Friday, May 15, 2009

NBC’s: Mercy: Women’s Shifting Attitudes Towards Love and Marriage

NBC announced a new hour-long drama, recently, for their Fall 2009 Schedule. Among the pick-ups was the show “Mercy” an amalgam of various other female oriented doctor shows like “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice.” This time of course focusing on nurses.



What’s interesting about the show, which is otherwise unremarkable (Doctor/Hospital shows have been standard fare aimed at women since the days of Radio Soap Operas in the 1930’s) is the shifting attitudes towards love, marriage, sex, and commitment held by women.

Looking at the clip, you can see a number of female fantasies that are obviously not true, such as older, “harder” looking women are more attractive than younger, nicer women, or that being “smart” is a draw back for women regarding their attractiveness (it is not, only for men is this so). The older women clearly have multiple men of high status interested in them, the younger, more physically attractive woman who is “smarter” or at least has a very mentioned “Master’s Degree” from Penn, is made to look unattractive. A typical female fantasy aimed of course at women past their mid twenties at least. The usual TV cliches of the “wise old dying woman concerned most about the hero’s self-confidence” and “wise Black Doctor” are also present, to the show’s detriment. [Black Doctors according to the AMA number 3.5% of total physicians, making the character of the “wise Black Doctor” extremely uncommon and thus PC, asserting something is true when it is manifestly not.]

There is also the usual buffoonish characterization of men, found in female-oriented TV dramas. Either handsome, powerful studs (the new Doctor, the bartender), gay co-workers, or cartoonishly inept ordinary men shown up by the women. These are the roles that men play in much of women’s television shows and movies.

But what is most interesting is how attitudes about love and marriage and sexual attraction play out in the clip. It would have been unthinkable fifteen years ago, in 1994, for a TV show aimed at women to depict the central female lead who is married, happily, to a guy shown as nice and decent, to instinctively make out with an old flame the moment she can get him alone. Much less to contemplate an affair, with the encouragement of her co-worker friend. Or flirt shamelessly with a bartender after work, again with the encouragement of her friend.

This represents what amounts to a sea-change in female attitudes towards sex, love, and marriage. Marriage for the most part is seen as an “at will employment contract” and it’s notable that the lead female character experiences no sense of shame or betrayal in making out with her old flame or contemplating an affair. Because the old flame is “hot” and has a superior social position to her husband, who is presented as an amiable but unimportant guy.

Moreover, the female lead is not criticized by her female pal for pursuing the old flame or flirting with the Bartender. The behavior is “excusable” because the guys are “hot.” In marked contrast to the either cartoonish bumblers around her or the “fabulously gay” pal who works alongside her (most male nurses are either hard-working and married Filipino men or ex-Navy Corpsmen, tough and most assuredly not gay). Thus none of the male co-workers particularly those of exactly equal status are bearers of inconvenient sexual desire or figures of romance, either.

The pilot for this show very likely cost around $5 million. It’s likely that production costs will drop somewhere between $3 and $4 million per episode, making the total outlay for the production company between $41 and $51 for a 13 episode run, and $68 to $89 million for a full 22 episode run. NBC (assuming this is an outside, not GE-Universal production company) will be on the hook for likely $2 million per episode, licensing cost, so that’s $26 to $44 million dollars depending if only 13 episodes are ordered or “the back nine” are added on a for full season’s run.

Catering to a female oriented audience in a pilot like this is not left to chance. Study and focus groups galore, market research, the favorability index of actors and actresses, all are tested and analyzed in exhaustive detail. Because there is a lot of money on the line. The production company hopes to make up deficit financing by syndication and DVD sales, the network to sell ads at higher rates than the licensing costs (and not have to engage in “give-backs” where if targets are not met, advertisers get more ads running).

NBC and the production company are making huge bets involving millions of dollars that these themes are what women want to see. And what women want to see is largely, a female sexual utopia of hot men around every corner, men who’s status only improves with age and who’s desire for them only increases as they get older, and with whom they can indulge romantic and sexual interludes with no more consequences than terminating an at-will employee. Variations of these themes can be found in “Desperate Housewives,” “Gilmore Girls,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” and “Private Practice.” The market for them is quite lucrative, though bounded by the fact that no (straight) man will watch them.

