The Musings of an Elective Orphan

Sarah Brandis

Man vs. Woman – It’s equality, Jim, but not as we know it.

'Men'... apparently

‘Men’… apparently

I recently realised something that now disturbs me greatly, something about cartoons that I love.  The Simpsons, Family Guy, and American Dad all follow a very similar family dynamic.

  • The father figure is rather stupid and unattractive.  Less so in American Dad, at least Stan Smith has a decent job and isn’t hugely overweight.  But he is an inconsiderate husband/father.
  • The wife/mother figure is attractive, intelligent (again, a little less so in American Dad), and completely put-upon by her husband.
  • All three cartoons were created by men, by the way.

So I’m just wondering if this is what might be expected of women these days?  To basically be everything and do everything, and stay with a man that under-appreciates you.  Is this what modern culture is telling us?  As a woman, it is hard to know what is expected of me sometimes, because times are changing.  It was much clearer in, let’s say, the ’50’s, when a woman’s role was clearly defined.  Now I’m not saying I would like to live like that, not at all.  I want equality.  But it is difficult to obtain because men and women are different, both physically and psychologically.  I think we are designed that way to compliment each other, not to compete.  So then how do we find this thing called ‘equality’?  Maybe the most logical solution is a sideways step – to redefine what equality really means in this specific context.

Little wonder the kids are so messed up!

Little wonder the kids are so messed up!

It scares me a bit to look at Peter Griffin (yes, I know it’s just a cartoon – but it’s what he symbolises that scares me), and to think that men everywhere could be aspiring to this.  To be a massive douche bag, but have a hot wife who puts up with his behaviour… oh and has three of his children.  I could never look up to Lois Griffin, because frankly she is letting the side down.  I wonder how Family Guy would be if a woman wrote it…

I’m interested to hear if anyone else has been frustrated by this, or if anyone knows a real life ‘Lois and Peter’?


5 comments on “Man vs. Woman – It’s equality, Jim, but not as we know it.

  1. Irrelevant
    September 10, 2013

    That’s a pretty good point you’re making. I actually started to see it as a compliment, although possibly that’s indirect participation to a paternalistic world. The compliment lies in that we are strong enough to deal with the incredible mess that can be a husband. He forgets, he doesn’t know where things are in the house, when things aren’t like they usually are he’s totally confused and needs our guidance, …
    The husband is the one who’s absurdly bad at judging the consequences of his actions, he’s the one who puts everyone in dangerous/annoying/confusing situations. The wife is generally the character setting things straight. Think of Lisa Simpson who always saves the day.
    Although I see what you’re getting at, I’m really just sharing my opinion. I’m not sure if I’ve fallen thoroughly to the “man’s world” mentality, or if I’m seeing something you don’t…? I’d love to talk about this for a bit 🙂
    Good post! And good topic, too!

    • Irrelevant
      September 10, 2013

      Another good example of what I mean, is the tv show Malcolm in the Middle, where the mom is basically in charge of everything.

  2. sarahbgoode
    September 10, 2013

    Yes, totally! I’d forgotten about Malcom in the Middle – his poor mum! I suppose it could be a compliment for womankind, that we have to save the day. I’m just finding it a bit unjust that we have to be mother, lover, teacher, and Bat Woman all at once. But then our partner, our ‘equal’, gets to stand around with his finger up his nose. But this is life, and the challenge I guess 🙂
    Thanks for replying, much appreciated.

  3. sarahbgoode
    September 10, 2013

    Ooh thank you 🙂 Miley is all over the media, so she must have got something right. Even if she just made a bunch of people angry, all publicity…

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