It always struck me that men actually might benefit from the “bumbling idiot” stereotype. In very many of the dysfunctional heterosexual relationships I’ve observed, men basically only work then come home and do nothing, and women do a majority of the actual work and men use this learned or feigned helplessness to get women to do everything for them. They’re socialized this way, I think. I married this very equality talking, sensitive, feminist-ally, politically correct kind of man and yet the day we got back from our honeymoon, my ex husband suddenly became an infant who no longer knew how to operate an iron, pack a grocery bag, balance the budget, take a pee without splattering the entire bathroom, flush the toilet, cook his own meals, return phone calls, put his own dishes in the sink before they turned moldy, or even drop letters off at the post office.
The bumbling idiot stereotype doesn’t hurt men. Men are not being denied jobs or health care or legal rights because of being seen as bumbling idiots. They benefit from the stereotype because it means that women do everything.
mousesinger (via swordssoarewords)
This is the sitcom staple stereotype (at least in the US), and I wish it would just go away. A wife having to act like her husband’s mother is not funny. A man constantly doing stupid things and lying to his wife in order to cover it up is not funny. A woman having a total meltdown because she can’t deal with her husband’s inappropriate behavior anymore is not funny. Enough. It makes both men and women look bad, and reinforces the idea that this sort of thing is “okay” in real life.
I know for a fact my piece of shit brother in law passive-aggressively fucks up household chores as badly as possible to force someone else to do them.
I’ve known too many grown ass people who pull childish shit like this. UGH.
God this so much. And men are totally complicit in this. They act like bumbling idiots, because it means they never have to wash a dish. And really, who wants to do dishes? No one likes having to do them, but men get taught from childhood that if they just act like it’s harrrrrd, Mommy will do it, and then I’m Mommy even if I’m younger than them.
Men don’t want to actually start acting competent and doing their share of the work. Because they could have that. They want to get credit for being smart and competent (not in girl things! Probably just in more important stuff, you know, things that matter, pondering the mysteries of life like the great thinkers they are) while still not having to do any work. And instead of getting mocked for being bumbling idiots for not being able to prepare their own meals or wipe their pee-pee off the floor when they miss, they want to forget this menial labor exists entirely. Oh, they want women to keep doing it. They just don’t want us to get any credit for it at all, or it ever to be mentioned, or their lack of ability in that area to be an issue. They want to simply have us there, working silently and thanklessly, while they reap the credit for being more capable than us.
This “oh noes, I’m t3h dumbs” routine is just what they do when we didn’t mother them quickly enough or to their satisfaction. And yes, they’d like to avoid having to do that. They’d like us to just do the work without being prompted, so they can go back to pretending to be better than us.
However, I think it shows up in sitcoms because it shows up in real life. I don’t think a sitcom makes men do this. I think they get it from their parents, from all of society, and we women enable it because we’re also trained to from more than sitcoms. Sitcoms are there to make a joke of normal life. Unfortunately this is normal life. When people stop identifying with it, the sitcoms will change.