). Or at least do something that feels male empowering. We have women's shelters and mentoring programs, but maybe you can just get really into a manly hobby. Woodwork? Playing football? Mixed martial arts? Learn to Use Social Media EffectivelyTwitter and Facebook are great ways to share pictures and jokes and articles. But guess what’s NOT gonna make you feel more masculine? Bitching about your feelings. (As the gender unable to keep from barfing emotions all over the place, that's our thing. Step off.)Have Fun With Gender!Also, consider: Being a dandy used to be quite popular. I’m not saying that most modern men could qualify for the very cool status of "dandy," but society swings in different directions from time to time. Sometimes it favors masculine men (like, for the past 200,000 years?), and sometimes it favors slightly-less-masculine men. You know, like in Ancient Greece, Victorian times, and that brief time that salmon pants were popular. If you think television shows are encouraging men to shed traditional hallmarks of masculinity like, uh, yelling at video games, embrace it and enjoy it. Maybe take a cooking class.Have Fun, PeriodDon’t get your boxer briefs in a half-Windsor when TV people tease you or make fun of you. Just enjoy it or ignore it. That's what we do with those pole-dancing workouts we're always seeing on "The Today Show." Hey, some grown women like to pay to spend their free time pretending to be strippers, and some of you like spend your free time pretending to be a pixelated soldier fighting an imaginary war. What does make you seem like less of a grown adult with full sized grown adult parts is not being able have a sense of humor about anything.If you're actually upset about how your race or gender or age group is being depicted on television, shouting into the void about your balls just makes you look bad. The next time you allow your whole identity to be threatened by something like a Tim Allen show … ask yourself if the lady doth protest too much. (PS: You're the lady in this situation. Just roll with it.)