Why is the man always the bad guy?


 

 

 

Before I sat down to write this week’s blog post, I was just out running some errands and it had gotten dark by the time I got home. I pulled into the parking lot behind Bull Run to park my car, and as soon as I got out, an older man appeared out of nowhere (or so it seemed) and immediately started walking in my direction.  I turned and headed towards my house and as he got closer, I caught myself walking faster and faster until I got into my house and then immediately locked the door. So, now that I am sitting here and thinking about it, this type of situation happens often and every time it does occur, I know I definitely speed up if a man is following me and I have no idea who it is.  So, why do I do this? On the one hand, it seems silly because most likely, these men have no intentions of harming me or anyone else. But on the other hand, what if it was one man’s intention to harm me or someone else? When I’m in the situation, I find myself believing the second point more so than the first every time because this scenario is the one that is in the media and is used in the entertainment industry over and over again.

 

When you think about it, there are countless movies and TV shows that often depict a man attacking a woman, but not so much the other way around. Furthermore, this situation of a woman walking in the dark and having a man follow her and cause harm to her is often exploited in the media and used in scenes in the entertainment industry over and over again. But why? In violent situations between a man and a woman, it seems as though the media almost always points the finger  and puts the blame on the male and it is he that everyone fears and dislikes. We see it portrayed  in the media as domestic violence, random attacks, etc. However, we all know that this is not the case in reality at all. So, I question why the media and the entertainment industry still play into gender stereotypes and continue to put that image in everyones’ mind. I really don’t know the answer and couldn’t seem to find one, but I would be curious to see if anyone else does know or has any thoughts as to why this still happens.

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5 responses to “Why is the man always the bad guy?

  1. That’s definitely an interesting thought Lindsey. I can safely say I’ve never acted that way when the situation was reserved of a woman following me at night. At the same time though, I have found myself in your exact situation too; speeding up while walking alone at night if a man is following me. This is because there ae plenty of the same type of things being shown on the media and in entertainment of men mugging other men and physically hurting them in the process. I’m also curious as to why the opposite situations are not portrayed as much though.

  2. I too have found myself in similar situations and this example reminds me of the experience I drew on for my blog post this week. It is interesting how quickly we resort to instinct and preconceived assumptions. I agree that the media plays a large role in continuing to instill these stereotypes that “men are bad” and women are the victim. I can think of numerous movies and shows that support this message, and almost none that hold the opposite views. I suppose it is not surprising that you acted the way you did.

  3. I think that you have a point here, but I also think some of this is rooted in reality. For example in 2004 men were almost ten times more likely to commit murder than women. If there are more instances of men committing violent crime, then wouldn’t it be logical to avoid them more in potentially dangerous situation (at least if your thinking about probability alone).

  4. You bring up a good point. Men, historically, have been the more aggressive of the sexes. While I could argue about the chemical reasons behind this, there is also a social implication. Men frequently have an alpha-dog mindset and feel the need to have dominance over someone. Unfortunately, that can result in abuse toward women. However, I’ve also seen this video. It’s a little long (over 6 minutes), but it is interesting. It shows how when a woman is acting abusively (which is more common than people think), people think she has a valid reason for being mad; her significant other did something wrong. It’s worth a watch!

  5. Great points. Statistically, the men in your life far more likely to hurt you physically or sexually are men you know, not strangers. But you don’t inherently fear them. I can’t tell you not to quicken your steps.

    But to answer your immediate question, I think that the relationship between media depictions of dangerous men and a woman’s internalized fear of the stranger are in a complex interplay. The reason it works in a movie is because the fear does exist. And the fear exists, in part, due to the constant portrayals.

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