I have noticed something very peculiar in media for the past few years. It’s been on my mind a while, but now it’s got itself stuck in there and won’t let go. It’s a sign of something that, I feel, is very wrong in today’s entertainment. I don’t know if this will be a thing of interest for you all, and it may likely be something many of you disagree with, but I’ll say it anyway. In popular media, it appears that abuse is okay when it’s a woman abusing a man.
Films, television shows and other such things commonly show men abusing women as horrible people. This is good, because abuse is a terrible thing. The kicker is that the opposite quite often does not appear to be true. It’s played up for laughs. Like in Pirates of the Carribean, Jack Sparrow is slapped repeatedly by various different women.
Or what about Raymond and Debra’s relationship in Everybody Loves Raymond? The man is constantly abused verbally, and sometimes physically, for the most minor of mistakes. In one episode (Bad Moon Rising) he called her out on this. She responded by pushing him into a bookshelf. It also occurs quite often in Desperate Housewives. The pinnacle here, in my opinion, is when Carlos tricks Gabby into revealing that she’s trying to manipulate him out of his money after she discovers he is about to land a high paying job. She then pushes him out the upstairs window. The closing narration paints Carlos as the one at fault, and that he is regrets tricking her.
It’s not just Western entertainment, either. Here is an excellent example. In Japan there is a popular graphic novel and anime called Ranma 1/2. The main character, Ranma Saotome, is admittedly a man without tact or social graces. He is constantly being hounded and abused by several of the female cast for this and for a situation beyond his control his father placed him in.
For more examples, please go here: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AbuseIsOkayWhenItIsFemaleOnMale
If a man was seen doing stuff like this, it would be to show that he’s an asshole at best and a monster at worst. But when a woman does it to a man, it’s done for comedy. You’re supposed to laugh. Why? Why is there this, rather blatant, double standard? It’s often played that the man deserves it somehow. Perhaps sometimes he does, like when Jack was slapped because he stole a ship, but men cannot possibly be deserving of such abuse all the time. And it isn’t just in entertainment. A report run by ABC shows that many people honestly do not find verbal and physical attacks on a man to be abusive.
Perhaps the reason for all this is because, on average, men are stronger than women. Perhaps because of this there is an idea that men cannot be seriously hurt by women. This might lead to the assumption that all abuse is directed from male to female. This is a very dangerous, and false, line of thought. What do you all think?