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by
Helen Smith

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March 22, 2012 - 3:47 am

I was watching the show House Hunters last night on HGTV and noticed that, even with such a neutral show, in the space of ten minutes I saw two commercials that were abusive to men. In one commercial, a woman was angry at a man at work and dumped a cup of coffee on him. In another, a man was in the grocery store aisle anxiously trying to decide whether his wife (or girlfriend) wanted the sweetener Stevia or real sugar. He was terrified that if he bought her sugar, she would be angry as she was off sugar that week, but he was also afraid that she would get mad if he bought her artificial sugar as she would think he thought she was fat.

Another commercial showed a woman powerfully riding around on a lawn mower. I wish I could just peacefully watch a show without the constant message that says men are wimps, perverts, idiots, or must live in constant fear of women and the simultaneous message that women are powerful. They climb big rocks while their boyfriend looks at them with admiration. Have you seen that Citi commercial?   These commercials may seem cute to some but they are destructive when they treat men as accessories to women rather than as human beings. Why not treat both sexes as worthy of some dignity?

Do you have a least favorite of these “males are idiots, predators, or wimps” commercials? If so, drop it in the comments as I am working on a section for my upcoming book on why men are on strike in the U.S. and could use some tips.

Update: Listen to my discussion with radio host Brian Wilson on negative images of men in the media here.

Helen Smith is a psychologist specializing in forensic issues in Knoxville, Tennessee, and blogs at Dr. Helen.
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