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17 Problematic Ways the Media Portrays Men

Reddit user u/RowBowBooty asked the men of the AskReddit subreddit:

“What bothers you about the way men are portrayed in the media?”

The responses were pretty eye-opening examples of how the media deigns to treat males. Check out some of the best examples and give the men in your life a hug!


1. Incompetent

“In advertising, men are incompetent, idiots, or silly. Mom always saves the day.”—u/rosanymphae

2. Uselessness with kids

“Maybe it’s only in older TV shows and movies, but men portrayed as completely useless when it comes to raising children or doing jobs around the house bothers me. Or even worse, men simply not looking after their children, especially babies.”—u/jobi987

3. Where’s the hair?

“Male TV characters always lack body hair.”—u/Content_Weekend_7285

4. Violence isn’t funny

“The way a man getting hit by a woman is played for laughs.”—u/FeelingYesterday

5. We’re not dumb

“I hate how in sitcoms all the husbands are always idiots that barely manage to do even basic things without messing up and need their loving wife to be the only intelligent one.”—u/Alltoocommon

6. No tears

“That they can only cry in an overly dramatic way or if someone dies. No, I’m sad. I’m going to cry. No one needs to die. Sometimes it can just be a real shitty day.”—u/collin3000

7. We aren’t morons

“The way men (straight men, anyway) are depicted as being completely clueless about things like women’s clothing and beauty, no matter how long they might have been married or involved with more than one woman in their lives. This is just so the women can make them look like dolts, explaining these things in a way that if men were shown treating women the same way, it would be called out as sexist mansplaining.”—u/SniffleBot

8. We have kids too

“It makes me sick when in shows or movies, a man can’t be at the playground or in public with his kid or a friend’s kid without someone being suspicious of his intentions.”—u/rylanandrew

9. Greek gods

“Most shows involving male teenagers have adults acting as teens with fucking bodies the size of Greek gods.”—u/AnarkyPlaysCW

10. Non threatening

“If a man is going to be lovable, he also needs to be childish and incompetent and non-threatening. The competent men need to be damaged somehow — addicted to something, psychologically tortured, or just plain assholes.”—u/carbonetc

11. Not all these terrible things

 “I am not an idiot. I am not a fool. I am not useless. I am not ignorant. I am not incompetent. I am not sexist, racist, or homophobic.”—u/wwwhistler

12. They have insecurities too

“The media makes it seem like men are way more secure than they are.”—u/purpleskiesbluewater

13. Not sex-maniacs

“We’re not sex-hungry maniacs. I’m not horny all the time — I just wanna play my PS5.”—u/DAHLiciousWafflez

14. Stalking is stalking

 “Half the time, especially in romances, men exhibit behavior that would result in restraining orders, or a few nights in jail, but are shown to be the romantic hero.”—u/Knightraiderdewd

15. Women aren’t always right

“I hate the trope that it’s always men who fail women, who are perfect. It’s always the woman who’s in the right, no matter what. It would be nice to see the woman mess up and have to make things up to the man more often.”—u/Sophiarnold

16. Cheating

“I hate how men are always the ones who cheat on the girls or are ‘players.’ That’s not all of us, you know. Girls do it too — it goes both ways.”—u/Mrcowgamez17

17. More than two archetypes

“Too much macho beefcake or loner introvert. I think those are the big two archetypes. In contrast, there are some interesting guys with quirks, emotional intelligence, and redeeming qualities, but some faults also. Interesting and unique — I like that as a gender portrayal for guys. Give us a combination of traits we haven’t seen before.”–u/myalt08831