I remember my dad being upset as a kid, yelling at the TV during the news. But there were other times that he would yell at the TV, usually during the Cosby show. And no, it’s not what you think.
My dad had a problem with how the father figure was portrayed. Often times, Cliff was the well-meaning man who usually got things wrong and couldn’t fix anything in their home.
This portrayal of men in sitcoms is one that continues to this day. In fact, it’s gotten worse. Take for instance, Grey’s Anatomy, whose creator is pretty open about not liking men and often portrays them as weak in all her shows (like “president” Fitz Grant whom she has play the role of damsel in distress. reference.)
Being in my 40’s now, I’d probably have to echo my dad’s sentiments. I don’t know very many shows that have portrayed a strong, balanced, wise man. I do know many shows that portray women that way, but not men. The only ones I can think of are older shows like “The Waltons” and “The Andy Griffith Show.”
Being a man is looked down upon by popular culture. And many men have succumb to the programming. Seeing themselves portrayed as the bumbling idiot who only watches sports while drinking beer with his pants unbuttoned, many men see that as the only option for their destiny.
It doesn’t stop there. Of all the identities that our society puts up on a pedestal, the noble man is not one of them. Any opportunity to take down a perceived nobleman is jumped on. Any time a nobleman makes a mistake or falls, his face is plastered across news outlets and used as an example of “yet another”.
But that’s not reality.
While I don’t know any perfect men, I know some pretty incredible ones. Every man I look up to has made mistakes in their lives and even in our relationship, but they’re still great men.
Sure, there are men who make mistakes, do stupid things and need to be put in their place. But, most men are not those men. Many men I know are honorable men, who work hard to provide for their families and live humble lives of service.
So, how do we deal with this problem? Should we start a movement, march and protest for the proper treatment of men in media and culture? I don’t think that’s the solution. How do we help the men who have embraced this faulty identity of manhood?
We look at how God designed men and build our lives around his design. Then we humbly live that out, day by day in a way that exemplifies to the people in our lives what it looks like to live like Men by God’s design.
When we do, and someone we know hears the fake propaganda that “all men are evil”, they will think about you and see evidence to the contrary and think to themselves: “well, not all men.”