I watched a Sitcom with my daughters last night. The basic plot went like this:
Big sister is babysitting little sister. She asks her brother to take care of the little sister, while totally teasing him about how he never helps with the baby.
I don’t like.
Brother responds to goading by taking baby sister to the park. At the park he meets a hot chick. She is also babysitting and has exactly the same stroller as he does. They start to chat, and hit it off. He gets her number. This is called success.
He takes his little sister home, and proudly announces to everyone about his accomplishments. Yes, another stereotype. Dumb boy can’t keep mouth shut.
Baby sister smells poopy. Big sister makes fun of brother for not changing diapers. Further dialogue reveals he actually does change diapers. Really?
Changing the diaper reveals little sister is a boy.
It turns out that the babies got switched. How does the dumb boy not notice that the babies got switched? Funny? Not really.
Fast forward: big sister’s solution is literally to gaslight the parents by having the littlest brother pull a pratfall prank to distract them, and switch the babies without getting caught thereby cementing the collusion and criminality of the entire group. Nice. Training our girls to manipulate for fun and profit!
High fives all around. Cue happy ending.
What did the people who wrote this intend?
To make people laugh?
Did they consider the secondary consequences of the laugh?
Not likely. Yikes. I ask my daughters to make sure their jokes don’t hurt anyone because that’s not funny. We work on this. No joke.
Do women actually want men to help, or do they just want to make fun of men because it’s easier?
I think this is partially a group identity thing. Women as a group tend to put down the parenting skills of their males because it makes people laugh, and makes them feel stronger. This is to their own detriment.
I also think it’s the easy way out for weak writers, and it’s a very bad habit.
This is where we could start:
By bringing people up with our humor, and avoiding tired stereotypes.
And by avoiding crappy sitcoms.