Nothing takes place in a vacuum, however, and cultural shift in women (always the sexual gatekeepers) towards a more “gay” viewpoint on sex and marriage (i.e. “hotness” of the prospective sex partner outweighs any boring old marriage vows) creates it’s own problem for women.

In reality, men do not find older women more attractive than younger ones. Men prefer more not average intelligence in women (higher IQ correlates with greater future time orientation, less desire to fulfill an immediate sexual desire at the cost of a relationship/marriage). Women of course prefer average IQ over intelligence, as intelligence in men correlates with lower testosterone levels, a man of an IQ of 70 having the same testosterone as a man of 130 IQ.

The cosmetics industry may have a 1.9 billion set of reasons to tell women that as they age they can be just as attractive as younger women, but the reality is different. So too is the idea that men view women’s intelligence the way women view men’s (i.e. most desirable by being “average.”)

Sadly, the female fantasies are the flip-side of all those Hollywood movies and television shows featuring kick-ass hot women and nerdy nice guys who win over the hot babe by being “nice,” “sensitive,” and of course, “smart.” Qualities which women find either annoying or irrelevant or “gay” in men. The women in question of course being fascinated by kicking ass and taking names, not obnoxiously girly stuff like shopping, fashion, and hanging around their female friends (in other words, the ass-kicking waifs and babes are completely devoid or real female characteristics).

Neither the male-oriented “kick ass fantasy girl” shows (“Chuck,” or “Eleventh Hour” or “NUMB3RS” or “Terminator”) nor the female oriented sexual fantasy shows offer realistic approaches to men and women groping around for strategies that provides some measure of success and happiness in romantic life.

Women are flat out lied to regarding their sexual power: strongest in their youth, fading fast afterwards, and subject to inconvenient male desire from co-workers and others of equal status. Nearly all their male co-workers will be straight. Hunky doctors will not find them objects of intense passion, and once divorced it will be much harder for them to find a man willing to marry them (as unlike for men, a complex sexual past makes women less not more desirable). Female fantasy shows generally lie to women about how men’s attraction works, showing a model that is just like women’s, depending on validation by other men, instead of the truth which prizes beauty, intelligence, and a lack of any meaningful relationships and complex sexual past.

Men of course are lied to as well in their fantasies, with the model of simply hanging around being “smart” and compassionate wins the girl, who will in any case be devoid of annoying girly tendencies that drive very masculine nerdy guys nuts. Instead of the truth regarding “at will” contracts requiring constant sexiness regarding the next best alternative, and masculine dominance/status forming the basis for attraction and love.

What is telling is that none of the male or the female fantasy shows have any ability to tell men and women how to behave in order to be relatively happy in life, given the big shifts in women’s views towards love and marriage.

Love is now defined (by the only ones who matter, the gatekeepers of sexuality, women) as whoever is sexiest the most, and most recently. “Passion” which is short-term sexual desire, over-rules marriage and fidelity. The modern work-place, with spouses absent and particularly in female-dominated ones, offer splendid opportunities for women to be desired and taken by high status, dominant men (who are also handsome). No condemnation of embracing desire over marriage vows will be forthcoming from female friends and peers.

All this points to a very chaotic, short-term series of relationships and partnerings. Nothing particularly stable, and indeed a perfectly good marriage, though to a “boring nice guy” is considered disposable. Everything points to women having no need to hedge long-term, viewing their futures romantically speaking as bright. So bright that any opportunity can be pursued without any significant downside. This too, an orientation towards short-term maximization because long-term outcomes are “guaranteed” is a big shift.

What is still unexplored is how men react in turn to the short-term orientation of women’s romantic desires. Will men become Pickup Artists (PUA) out of necessity? Will men increasingly abandon any desire for a nuclear family, akin to employee strategies in an employment market dominated by short-term jobs? On balance I think both outcomes are increasingly probable.

47 comments:

randian said...

