What is “Male Bashing?”

     I’m working on the layout.. Bear with me.. WordPress is actin a damn fool…

    So, last week, you might have seen me tweet that I wasn’t going to see “For Coloured Girls.” I won’t mention how I feel about Tyler Perry’s movies. This is not a post about the actual movie. At all.

  

Pretty soon, everyone man I know will be wearing this shirt..

Before the credits finished rolling, my friend asked me if the movie qualified as male bashing. The lights came on and the ushers started to file in to clean the theater before I answered him. I looked at him, screwed up my face, and told him “no.” He told me that none of the women that he’d asked actually confirmed that it was, in fact, male bashing. So it got us into a discussion that lasted all the way back to my house.

    What is”male bashing?”

   He started to reel off the male characters in the movie and said that none of the blame was placed on the women. That Mr. Perry made sure to use emotive force to make us feel like the women were the victims. That the men not only were bad, but that they were bad to a different level. I told him that in my head, Male bashing is women sitting around talkin about how “men ain’t sh*t,” etc. He stated that he had long ago thought that Tyler either hated men, or had had something happen to him by a man. He felt vindicated when Tyler confirmed it in an interview recently.

   He said that the Madea movies (roll eyes here) aren’t exactly male bashing because it’s comedy. (?) That there needed to be a balance and/or some kind of  discussion (or at least a mention) in the movie that (for lack of a better phrase) exposed the effed up things that women do too. He said that at least in older movies like “The Best Man,” and “Love Jones,” that the women made you shake your head in disbelief too. At least the scripts were more honest. But this just led me to say that we all know the Tyler doesn’t write the most believeable scripts.

   I asked him if it was only male bashing because there weren’t any males in the film to defend the whole male race. He couldn’t answer me. Is that what was needed to not make the male race feel so bad?

  Just like the women in the videos can distort a man’s perception of what a “real” woman is, then we know that the movies don’t always paint the most realistic picture of day to day life. The issue is, that for some women I know, that is their day to day life. I’ve seen it, and I hate to say that I’ve lived some of it.

   It turned into a conversation about Tyler Perry’s audience and demographic. It became a discussion about what people overlook in order to “support” a movie by a black filmmaker. I have often mentioned that everything with me is earned and that I don’t just blindly “support” something “just because.” If I’m enabling a certain type of movie, then why would a filmmaker make anything else? If I want a standard to be raised, then the one way that I can make that known is to not see their work. However, I asked him, “If there was a movie made with great male figures and all the women were grimy, would you go and see it?” and he got quiet.

   I toss that question out to you. Men, don’t kid yourself and think that you are the demographic to these movies. You’re not stupid. We know that such a movie might not get backed by a movie studio because on paper, it doesn’t look like it’ll reap any profit. Women go to see movies, and it’s widely known that they tell other friends, and organize girl’s nights out, and word will spread. Men don’t do that. Not only would a movie with male role models lose a lot of it’s woman-base, but I don’t think that men will line up in droves to go see it either. Women will leave the movie theater rollin eyes, and smacking their mouths saying “Tonquanesha, you know that ish ain’t real. I don’t know naan ni**a like dat.”

   I can say though, the same way that men hated the male bashing is the same way that black women hate it too. We hear that we’re angry, crazy, got issues, got ugly hair and don’t do for our men while several of us are shouting “That’s not me!” from the rooftops, trying to overcome the stereotypes that have been imbedded into the minds of lemmings. I want to scream, “it’s just a movie!” but that would seem harsh. However, you’re annoyed by it, now what? I often say that I don’t want to hear about problems that you’re not trying to fix. So many are enraged by the depiction of ourselves (and our race) yet have stored up energy (and anger) that goes nowhere. Does nothing.

