Megan and I talk a lot about how we pick partners, how we decide who we like and how we accept the caring of others. And Megan and I also spend a lot of time in hotel rooms, typing away with, yes, the television on for white noise. This morning, while dancing our fingers over keys and drinking continental breakfast coffee obviously not brewed by a perennial coffee drinker, but rather someone who merely knows coffee exists and thinks travelers perhaps want to slosh it about in their mouths and spit out, we sat through the end of Home Improvement and the beginning of According to Jim. While thinking about how Tim kept making stupid mistakes that his smart and loving wife had to keep fixing over and over again. Megan turned to me after something particularly stupid happened and said somberly, “It starts here.”
I wasn’t sure if she was sleep talking again (because darn it if she didn’t seem awake last night when we conversed about great halls and great malls and Ellis Island at 4:30 a.m.), but my puzzled look got her to expand. “Look. Every sitcom, which are all aimed at women, show an attractive, intelligent woman married to a doofus of a man. And the woman stays home with the kids despite being much smarter than her husband, and just sits back and caters to him, amused, only occasionally showing him where he’s gone wrong at the end of an episode. We are being taught that we should accept mediocrity or worse from television.”
Me and my “let’s figure out if this could possibly be right because that seems evil and manipulative of the powers that be at television sitcom mission control” demeanor tried to rationalize. Maybe the shows are trying to tell doofus-y men they have a chance? Maybe these shows are trying to tell women it’s okay to stay at home if that’s their choice.
Or maybe these shows are really just promoting sexist stereotypes and giving women (and men) the wrong idea about love, relationships and partners.
Crap. We all have friends who are in the wrong relationship. Heck, we’ve all been in the wrong relationship. And by wrong, I mean when the people your friends are in relationships with just aren’t up to your par. This isn’t to say that they are bad people (they aren’t) or that they’re undeserving of love (they are). But this is to say they’re not on your page, and in many ways, are probably holding you back.