Everything points to women having no need to hedge long-termWhen you can take men's money through the welfare and child support systems, rather than the honest way by getting him to marry you, beta men become irrelevant. Much preferable to take the beta mans' money and discard him in favor of the alpha, even if you have to share him.

Anonymous said...

Whiskey,

Youre post is quite correct.



Ive watched a couple of Roissy threads closely, and they have depressingly told me just how "far gone" women are.

The women in the threads jump through every sophist hoop imaginable trying to "turn the argument around" and frame themselves as victims over the unfairness of a man having his wife leave him for another man, and still having to pay child support and alimony. Some literally defend that.

Ive highlighted (or attempted to) their response to the (coming, trust me) future of artificial wombs (that have already birthed some animals). Their response is pretty much the same dishonesty. They are against them, because of a percieved loss of power over men (who would no longer need them to have children). Even though women can get in vitro fertilization now, they are against men basically being able to do the same thing. They dont come out and say it, but lie about it saying men "wouldn't want such things, etc". They have no idea.

They dont even -want- beta males to be able to have a kid -at all- unless one is being used by a woman who is playing him.

As Ive said before on other blogs, evil laws create evil people who play to those laws. We have created incintives for women to get married, have some other man's kids if she wants, and leave the chump and take half his stuff on the way out the door if she can attract a man she likes more (or not, just leave so she can go cougar it up out there at the bars). Of course this is the result.

Its as if we made shoplifting one item from each store a non-prosecutorial offense because we dont want people "who just took one thing" to have their future's marred with a criminal record for "petty" theft. We just made them give it back if caught. What do you think would happen? I say shoplifting would go through the roof (especially amongst females) as they'd try and steal "just one thing" from every store they visited.


After reading the past few days, Im not too sure that many women would be pro-slavery if the issue was beta males. I think about 50% of secular females would probably go for it, rationalize it in their own minds as somehow just, make up some pure sophistical arguments in favor of it, and just be willing to share the top 20% of men out there in their estimation-no matter how badly they got treated. Status competition must be insane in their minds.

So this is why the ancients wouldn't trust them with anything.



You once wrote that in the future decades, men and women will have increasingly little to do with each other. I think that is about right. Women and men in their forties now who aren't married, probably never will be and they will simply age-out of the mating game. The hollywood media, full of fierce lefties and gays, throw gasoline on the fire by indulging them in their make-believe fantasies.

The plot of the show your post describes is about as realistic as the Wizard of Oz, but is no doubt much less entertaining. z

Novaseeker said...

A great post, Whiskey.

I'll comment more fully over at my blog, but a relatively brief observation here --

As we know there have been a lot of legal and social changes around sex, monogamy and marriage in the past few decades. And as a result of them, women have adapted their attitudes to love, sex and marriage, as you point out, Whiskey, to adjust to the new circumstances and the opportunities they provide women. It's true that shows like Mercy peddle pretty lies to women about their opportunity and attractiveness as they age into their late 30s and beyond, and many women who believe these pretty lies run the risk of finding themselves mateless and childless in their 40s. This is a real risk for women, regardless of the alternative reality that these shows are peddling to them. The MILF and cougar phenomena are really fringe elements involving celebrity females who have dumped a lot of money into cosmetic surgery and who spend 4 hours a day in the gym – therefore not something which most women in their 40s can realistically pull off. Women run the risk of engaging in a series of chaotic, short-term relationships, as you suggest, only to find that when the music stops, they are left standing without a chair to sit in. The long-term good outcome for women is not really guaranteed – but women are being peddled an alternative version of reality that makes them think that it is. Many women will learn to the contrary that it is not.

As for men, I think what we will see is a lot of "husband" type men withdrawing from marriage and therefore being less invested in society as a whole. Some "husband" type men will become PUAs, but many will not. The "truly undesirable" men will increasingly become alienated from society as a whole and anti-social and problematic for the culture. And the "highly sexually prized" men will consolidate their position of power, somewhat, but gradually have that eroded by the mass amounts of other men who are simply either aloof from the system or actively hostile to it and seeking to undermine it.

