Tuesday, November 22, 2016

New Girl

Season 5 of New Girl has a story line in which one of the main characters, Schmidt, feels the need to prove himself as a man on the day of his bachelor's party. This episode ends with him and his friends being beat up by some rivals in the desert and then they all resolve to go home to chase their love interests. This show advances progressive ideals of masculinity when Schmidt's best friend tells him that 21st century husbands don't have to protect their wives to prove their worth. He points out to him that caring about what his wife eats, what they do together, things like that, prove his worth as a husband. I think that this is an important idea for masculinity.

I think we still have men who subscribe to the idea that men have to be the saviors of the damsels in distress to be true men. They feel the need to prove themselves tough and able to overcome challengers, thus qualifying as the manliest man. This reinforces the idea that manhood is based on dominance and power. But this fosters unhealthy competition between men and distracts from the actual important aspects of relationships, which Schmidt's best friend reminds him about. Men could use more support from each other to remind themselves that manhood ought not be about a power competition, but rather being true supporters of the people they care about.

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