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Susan L.M. Goldberg

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April 3, 2013 - 7:00 am
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Watch out, ladies in the dating world: Family Guy’s prized demographic is totally Petarded.

According to the show’s creator, Family Guy’s target audience is men ages 18-34.  This happens to be one of the most desirable demographics for advertisers and women looking to eventually get married and settle down.

Who hasn’t dreamed of a life with Peter Griffin?

Obviously, not all men between the ages of 18 and 34 are going to find the humor of Family Guy appealing.  Yet a growing majority of them do.  I long ago learned as a woman not to attempt to comment on the male psyche; why these men find Family Guy so appealing is not in my realm of interest.  However, the message Family Guy sends about masculinity is so apparent that I can’t help but laugh at this not-so-subtle irony:  Most women looking for men, the ladies trolling the clubs and hitting Happy Hours at the bars, are the ones who tend to stereotype men exactly the way they are portrayed on the show.

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Top Rated Comments   
I went through my own male-bashing years when I was in the teens and twenties. With an alcoholic father it wasn't hard to justify. My dad's stepmother damaged him--he, in turn, damaged me, and so it goes. Feminist thought is for damaged women who don't want to confront the pain and lack the emotional maturity to self-analyze.
But like the apostle Paul, when I became an adult it was time to put aside childish things. Forgiveness is better than bitterness; compassion is better than revenge.

As mature women we should put aside the male stereotypes. I speak up in defense of men all the time. Some men ARE idiots, perverts, fraidy-cats and the rest. But it doesn't help to keep saying so. The better response is to appeal to a man's higher calling, to that part of him that is the "image of God." Years ago I wrote to my brother-in-law when he was in prison and appealed to his sense of legacy. "How do you want to be remembered?" I asked him. That impacted him and today, with a trust in God, he's committed to doing what's right.

"Family Guy" may be funny, but it's funny because men evidently see themselves in the characters. That's sad, because men have paid their dues and deserve better.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (20)
All Comments   (20)
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Once upon a time men were taught to be gentlemen. Respectful, polite, dignified etc. Sadly, this is no more.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
An interesting article. I love pop-culture articles - Family Guy is a much better indicator of the zeitgeist than some art film watched by a handful of insulated, intellectually-inbred hipsters.

Personally, I'd like to see some attention paid by someone, anyone, about how Nickelodeon depicts men and boys in their "childrens" programming. "Nick" has apparently decided that physical violence and abuse perpetrated by haughty females against "stupid" boys is high comedy. It's absolutely deplorable, yet nobody complains.

It seems like the real crux of the article (and gobs of other female writing on similar issues) is that women really hate it when men "check out" from performing their traditional role as the family's provider and protector. Sorry ladies, but you're the ones that nuked the traditional gender roles. Now you get to reap what you sowed.



1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Uhhh...it is obnoxious to treat rape in this way, but you seem to miss the point of the point of the Aquaman scene: it is to indicate that Aquaman is contemptible and useless (which was funny once a decade or so back) by having him refuse to help but rather to take refuge in so contemptible an idea as that the victim '...led him [the rapist] on'. Similarly, Quagmire is not held up as being normative or normal---he is a pervert, and (more to the point) a rapist (he uses rohypnol sometimes) and a bit of a queer-hater (his reaction to finding out that he had had sex with a transvestite was one of absolute horror), so we should not approve of him.

Oddly enough, the treatment of Mr Herbert jibes with one account I heard of someone who grew up in a small town: there was a man who lived on the corner, all the children were warned to stay clear of him, but as long as he was never caught doing anything untoward in town, he was let alone---the tolerance of people who are not tolerant, but hate scandal.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What guff.

Peter's a character, an avatar for comic ideas. He would not be a good subject for analysis even if your process of analysis was legitimate, or your conclusions not preordained, or your mind not poisoned by so much dissonance shared with such a tiny, toxic audience.
Peter's problems are not inherent to him; they're not caused by anything but his own comedic purpose. This is why he can be more than one obnoxious thing in two consecutive weeks. He's just a shallow, careless version of Homer Simpson freed from the weird style of Matt Groening and planted in a marginally different situation.
Perhaps you're confused by the fact that Peter is a cartoon. That doesn't excuse this moronic line of reasoning, but it might explain where you discovered the link to this week's culture-war scoop. Perhaps you're confused because Peter's wife is obviously capable, sensible, and effective--like an increasing number of women are in this country, which apparently rankles White Men for some reason, probably related to the fact that football games and NASCAR races are zero-sum events so participation in this great commonwealth must be too. No matter--you went a-trolling for a vehicle for your contempt, loaded it with your pre-built notions, and drove on.
But Peter that cartoon is no more indicative of truths about (insert your current Big Conservative Idea here) than Ronald Reagan the actor was indicative of the mood of the country at any given time you might care to choose. Reagan was half a dozen decisions removed from any real 'influence', even demographic influence. This is related to the reasons humor works, which are tough to understand even for seasoned scribes with Masters degrees.

PUt another way, Family Guy is about as reliable an indicator of some key truth about our society and polity as these comments are indicators of your discovery of some key truth about Family Guy.