What seems clear to me is that this is not a stable platform. Too many men are the losers under this system, and our society has no effective way (constant war, disease, etc.) to “bleed off” the “excess” men who are the losers. That will lead to social instability in the medium term.

Perhaps what follows that will depend on how soon the next sexual and reproductive technological revolution comes. Things like artificial wombs, realistic sex robots and so on will be game changers when they come along. In the short to medium term, if DNA paternity testing becomes commonplace, this will reduce opportunities for women, which may actually reduce the rate of marriage, as women opt to raise kids alone, rather than marrying a "husband" type man whom they cannot successfully cuckold.

Mike Sylwester said...

... men who’s status only improves with age and who’s desire for them only increases as they get older ...

whose

---------------

Aside from my grammatical nitpicking, I enjoy reading your blog and your comments on other blogs. You always are intelligent and thought-provoking.

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

Pop culture sucks.

Not seeing it as that much of an improvement over bear baiting.

Glad most of me and mine kinda bypass the "system."

-Foxfier and Elfie, the Geek Couple
(Elf corrects: people suck. Yeah, married a misanthrope.....)

sestamibi said...

Just about to make the same correction. I second Mike Sylwester's comments on both the grammar and the blog.

Anonymous said...

Very good analysis there, Whiskey. It's funny to see the nurse portrayed as the female equivalent of 'Dirty Harry', in her case, 'Dirty Mary', when responding to the car crash.

The message about women becoming more desirable as they grow older is pure nonsense. Most women age so quickly after age 35 that they become nearly invisible as their once-attractive selves are ravaged by mother nature.

Shows like this are the equivalent of psychological chocolate to the ranks of rapidly-aging middle-aged women, many whom need to see themselves as attractive in their own thinking. They need such fantasy as the awful reality is that men no longer respond to and pursue them as they once did. Sad that it's come to this. But entirely predictable.

Whiskey said...

Thanks Mike/Sestambi. Yep grammar error. I'll leave it up there to remind me to be more careful in writing.

What is striking is how rapid the changes came in the popular culture. From say, Chandler and Monica in "Friends" who were peers in status, heck "Chanlder" lived across the hall, to "Mercy." It's quite a big step.

It is indeed a big box of chocolate lies, since the strategy (embrace as many chaotic, lust-induced male partners as possible) isn't likely to lead to happiness. But such as it is, those are the guidance posts for women (and men) in life, with the collapse of religion popular culture is all that is left.

And that is about the saddest thing I've written today.

Anonymous said...

Superb analysis Whiskey.

Here's a news report that has caused a stir here in London. A well-off 66 year old woman has got herself pregnant by IVF.

Turns out she got married at the age of 46 to a wealthy guy and he split.

UK's medical professionals say she is far too old but there is nothing they can do. She did it outside Britain.

Expect much more of this from wealthy women, despite the adverse affect on the child. What wealthy women want, they get.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1183432/Woman-Britain-8217-s-oldest-mum-66-world.html

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

IVF is already linked to the kids having issues-- it's more dangerous than the parents being older.

Amazing how nobody ever mentions that, though....

Anonymous said...

"The message about women becoming more desirable as they grow older is pure nonsense. Most women age so quickly after age 35 that they become nearly invisible as their once-attractive selves are ravaged by mother nature."

What I personally find funnier is how much our equality-minded womenfolk lament that they become "invisible" after 40.

It is not that they are invisible, it's just that they no longer have a spellbinding vagina which gets them free lunches.

Showing a bit more leg, pursing your lips and batting your eyelashes no longer solves all your problems? You have to work to find a mate, with many of the better ones permanently off-limits? No free boons from undersexed males? You will actually have to extend effort and use your brain to get things done?

Well hello darling, welcome to the world of the male. This is what its like for us guys from birth to death. Take a seat and enjoy the ride. Sorry, no free refreshments.

Chic Noir said...

my darling Whiskey wrote who will in any case be devoid of annoying girly tendencies that drive very masculine nerdy guys nutsPlease explain what those tendencies are.

