There are a ton of old tropes that portray men in a negative light in movies and sitcoms. Apparently, guys are getting fed up with it! One internet forum member decided to ask men what stereotypes they hate seeing in media, and the respondents wasted no time letting the world know what bothers them. Here are the top portrayals they'd like to see change.
1. Useless Dad
The idea of an inept dad is overused at this point in cinema and the sitcom arena. A lot of films portray dads to be useless and incapable of taking care of their own children. It's time to change this paradigm and repair the image of fathers and what it means to be a good dad.
2. Always Has a Romantic Interest
Perhaps the quirky guy who doesn't know his way around women has run its course. Guys are now becoming interested in understanding the mind of a philandering ladies' man who truly has no romantic interest in one particular woman. A few guys on the forum expressed that it would be refreshing to get first-hand insight into how such a man thinks and operates.
3. Crude Comedic Relief
Many people are familiar with the comedic relief that pokes fun at guys who are bald, have basic looks, and so on. But why is an average guy the laughingstock? Multiple men on the forum said they'd like to see those same men introduced as distinguished gentlemen who are well-dressed, intelligent, and polite.
4. Too Tough
Portraying men as invulnerable to stress and other perceived weakness can not only be seen as irresponsible, but dangerous. Showing that men don't have to be superheroes and that they too have concerns about their mental health can permit them to seek help instead of putting up a well-crafted facade. I think it's a wonderful idea to chip away at toxic masculinity.
5. Embarrassing To Be Short
Men come in different shapes and sizes; however, the short man is often overlooked. A commenter remarked that seeing a television show from a short man's perspective would be nice. Furthermore, seeing how he interacts with the world around him would make for fresh and new TV.
6. Always Has it Together
Seeing a man dealing with life's common stresses—appearing shaken but not defeated, would be exciting to see. Too often, the men in movies and film can seem as though everything is fine on the outside, but falling apart behind the scenes. Outside of his love life, he doesn't have any visible shortcomings or insecurities. A man who's honest about his vulnerabilities can shed light on men dealing with real-life trauma.
7. No Real Female Friends
Men don't always have to be looking for a love interest. On the contrary, they can be more sophisticated than this common trope. Let's have more movies and TV series where the focus is on a genuine platonic relationship without all the sexual tension that can get in the way of good writing at times. While media has made it seem like guys only befriend girls to get involved romantically, it's quite possible to genuinely just be friends.
The hackneyed portrayal of men being incompetent, so much further behind or in need of their female counterparts, is played out. Men can be competent as professionals and as leaders of the household. Guys are saying they're tired of being seen as Neanderthals who can't figure out the simplest tasks. Male users online said they don't always need their hands held by their significant others.
Men being showcased as carnal beasts that are slaves to sexual desires is very prevalent in films and TV. Allow a man to be interested in a woman for something other than to be intimate. Men can fall in love for reasons that aren't physical, and it would be nice to see more substance as it relates to choosing a partner.
10. Deceptive in Marriage
Another common character people are tired of seeing is the man who doesn't always have to be driven to lie to his wife because she's uptight. What if, instead, the woman was secure in her relationship with her husband, and the man didn't feel the need to be deceptive in the least? Such women would be more than willing to handle their husbands' extracurriculars like a night out with the boys.
11. Body Shaming
It's annoying and unrealistic that guys must have rock-hard abs or a head full of hair to be taken seriously or considered attractive. A pleasantly plump man with a bald head can be appealing and distinguished in his own right. Ultimately, handsomeness is not limited to one image, and we should allow for diverse representations of what attracts women to men outside of the stereotypical muscular physique.
12. Deadbeat Dads
Do away with the classic single mother who has to deal with a dad who is disinterested in their kid. Single fathers can be attentive, caring, and affectionate too. They can sometimes be even more involved than the mom, and that's okay to flip this dynamic on its head. The mom is always shown as doing everything and being everything for the child. On the big screen, positive portrayals of single fathers would go a long way!
The couch potato with no real ambition has flooded the airwaves for years. I guess it makes for good comedy. However, an industrious man can be comical as well. There's nothing that says laziness and humor go hand in hand. Let's be more imaginative regarding men and their ambitions. Every guy isn't just plain stupid.
14. Objectifies Women
Looks aren't everything, and beauty is truly skin-deep for some men. The inside matters for many of them, and it'd be nice to see that highlighted in television and cinema. Love doesn't always have to be physical; it can be sophisticated and meaningful as well. It's nice to see men fall in love with brains too!
15. Always Angry
Contrary to popular opinion, anger isn't the answer for every man. I know it can make for high drama or even a good sitcom, but guys don't always solve their problems with fury and fists. One user said he'd love to see men shown as diplomatic and reasonable in high-pressure situations.
16. Mental Health is Neglected
A lot of movies and shows neglect to show men having real mental health problems and finding help for them. Therapy is often portrayed as something men are forced to go to instead of something that will benefit them. Mental health problems are often written off as something else, and forgotten about completely.
17. Being Afraid is Bad
The idea that men are scared of things like spiders, mice, and snakes is something that's often played for laughs. Men are supposed to be tough and take these things on, but in the real world, these fears are valid and everyone, everywhere has something they're scared of.
18. Lack of Vulnerablitly
Being vulnerable with other men and people in your life is something we don't see in media that often. The idea of opening up and letting the people closest to you in life see your true feelings is a topic that should be explored more in movies and TV shows, and not just when a horrible, tragic event happens, but more often than not.
19. Tough Relationship With Their Own Dads
There are a lot of movies that show men having really hard relationships with their dads. While this is true for people across the globe, there should be more stories about men who have perfectly healthy relationships with their fathers where they love each other very much.
Men dealing with loneliness in films and other media is sometimes portrayed as the worst thing they could go through, and for some men it is. But there are men who love being alone and it's not an issue.
Creshonda Smith is a creative writer that thrives on learning something new everyday and sharing that knowledge in a way that captivates others. She has 15 years of experience as a freelance writer for various companies, but she was previously a Clinical Social Worker, having obtained her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from The Ohio State University. After nearly 10 years in the field, she decided it was time to return to one of her childhood passions—writing that inspires. Creshonda will tackle any topic, but she prefers lifestyle articles centered around Health & Wellness, Parenting & Family Advice, Food + Drinks, Personal Growth, and Traveling. She has four beautiful children and has been married for a decade. Her favorite hobbies include traveling to anywhere there's a beach, reading, writing, and playing UNO! Creshonda has been a contributing writer for Wealth of Geeks since June 2023.