Television shows and commercials are two extremely powerful influences upon our young people. Particularly troubling with respect to what these mediums are teaching our youth is that men / fathers and nearly all male characters are weak, foolish, immature, bumbling idiots, while most of the mothers and other female characters are depicted as the strong, intelligent, mature role models of the family. This is a trend that has been going on for years.
So, what is the lesson that television has been teaching? It’s very simple actually; that men are indeed weak, foolish, immature, bumbling idiots and that women are strong, intelligent, mature role models. However, what makes this lesson somewhat problematic is the impressionable nature of our children who see this garbage at every flip of the channel and they are basically brainwashed into thinking that’s how men and women are. With only a few exceptions, there is nothing wrong with the way television depicts women characters, but the number of instances where we see the male gender as complete social failures is outrageous.
Consequently, impressionable young boys grow up believing that they are destined to be just like these characters they see daily on television. Seriously, do we really want our sons growing up influenced by Charlie Sheen’s character in Two and a Half Men? However, let’s also consider that our young daughters are being brainwashed to believe that they will be strong, intelligent mature role models, which is a good thing, but that they are destined to end up with weak, foolish, immature, bumbling idiots as husbands and fathers. After all, that’s who they’re married to on television.
It is regrettable that this social behavior is acceptable to American viewers. There can be no doubt that we accept this kind of programming, and defining it as programming is about as accurate a descriptor there is. This is substantiated by the ratings of these shows and commercials. We are unwitting participants in the systematic dumbing-down of America. Does the American viewer ever wonder about the rationale for this kind of “programming” and what impact this mega-powerful media force will have upon the future of American culture?
I’m not certain this phenomenon is simply an example of television being a reflection of society. It would be grossly naïve to think the moguls who control this intellectual weapon don’t see it for what it really is. The stark reality of the media, especially that which is in virtually every American household, has profound influence with respect to how and on what we spend our money, as well as what we should believe is right and wrong. Mass media is the ultimate mind control weapon and the public is willingly submitting to its influence. Popular television shows and commercials are attempting to stereotype the genders and it has no resemblance to subtlety. In many instances, it is mind control being passed off as entertainment. Unfortunately for the future of American culture, the outcome is highly questionable by what used to be traditional American and moral standards.