@ my darling Whiskey- I have a few family members who work as nurses and it’s something I’m thinking about doing. New nurses and doctors are notorious for not knowing anything when they start on the floor. A doctor fresh out of med school needs all the help he can get from his nurses. It’s a little known fact that nurses save the lives of patients when doctors prescribe the wrong medicine or amount of medicine. Shouting Thomas can tell you even more since he’s in nursing school.

Chic Noir said...

anon The women in the threads jump through every sophist hoop imaginable trying to "turn the argument around" and frame themselves as victims over the unfairness of a man having his wife leave him for another manNot I

Anonymous said...

Anon. 12:53:

Good points in your post. Not scientific but it's just my hunch that those women who lament being 'invisible' after age 40 probably 'lived large' on their no-longer youthful good looks. Now that their looks no longer attract free dinners, drinks or other things, they often don't have other more permanent, attractive qualities to rely upon. They didn't have to work hard to make friends earlier in life. But mother nature always humbles us in the end.

I do notice women who are kind, have a sense of humor, good morals and an overall pleasant personality regardless of their age or physical appearance. I may not be physically attracted to her but there's an alluring type of charisma to a lady who has a kind personality. Even if we don't date, there's no reason not to pursue being a friend to such ladies. And they are more rare than gold in my experience.

Whiskey said...

Chic, nerdy guys find shopping, gossiping, obsessions with fashion, celebrities, shoes, and finding kittens, puppies, and babies "cute" to be annoying. Much of the "girly" behavior (like being really, really interested in fashion) drives the hyper-masculine, very abstracted nerds nuts.

Yet they cannot understand why women find the same sort of obsessions: Star Trek "canon," action figures, baseball stats, football minutae, boring as hell.

Neither sex seeks to understand each other, merely to mold each other.
--------------
Nurses are very professional and under-respected. The great ones are like gold, only more valuable. Mercy does not do them much credit, sadly.

IVF is a very bad idea, as noted it has some serious issues with health of the mother and the child, regardless of its popularity among Hollywood stars (Sarah Jessica Parker, for example, who has a surrogate mother impregnated with her egg fertilized by husband Matthew Broderick, Parker being unable to carry to term any more children).

I don't see men being interested in "artificial wombs" ... but rather a "spread your seed" strategy to impregnate as many women as possible, or be some variations of the angry Cho loner or withdrawn "could care less" beta. Disaster all around.

Chic Noir said...

Oh Whiskey, I get star treck, remember my mom is a nerd.

I don't push fashion on men because I understand that most won't get it. For me, high fashion is art.

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

If you care enough to read and respond to this post, you're probably not the target audience.

If you watch the show and think, for a second, "wait, what?"-- you're not the target audience.

It's entirely possible that their target audience doesn't exist outside of "well, this is on, let's watch" or some other "pull" they just haven't identified.

Chic Noir said...

@whiskey, if could be possible that older women are birng portrayed as more attractive because that's how women see themselves. Men do something similar, thinking they can be 4s that pull 10s.

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

If women, in general, thought they were more attractive when they got older, there wouldn't be so many commercials that basically say "I look twenty/thirty/forty years younger than I am!"

Anonymous said...

Whiskey,

"Spread your seed all around" Equals paying child support to two or three women.

What guy in his right mind would be for that?



Artificial wombs would allow the successful professional man to have two kids OF HIS OWN, that nobody could take away (and make him pay child support for), while he feasts on a buffet of different women (a la Roissy) every month. His parents and sisters could watch the kids for 4 years while he is at work until they are ready for school. It will be something for men who can afford it (men that make at least roughly 75K a year). I can assure you, tons of professional males............or just guys who hit the big "4-oh" childless who would rather do that than take a huge financial chance by marrying a party-girl they met at the bars.

Whiskey, professional women get IVF right now when they dont meet "Mr Right", and they have to go through a pregnancy and give birth. A guy can cum in a cup, and come back in 9 months and pick up twins and make his own parents grandparents----without risking a dime, child support, alimony, half his IRA, or the drama of a marriage. While he chases all the pussy on the buffet out there? Are you kidding me?

I think you'd be astounded how popular it would get to be amongst men who could afford it. Men love kids too Whiskey, but marrying a party girl---no matter how good the poon tang, makes him beholden to much shit these days. Why bother? He can milk-the-cow-through-the-fence-and have kids anyway..........it will come. The Japanese will do it first.

