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The general decline in standards today

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PrettySquareGal

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That's part of what I am refering to. Men have actually gone backwards to the point where they aren't just "we really know who wears that pants in that relationship" but to the point where they are actually a "child." The idea that women are protrayed as openly smarter than men being proof of advancement of society just isn't true. A lot of people want to point towards modern television being a lot less sexist and fairer to women than the 1950s, but it isn't. There is a lot of sexist messages running through it, and I don't think women are necessarily the winners in how family life is protrayed in sitcoms. I think everybody is a loser.

I'm reminded of the episode of All in the Family (later than the 1950s, but it is the only plot I can clearly remember) where Edith wants to buy Archie a new television, but because she stays at home, she has no paycheck and cannot get a loan. So she tries to convince Archie that what she does (staying at home) is worth money and gives him a bill for a professional cook, maid, laundry, etc. Archie is upset. In the end, he finds out that she did all this to buy him a television and is touched. In a modern day version of this, the husband would have broken the TV in an act of child-like stupidity, been asked to clean up the mess (and gotten distracted and not done it), and then would find the stash of money that Edith had saved and blown it on something else. We'd see the wife having to clean up the mess, drag the television to the curve, and yelling at her husband.

I have to respectfully disagree. I think the husbands were often portrayed as inept in 50's sitcoms and in need of their wive's direction, even (and once again especially) when the husbands acted like they knew it all. Sure the men went to work and came home in a suit and read the paper, but overall and ultimately it was the wives who saved the day. If you watch Leave it to Beaver you will see that Ward knows far less than June when it comes to many subjects.

I am in no way defending contemporary sit-coms. I am pointing out that 50's sitcoms often portrayed the men as child-like and in need of feminine direction.
 

LizzieMaine

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I have to respectfully disagree. I think the husbands were often portrayed as inept in 50's sitcoms and in need of their wive's direction, even (and once again especially) when the husbands acted like they knew it all. Sure the men went to work and came home in a suit and read the paper, but overall and ultimately it was the wives who saved the day. If you watch Leave it to Beaver you will see that Ward knows far less than June when it comes to many subjects.

I am in no way defending contemporary sit-coms. I am pointing out that 50's sitcoms often portrayed the men as child-like and in need of feminine direction.

The best example of this, of course, is Ralph Kramden. Alice was clearly smarter than he was, and never, ever deferred to him -- whenever he'd start in with the whole "I'm the king in my castle" routine she'd immediately throw out a sharp comment to pop his balloon.

I think the point of that sort of comedy -- which was written entirely by men, by the way -- was to satirize the whole male-supremacy thing. The idea of marriage as a partnership rather than a patriarchal fiefdom for the husband had been influential since the twenties, and there were very few marriages left in the real world by the postwar era where the man ruled the roost without question. The idea of a character like Ralph Kramden was to show just how outmoded and ridiculous his views were, not to celebrate them -- much the same way Archie Bunker was treated in the '70s.
 

PrettySquareGal

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The best example of this, of course, is Ralph Kramden. Alice was clearly smarter than he was, and never, ever deferred to him -- whenever he'd start in with the whole "I'm the king in my castle" routine she'd immediately throw out a sharp comment to pop his balloon.

I think the point of that sort of comedy -- which was written entirely by men, by the way -- was to satirize the whole male-supremacy thing. The idea of marriage as a partnership rather than a patriarchal fiefdom for the husband had been influential since the twenties, and there were very few marriages left in the real world by the postwar era where the man ruled the roost without question. The idea of a character like Ralph Kramden was to show just how outmoded and ridiculous his views were, not to celebrate them -- much the same way Archie Bunker was treated in the '70s.

Well said.
 

sheeplady

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I have to respectfully disagree. I think the husbands were often portrayed as inept in 50's sitcoms and in need of their wive's direction, even (and once again especially) when the husbands acted like they knew it all. Sure the men went to work and came home in a suit and read the paper, but overall and ultimately it was the wives who saved the day. If you watch Leave it to Beaver you will see that Ward knows far less than June when it comes to many subjects.

I am in no way defending contemporary sit-coms. I am pointing out that 50's sitcoms often portrayed the men as child-like and in need of feminine direction.

I am not denying that women have often been portrayed as smarter than men. I do see men portrayed acting and responding to situations like a child. Maybe this is not a new theme, it's really been a long time since I'd seen the old sitcoms.