Family Guy is supposed to be funny, sure. But 'funny' is a troublesome word for people who worry that laughter is weakness. You want easy humor, watch Mac Davis or Carol Burnett (the early ones) or perhaps Lawrence Welk. Family guy is that sort of humor that isn't exactly funny, but is a very reliable detector of puritans and pharisees. We're not supposed to laugh at Peter--we're supposed to laugh at those who are laughing at Peter, but we are supposed to laugh loudest, and last, at those who utter such a deal of stinking breath about how tragic Peter really, really is. Would-be pharisees, I mean.
Phariseeing pays well--see Will, George F, to decide if it pays well enough to offset loss of honor. There are many applicants for the positions. There are those who openly honor puritans and pharisees--no doubt some of those are even now hunting and pecking in the coterie represented below. The cutting-edge scatology and half-baked satire of a show like Family Guy is perfect to get those tinhorn intern pharisees to stand up and blatt out their sanctimony, to claim their ration of contempt which they wear as a badge of honor (upside-down), and to rant on. Those folks aren't worth many words, because they don't read.
It's the stealth pharisees like our writer above I like most. Given enough leash--which little backwaters of logic like PJ Media provide--they'll demonstrate the full spectrum of hypocrisy in a single sally. These are the black-belt pharisees, the ones with degrees and studiedly ironic writing styles. They're usually cautious, because they're smart enough to avoid open forums, big ideas, and real people--they know that one errant culture-war torpedo can turn upon its maker--see Bachmann, M and Santorum, R for ample evidence of this.) The up-and-comers are the most interesting. The nature of Phariseeism means that those who stand pat are passed over. We White Males, for example, know that we're a species endangered by our own treasured mediocrity; we won't tolerate a pharisee who fails to note that everything is For Us or Agin Us. We won't tolerate a statement that doesn't annoy a little bit more than the previous one.

...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment

It's a risky business! The Pharisee of the Moment can't stand pat--that's a lot of pressure; plus, it's her nature not to resist a fat pitch in the middle of the plate like Family Guy (or Murphy Brown, or Lenny Bruce, or Jonathan Swift, or Aristophanes, or the hundred other examples of Pesky Irony in Action that have outed Bowdlers from the first days).

Oh, it's sweet to say this. They--I mean you, and y'all--can't resist. Wonder why? because THAT'S WHAT IT'S FOR. Family Guy (and it's not even very good, this show, but good enough) is calculated to get you to write claptrap like the post above. Family Guy is composed to attract you, and it isn't even very good, and it still succeeds. That splitter dies into the dirt and you swing, swing for the seats, and there you are with your butt out and your hands up and your mouth open and the catcher is trotting back to the dugout before you realize you're out and on a bus to Paducah.

Sure, some of those precious demographical nobodies are guffawing from the belly, but plenty more are laughing with their minds. This sucks for you because it means that not only are the people who create this second-rate show smarter than you are, a lot of the dufuses who are laughing at it are smarter than you are, and they don't even realize it.

In other words--you dig, dig, dig with great confidence, cheered on by these sad, abused white males with their constrained civil rights. You dig and mine and chuckle at your cleverness, sapping your way under the walls of Elsinore, imagining your heroism, kudos from the Duke of York and a terse nod from Fluellen, you dig, dig, dig. But Family Guy has already burrowed beneath you, a worthy pioner indeed. They dug, and finished long ago, and walked away to work on something else, maybe a pint in the tavern, while you dig. You dig, and this slovenly, simpleminded show waits to blow you at the moon.

sayonara!

ice
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If this passes for humor, it is because America is a sick country.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
White male bashing is a full blown industry. When I was hired by a major automotive manufacturer, all new hires had to take a one day seminar on how men and women interact in the workplace. It turned out to be eight solid hours of white male bashing at the hands of two professional facilitators. That was in 1999 and now I see people everywhere casually bashing white males. It is time for white males to start pushing back!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
......also suggest readers here look up the expression,

"Hoist with his own petard." .......doubtless there is no connection....or if there is it is wonderfully subtle.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Family Guy" is merely a continuation of a 65 year downward spiral where TV portays men as helpless fools. Go all the way back to "The Life of Reilley" in the early 1950s and you will see the main character portrayed as a good natured stumblebum, but a stumblebum just the same, who can only be rescued by his ever patient ( and much smarter of course ) devoted wife. The same was true with Ozzie Nelson and Danny Thomas. Father was always a "dummy." Funny thing is, the generation of men they were portraying was not some directionless group of louts but the very same one that defeated the Axis war machine in WW II. Later on as the censors lowered the bar, the downward spiral continued, albeit in a more sexualized way but downward nevertheless. The same theme persisted, "Father is an idiot and all men are stupid." Why did this happen? Things can only happen if they are allowed to happen. One reason is simple. The tv ratings were high. As a former advertising person, I can state with authority that this is the ONLY thing that is important to the networks. The executives and the sponsors don't give a damn about anything else. A second reason? As the Baby Boom generation grew older ( not necessarily grew up ) young men became "more sensitive" and were taught to be less like their fathers. Mores the pity.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
There was also the strong desire to cater to house-wives, who were believed to make the important buying decisions...and since their approved rôles were somewhat limited and the men (mostly, in advertising) at least as misogynist as normal (viz 'Two Cs in a K') they couldn't fijnd much to praise in an house-wife...so the best they could do was to slag her husband.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The men the MSM and Hollywood have been showing America aren't imagined. They are the men the MSM and Hollywood grew up with. They fought WW II in the QMC and Special Services, not the Marines and USAAF. They live in NYC and Hollywood, and think anybody living in between was an extra in "Deliverance". Hollwood and NYC are not just un-American; they are anti-American.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm sorry, whom do you mean? Growing up in the N.y.C. are there were plenty of men, my father and his friends and associates, who fought---and I do mean 'fought'---in the Second World War and/or in Korea.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I came here to post a similar comment, but you said it better than I could have.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's not that the show is defining masculinity, but lampooning women's, and the left's perception of men. Every theme in the show can be found in commercials, sit-coms and editorials daily. They just found a way to cash in.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I can't believe that show is actually popular; I saw one episode last year and it was simply boring - trying for 1990s Simpsons and not even coming close.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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