hawk eyed feminism: boys will be boys and girls will be…well, what did you expect?
We live in a time where many parents are moving away from gender specific toys, “stay at home dads” are a real thing and steps are being taken to reduce the nonsense stereotyping determined by your private parts. But just when you think that things are looking up, a show like Don’t Tell the Bride comes along to remind us that, no, wait up, men really are from Mars and women from Venus.
OK so admittedly I should probably watch the program before passing judgment or perhaps analyse its British sister but frankly that’s just not going to happen. Thus I will base my frustration on the ad campaign that has taken over my brain space for the past week.
“Would you trust your groom to organise your entire wedding?!” Wait, is there a catch? Oh yeah, men don’t know anything about that stuff, duh! Plus you couldn’t really trust them to try because blokes just don’t understand the “icky love stuff”; they’d rather just fill their “last day of freedom” with beer, kebabs and strippers. This insightful sentiment is explained as the groom reveals each element of their special day to his horrified bride.
It surprises me that a sex that dominates board rooms, management positions, political spheres and hangs out at the top of the pay scale would have no organisational, time management or budgeting skills. Oops, silly me! I forgot that we’re talking about a wedding, yes? That belongs in the relationship, family and love category, which is most definitely a chick thing and not important like a man thing.
Now before you run away convinced that I’m a fierce feminist feline on the hunt for more man meat, I’m not blaming the fellas here. If anything men should be just as unsatisfied with this show as they too are being depicted as something of yesteryear. My issue (damn that word) is with the media and its sneaky or perhaps blatant attempt to widen the gender divide with this kind of nonsensical type-casting.
The promo implies that women are hysterically stupid and clearly desperate to marry a man whom with they obviously share no common interests, (i.e. superheros, footy, getting pissed), and that they’ll put up with some pretty ordinary behaviour just to snag their man. Or is it that the she is an uppity Bridezilla and her fella is a loveable larrikin who just doesn’t “get” that stuff as it’s not built into his genetic makeup? Who knows? I’m sure the show is quite complex…
As Kate Ritchie says, ‘It’s going to be a great deal of fun, maybe not for the brides, but certainly for the rest of us!’ Classic. Sounds like one of those crazy Japanese game shows. OK, so I get that it’s a light hearted reality show meant for entertainment, not to be taken seriously, yaddayadda. But the way the ad stereotypes both sexes and categorises values as pink or blue just bugs me. Sigh.
What do you think? Am I being overly pedantic or are you over this kind of gender stereotyping too?
Unfortunately wedding planning is predominantly sexist in nature, and in regards to this show I think there are issues at play other than just men’s capability:
1) The construction of women as WANTING to do all wedding work (perhaps having dreamed of such since a young girl?) and thus setting the opposite as some horrific nightmare.
2) The construction of a wedding as a “woman’s day” i.e something that should be based on one individual in the couple’s tastes, ideas, “dreams” i.e. “It’s your day” “What the bride wants, the bride gets” tropes.
3) The construction of wedding work as something undertaken by EITHER individual instead of framing it as a joint project undertaken by the couple together, based on combined tastes and interests.
As I guy I find that add campain rather annoying. Mainly because the tv producers are going to go out of their way to f things up for ratings and potentally ruin a relationship.
Of course I have questions about the relationship itself. If that portrail of the man is even vaugly accurate then he is an idiot, socially inept and unattractive. She is, not to put too fine a point on it, attractive in a fake way. I can’t help think he has family money and she is marrying him for it.
Thanks for pointing out some men can organise some stuff. I can’t wait until we get back to the point where people appearing on tv actually were worth listening to. I’m a bit sick of men being portraid as idiots (pick an American mainstream sitcom), women being portraid like they are on the Shire. Kids tv show hostes acting like unrulely children rather than an intresting aunt or uncle, etc, etc etc. Perhaps thats why I watch so little comercial tv. Hmm might watch another episode of Parks and Recreation now.
Who are “the media” if not a group of men and women making these kinds of programs?
The idea of the show entirely horrifies me in perpetuating all the tropes of bride perfection etc etc… It makes me sad that we’re playing into and perpetuating these spaces where a wedding is such a bizarre carnival sideshow about gender – grotesquely emphasised.