Take, for example, when a man makes a mistake. It's often accompanied by berating of the man by the woman. For instance, the woman often outright tells her spouse they are "stupid" or an "idiot"- which is quite different from having a "stupid idea" or "acting stupid." (Granted, there have always been examples of this in sit-coms.) This is often followed by berating of the woman by the man behind her back; including behaviors such as sticking their tongues out, miming their words, talking about how "mean" their wives are with their male friends, or avoiding doing something to "annoy" the wife. These men's actions are all things that I would expect from a young child, not an adult. It's passive aggressive behavior in the least, if not childish.
 

Yeps

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I was talking to a group of twenty-something age women last night and they said that the walk of shame does not exist for their generation.
This is interesting to me, as the concept of the walk of of shame is very prevalent among my female peers. Maybe it is tied to communal living, but it is there.
 

Maguire

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A select few of us still would like to be married and supporting a family.

Surprisingly, I know more guys my age ready to settle down and have a family than gals.

This is true. the problem i notice has to do with how marriage is portrayed in the media and society at large- its no longer two families getting together, something one does early and the couple enjoys experiencing life together. Its the old ball and chain, something put off in favor of career or temporary pleasure of a dozen "non tied down" relationships through the 20s, 30s, and sometimes even 40s of a person's life. Its no surprise marriage's hold has weakened, the bond had with one who's been there with us from the beginning is always going to be stronger than the bond we have with someone we "settle down with" after having lived our entire life without them. Marriage should not be an act of resignation. This is only one of many things wrong with society today.
 

sheeplady

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And women like me who stay home and take care of husband, children, and home are gold we are single-handedly setting back womens' equality. :p (I really have been told that.)

If somebody told me that, I'd look them straight in the eye, with my voice dripping with sarcasm, and say: "It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling to know that in 2011, feminism has advanced so much that women can freely express their sexism, degrade, and mock other women over their life choices. Shouldn't we be proud of how far we've come!"

And then I'd walk away.

If was really angry, I'd ask, "Do you also mock women who are pregnant and not wearing a wedding ring? Because shaming women for their choices seems to be right up your alley."

But I can be kind of nasty.
 
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I whole-heartedly agree. Marriage is supposed to be a set goal. Dating is supposed to be the road to it. Personally, the whole umpteen hook-ups and such is not for me, neither is the whole 'living in sin' thing. I'm not attacking people who do that, it's their business. I just think it lessens the meaning of marriage.

This is true. the problem i notice has to do with how marriage is portrayed in the media and society at large- its no longer two families getting together, something one does early and the couple enjoys experiencing life together. Its the old ball and chain, something put off in favor of career or temporary pleasure of a dozen "non tied down" relationships through the 20s, 30s, and sometimes even 40s of a person's life. Its no surprise marriage's hold has weakened, the bond had with one who's been there with us from the beginning is always going to be stronger than the bond we have with someone we "settle down with" after having lived our entire life without them. Marriage should not be an act of resignation. This is only one of many things wrong with society today.
 

Marshall

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Of course this is coming from a single guy, but I would have to disagree with the above post. Marriage is unique in that it is a relationship that doesn't just "happen" (usually anyway, though some people do get married on a whim). You are a daughter or son by virtue of just being born (obviously there is work and commitment involved in being a good son/daughter, but that is not the point). Marriage is usually achieved by actively pursuing and maintaining a dating/courting relationship, and such a relationship is entered into with marriage as an ultimate goal. Marriage is not an automatic relationship.
 

Dennis Young

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Television could, but chooses not to be a positive influence in America opting instead on bad influence shows for ratings. Moral shows have brought them advertising money in the past while influencing America in the right direction. Earlier shows like The Wonder Years, where you could follow the life of young Arnold and his childhood crush Winnie, where his life was full of obstacles and problems and yet Arnold would do the morally right thing on his way to solving them. The themes and values would promote education as you follow Arnold through his years in school, where dropping out of school was never an option no matter what bullies his life would encounter. The importance of family would be highlighted in every show as Arnold would deal with his parents, uncles and others while having nightly family dinners and family reunions as constant rotation in the shows. What happened to good shows like this?

Today’s shows are far from the former themes of family, honesty, education and life lessons to inspire better living. They have completely turned things upside down, promoting instead excessive partying and hence making education irrelevant in their shows. These shows are rewarding bad behavior and making their main characters rich in the process.One does not need to go far to find shows that reward bad behavior and corrupt a young mind.