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

Only if:
1) you're not in jail
2) they can prove it's you.

For #2, you just don't stick around long enough for pregnancy to show up.

Anonymous said...

Alec Baldwin for artificial wombs?


http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D988KQ001&show_article=1


He "would love" to have more children at 51, and joked about "getting a phillipino mail order bride" or "russian one".

Oh, the market is there, trust me. Why would Alec risk 10 million bucks on a some woman who said, "trust me Alec, I love you even though you are old enough to be my dad", when all he really wants is another kid or two (one that actually, you know, doesn't hate him because her mom has brainwashed her to do so for the last several years).

Ive been right about much over the years, and I think I'll be right about this in a couple of decades also. Women will be able to not get fat, have morning sickness, get cellulite and stretch marks, but to just go "pick up" the kids they had with their husbands and not even miss any work. I think it will be extremely poplular once safe. Single men and women who dont want to marry will have kids this way. In fact, we will probably have to limit them to one kid apiece becuase of its popularity. I think time will prove me right on this one.

Nine-of-Diamonds said...

Great to see you blogging again.

Not entirely on-topic, but I figured this site would be right up your alley, Whiskey. Perhaps you've already been there & bought their reading material, but anyway:

http://www.nomarriage.com/

Jack said...

You people talking about sex robots and artificial wombs need to get a grip. If those things do happen, it will be many decades for them to be common.

Whiskey, of course, has a keen eye, somewhat exaggerated, for the current societal social problems. But guys have to be realistic and think in terms of the same thing every other group does - increasing political power. I've brought up the issue before, that sometimes you have to stop complaining and start confronting to get what you want. Affirmative action didn't begin because a bunch of old white guys sat around and said "let's do something nice for blacks." It happened because white people were scared, as they saw city after city burning up and saw that blacks were willing to FUCK SHIT UP.

Think about that. A group of what, 10% of the population caused that kind of change. The fact is, feminists fought for the wholesale societal changes of the last 50 years because they HATE the traditional family. Everything from abortion to women's "equal" (really superior) pay to no-fault divorce. Feminists wanted women liberated - from their families and children. Somehow, the men in charge allowed these things to happen, to a point now where a judge rules that the morning-after pill can be given to 17-year olds over the counter. Yes, that is America I am talking about. An America where the men who study hard and do the right things are NOT being rewarded.

So what about the majority of white men, those of not great looks or high status? Well, if it really is so bad, we need to organize. Organize into lobbying groups to change the fucked-up laws which have hurt us. Meanwhile, just like in the civil rights movement, have a confrontational element. Make the feminists and their sympathizers think twice. How, you ask? Well maybe women who divorce their husbands need to start getting their car windows smashed. Or their workplaces harassed. Or maybe worse. You get the point. In numbers, "beta" men can at least get a MESSAGE out, if we organize. As opposed to now when we have no movement or power. Just like blacks in the 60's, beta guys need to show they are willing to FUCK SHIT UP. It's the only way.

And one more thing, men need to be very, very careful about they end up committing to. Whatever we do is for naught if aging Sex and the City-type sluts are able to find men and happiness. The message has to get out that if you slut around too much, you'll end up a catlady. For that message to stick, men need to steer clear of women who were alpha-fuckers throughout their 20's. And it shouldn't be that hard for a man with any self-respect.

Anonymous said...

So much PC nuttery in this promo.

Not including the "old flame" doctor, about whose medical skills nothing is mentioned, there are two white doctors and one black doctor depicted. The two white doctors are shown to be bumbling incompetents, which of course she jokes about with the wise black doctor. The (female) nurses are portrayed as smarter and more assertive than the (male) doctors. The only male patient shown is already dead.

I know this probably isn't completely representative of the show - it can't be like that all the time without devolving into absurdity (though Grey's has already pretty much done that). You can tell a lot about a show (and why the network put it on the air) by how it's marketed, though.

sestamibi said...