   The same way that people will talk about Nicki Minaj so fervently because there is no Lauryn Hill to balance her out. Is it the same for movies? What qualifies as male bashing? Do you take offense to it, even if it doesn’t apply to you? Do you feel that other races (that’s my way of saying “white people”) will look at the movies and think that’s really how we are? Do you care? Or is the main issue that he took the negative stereotypes and “hit ’em with the hee” all in one film?  Because honestly, people that judge others by what they’ve seen in movies are idiots to me. We know that movies aren’t real. Is there something I’m missing?

   I have more questions than I have answers..

   Peace and Love, Nick

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Comments
7 Responses to “What is “Male Bashing?””
  1. For all of my criticisms of Tyler Perry I will say that his film adaptation of For Colored… Has stirred up some much needed dialogue. Is it male bashing? I don’t know and I don’t care. The worth of my shiny, black man-hood will not be dictated by TP, or any woman who isn’t Mrs. Moneypenny.

    I will say all bashing isn’t out front like “He ain’t sh@@!” We’re all adults and we all know that you can tell someone they’re not sh@@ without saying “They ain’t sh@@!” Insults aren’t always heavy-handed attacks. This happens to both women and men all the time and it has lasting results.

    “Because honestly, people that judge others by what they’ve seen in movies are idiots to me. ”

    There are a lot of idiots out there Nick. This happens all time. The media, art, and other outlets do shape people’s world view. Just ask any one who followed the Dipset, or think that they are O-Dog. Some folks don’t fact check or look at other perspectives. Give them a news blurb, some statistics, or a music video with some a@@ and some bottles and that’s how the world is.

    Male bashing does occur just like its female equivalent. Both suck. Like I said I’ll never know if For Colored Girls is bashing because Tyler isn’t getting any more of my scratch. I’ll stay home and catch that “Swamp Loggers” marathon, I can relate to that.

  2. Capricorn says:

    What he said. *applause*

    Did he say DipSet and O-Dog?! iCant.

  3. MsEsquire77 says:

    A couple of answers to your questions:

    1) People take Tyler Perry movies too seriously. He isn’t God or the devil. If you don’t like him, don’t support him. If you do like, give him your money. Either way he is not the answer to or cause of Black America’s problems.

    2) I think male bashing is when women talk about men in sweeping, negative generalizations. ex: ALL men are dogs. It’s not any different then men who refer to every woman they know as a b!tch or a ho@. Either way it’s ugly, untrue and unhelpful.

    3) White people aren’t nearly as sensitive about media as we are. I love my folks but we tend to get hyper-sensitive about the wrong things. The world would be a MUCH better place if we directed that passion to parenting and/or mentoring our kids, cleaning up our neighbors, feeding the homeless, etc.

  4. I’ve seen a bunch of Madea movies and Why Did I Get Married. While I can’t comment on all of his movies, I think the movies that I’ve seen all follow the same basic storyline. I’ve determined that his movies aren’t my cup of tea. If you like him, that’s fine. I won’t be seeing For Colored Girls or probably any other movie that he makes.

    The “male bashing” thing comes up because, for better or worse, he has the attention of a large number of black audiences, especially black women. The side of black culture he decides to show is taken in by a lot of people and some people feel he chooses to show only one particular side: the side where black men (for the most part) aren’t sh*t. And you’re right that his movies are probably not for the male demographic which is why it seems he focuses so much on the struggles that women go through.

    Regardless, like MsEsquire said, all this energy that people are using to fuss about TP could be used for more constructive purposes.

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  6. Super Suki says:

    I agree with what Damn and Mama Esquire said. Energy in all the wrong places. fe/Male bashing is never good for the soul. TP isn’t doing anything but entertaining people. Why there’s such a crazy emphasis on him being good or bad for the community, I’ll never know.

    But really, as far as male bashing – women saying all sorts of negative things about men not being sh*t and generalizing on the bad things that are supposedly only subject to men (i.e. cheating, threesomes, being selfish and all about themselves, no good, etc)

    Nice post. Sorry I’m late.

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