Note: This is more of a personal post than an author one.
There are some things I’ve noticed in the United States’ culture that depress me. I don’t mean that I get depressed for days on end, but when I think about it, I get into a funk for as long as it’s on my mind. Okay. Here’s the list:
1. The dumbing down of men. This is in large part due to the TV sitcoms I’ve watched. I’m talking about shows like King of Queens and Everybody Loves Raymond where the wife is smarter than her husband who tends to act like an overgrown spoiled kid who can’t handle mature responsibilities. Media has an effect on how people think, and the messages in these shows is appalling to me. I fail to see little humor in a wife referring to her husband as an “idiot” or him having to practically beg her on his hands and knees to have sex (as if it’s something like candy to be given to a little boy who’s been good). Okay, those are directly from Everybody Loves Raymond, but in King of Queens, we all know who was smart and who was dumb in that house.
You know, there’s a horrible double standard in the US culture. We all bemoan the whole “guy is a stud and girl is a slut” if the two are sleeping around, but what about the standard where “we must treat women with respect, even if it means humiliating a man” standard I’m seeing off the media?
I don’t watch much TV or movies anymore. My kids watch the old shows off of Netflix. I don’t want my boys to think that being dumb or treated like they’re morons is okay. It’s not funny to me. Seriously, why would a woman with any common sense marry someone she thought of as an idiot? Doesn’t that say a lot more about her than him?
I could go on, but I’ll end that point there.
2. The sex-objectification of women. So while men are dumbed down, women are put on the ‘sex object’ list. Whether it’s a music video, a magazine, TV or on the movies, I am bombarded with these images of teen girls and women dresses as if they’re ready to head out onto a corner and get a customer. Then they expect men to treat them with respect? I’m not saying men have the right to expect sex, but the way media portrays teen girls and women, isn’t that the message the media is feeding both sexes? God forbid a woman should be fully clothed when they’re in the spotlight.
And what is the message we’re given? That as soon as you meet someone, it’s time to have sex. After all, who needs to get to know someone and build a foundation of friendship and love that will last a lifetime? That women are there for them to use? Meanwhile, the sexy women treat the men like they’re idiots?
And God help you if you’re not a “perfect beauty” or couldn’t lose that baby weight or whatever. Because if you can’t live up to the image on the screen/magazine, you are inferior as a woman. Our worth, in the end, is equated with what’s on the outside instead of what’s on the inside.
Which leads me to my final grievance…
3. All of this has led to a selfish attitude that is prevalent in the culture. I still remember that Twix commercial where the logo was, “Two for me. None for you.” This is why social welfare programs are so popular. People have stopped taking care of one another. We’re so consumed by our comfort, our toys, our wants, and we have (as a society) turned over anyone we might help to someone else to deal with because it’s too much of a burden for us to be bothered with it.
Whatever happened to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”? I’ve been pushed aside in line by someone bigger than me, been cut off in traffic on purpose, had people dump trash in my yard because they can’t wait throw out their half-eaten apple into their own trash at home, etc. I’m not the only one. My friend here in town had a whole church full of people criticize her because she wrote a book and volunteered to read a short Mother’s Day story at a luncheon. She didn’t ask anyone to buy the book so I don’t get what the problem was, but they made her life so hard with their rounds of gossip she had to find another church to attend. Yeah, a church–exactly the place where you’d expect “unselfishness”. Needless to say, some churches are nothing more than “good old boy” clubs and if you don’t fit in, you don’t fit in.
Too bad the spirit of Christmas where we take time to think of others for a change isn’t something that continues through the whole year. 😦 Now we’re all back to “normal”.