Shows like The Jersey Shore, where you can view the life of young Snookie, Dj Pauly, Ronnie, JWow and others as they bask in the life of GTL (Gym, Tanning and Laundry) and almost nightly clubbing. Excessive partying and promiscuity are the main theme of the show and education does not fit in anywhere in it despite the network’s knowledge that young viewers are the show’s main target audience.

One night stands are on the menu for any given night. They encourage same sex experiences while under the influence of alcohol, needless to say this behavior is confusing to young minds. And what do they get for all the hard work as they make it through the life of partying? They go from making ten thousand dollars an episode to a recent raise of a hundred thousand per episode!. Not to mention all the money they can make off appearances, thousands for each appearance.

Other shows have worse history behind them as in the case of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, a show that came to be from the popularity of Kim Kardashian and her sex video with a popular R & B singer. The show is based on Kim’s obsession with looking good for the camera. The message seems to be that outer beauty can overcome lack of education, a real bad message for good looking girls of the world. This show sends the message that a sex video can be all you need to get you started on your way to fame and wealth.

One of the most popular tv shows today is TV's Family Guy, created by Seth McFarland (a militant anti Christian atheist). Pretty much ever 2nd or third episode deals with some method if ridiculing people of faith. It champions homosexuality and promiscuity and makes pedophilia a laughing matter. Their answer to any criticism?

Its a cartoon. Get over it.

I blame the 60s counterculture movement. And the Summer of Love in 1967. Free love and the so-called Generation gap was imo the beginning. The hippie movement, etc. Radicals like Abby Hoffman, Timothy Leary, Bill ayers, Bernandine Dorn and people like them are now grown ups and, in some cases, leaders of society today. Their followers are now in politics and are tv execs. They are teachers, lawyers and judges.

Even at a young age I knew we were in trouble when people began to wear t-shirts and put posters on their walls champion people such as Che Guevara. Che was a Marxist, and a monster who murdered many political prisoners. Yet people here still admire this man.

The mind of our youth is being infected with immoral behavior being learned from the mighty influence of television. And we wonder why there is a decline in standards today?
 

AmateisGal

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You make some excellent points, Dennis.

The underlying problem, as I see it, is this: morality is subjective in our society today. And that is a sad state of affairs, IMO.
 

Edward

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Oh dear. I fear this thread is about to take the sort of very nasty turn that makes me eternally grateful that while I may dress it, I don't actually live in the Forties.

Really? I am married, but it was certainly never a goal. For me a goal is something that you plan to achieve, work toward and then celebrate as an accomplishment. I don't feel that marriage is an accomplishment any more than any other relationship is. Go me! I'm a daughter!

Yes, there is a world of difference between someone who wants to be married and someone who wants to take a specific relationship in that direction. Myself, I'm very thankful to live in an age where those who matter will never think any the less of me simply because I happen not to have ended up in a relationship which has worked out long term and thus led to marriage, nor am I expected to "settle" in order to be married like "normal" middle aged people, nor is it any longer considered "immoral" to chose not to have children that I don't want. I'm also very pleased to live in an age where those who choose to do those things also have those options open to them. I like choice. I like other people to have choices too - just so long as they don't become so convinced that their choices are so far superior to mine that they feel they have the right to force that opinion on me.
 

Ianthepilot

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I agree with Edward on that one. I don't know if people have ever had so much of a choice in how they lived their lives as they do now, at least in theory when it's harder to practice due to the economic mess we're in. I think that the main problem nowadays is that there's very little moral integrity to be found. These pointless and damaging television programs exist because the producers, the actors, everyone involved would rather sell themselves for a quick buck than do something more meaningful. People need to have a choice in order to live lives they can be happy about, but when there is no moral integrity behind the decisions being made, of course society as a whole is going to start to sink.
 

LizzieMaine

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As far as the marriage question goes, I only brought it up as an illustration of cultural change. As recently as fifty years ago, most people got married in their early twenties -- that was the cultural norm. The modern culture of twentysomething casual-sex relationships didn't exist to the extent that it does now, so the idea of a "walk of shame" (a phrase I'd never heard of before and had to look up) didn't really exist. There were jokes in the twenties about young women defending their virtue by walking home from car rides with overeager boyfriends, but that's not quite the same thing....

Choice is in many ways a double-edged sword, I think. One can choose to live one way or to live another, to live by one set of values or another -- but every choice comes with a set of consequences. That's the part that tends to be forgotten nowadays, and that's where the trouble starts. People want free choice *without* consequences, and there's no such thing.
 
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