I watched the new Green Lantern movie this week, and it reminded me of a pretty harsh reality. Our culture enjoys characterizing men as idiots. And not only do they enjoy it, they accept it as normal now. Honestly, my dad’s been saying it for years now, so I’m sure that many of you have already noticed it.
In the opening minutes of the movie he climbs out of his bed telling the girl laying next to him (whose name he doesn’t know) to make herself at home as he rushes out obviously late for something important. He drives down the road in his muscle car being so focused on wrapping a gift with newspaper that he spends a considerable amount of time on the wrong side of the road and nearly in an accident. It just really jumped out at me because this wasn’t a sitcom, it was a superhero movie. We’re not supposed to laugh at him because the goal of the movie is to be humorous, it was just genuinely a part of his character, which is fine, its just that superheroes have long been a beacon for what our culture values and what our highest aspirations are, that’s why it’s tragic to watch our superheroes become lazy, reckless, irresponsible, arrogant, selfish, lechers… I mean, it’s fine if they start off like that and change, but there was no character development there throughout the length of the movie. To me, that asserts that we should just be okay with it.
If that wasn’t bad enough, he, like a disturbing amount of these guys, was partnered with a beautiful and intelligent woman who not only put up with him, but actually loved him. Now don’t get me wrong, first off we’re all dumb in one way or another, and we fall in love with whoever we want, regardless of virtue, but we are officially exalting the idea of brilliant women dealing with stupid men because it’s the only choice they have. What’s really happening is that we’re raising a generation of young men whose goal is to be stupid and be respected for it and young women who are being taught that it’s okay for men to do so. Does that trouble anyone else?
Sure we have the freedom to do whatever we want with our art, I totally agree. But we need to sit down and really think about it when we start establishing norms… Remember Iron Man?
How about the movie Wedding Crashers?
Oh, and this came on Nickelodeon as I was typing:
Oh! And here’s a two for one!
Starting to see a pattern?