Jack, I agree that what you say will happen if betas get pushed too far. However, it won't happen in any organized fashion because it would then be subject to ridicule from both "chivalrous" conservatives ("real men don't act like that") and from feminists ("what they need is a good lay").

But it is coming. Darren Mack was just on the vanguard.

Ronduck said...

The US media is no better than the Soviet media, it exists to promote the planned utopia and to lie about current events in order to promote the current state of affairs. Having some competition in the media at least makes them work harder and at least try and be believable when selling their crap disguised as entertainment.

Chic Noir said...

anonymous said The (female) nurses are portrayed as smarter and more assertive than the (male) doctors
if the male doctors are new interns,then the female nurses are smarter or at least have more clinical skills.

Anonymous said...

Whiskey,

David Friedman asks if free love has a down side in his most recent post:

http://daviddfriedman.blogspot.com/2009/05/does-free-love-promote-or-impede.html

Jack said...

"However, it won't happen in any organized fashion because it would then be subject to ridicule from both "chivalrous" conservatives ("real men don't act like that") and from feminists ("what they need is a good lay"). "

Of course it will be subject to ridicule. Goddamn it, blacks were subject to police beatings and dog attacks. We can't withstand a little ridicule? With enough numbers, hopefully the attitude will be "fuck ridicule". If we get ridiculed, it should firm our resolve. Let's say you're an angry white guy who never gets laid. What does he have to lose?

Whiskey said...

Of course, much of the show seems aimed at women mid forties or older with a protagonist in her early/mid thirties.

Perhaps more evidence of the graying of America.

CW's Teen Girl shows routinely draw only 2 million viewers or less. Some draw less than a million.

Not enough young people. Or I should say, Young White people (Mexican youth and older do not watch much English language TV, unsurprisingly).

sestamibi said...

Jack--

I hope you're right. I just think there's too much weight on the other side.

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Ace said...

Very interesting post. These are all thoughts I have had lately. As a new Mother raising daughters and a wife of over a decade I have been having this crap shoved down my throat for years. I was mocked and pittied when I married right out of the first year of college....however, the majority of my friends are unmarried or married late and are already divorced.

I am tired of being told that older women are "vital" and that younger men are dying to sleep with them. That waiting until you are nearly middle age is the best bet for an "equal Marriage" (ah no, all the best guys are gone...married early or to YOUNGER women..you can only marry way older then).

Now all I see is a bunch of friends who bought the lie and are horribly angry and don't even want to be around me...because they realize their time may have passed.

TV is a waste of time targeted for sad and bitter people who are clinging to a lie.

Many Blessings :)
Ace

RAMZPAUL said...

Whiskey,

Looks like Showtime is promoting a show called Nurse Jackie. It looks like an EXACT copy of Mercy. The lack of creativity in Hollywood is amazing.

Anyway, I wrote about Nurse Jackie on my blog:

http://ramzpaul.blogspot.com/

The R.N. formerly known as Angry Male Nurse said...

Whiskey-
Dig your blog. Bumped into it.

I've been posting pro-male comments on the NBC website, asking why there are no straight male nurses. You'd think run a men's support group or something but seriously, the stereotyping is insane.
I pray that one of the producers of the show is to be glued to those friggin comments-I hope to god they are furiously re-writing scripts, thanks to my lame comments and the fact that Nurse Jackie just scooped the shit out of them. She's got a gay male sidekick, too.
The ratio of straight male nurses to female nurses is pretty similar of African-Americans to caucasian's on the tube.
But I think a straight male nurse, especially a white one would be seen as a loser, not as a hero, for not being a doctor.
I never wanted to be a doctor. My wife loves what I do, and I love the fact that most doctors are too scared shitless to get their hands dirty, in every sense of the word. And I came up as an E.M.T. which in L.A. is...uhh,well frankly, well it's fuckin nuts. I had to get off the street to the safety of an E.R. But then I realized almost every ERin LA is a fucking trauma center. So you put all these stressed out, drug addled, bi-polar medical people in a box and you through oieces of human tragedy at them and you get me: President of my nursing class. LA, County! County!
In reality, there are more female residents in training than males, at least in L.A. and for the most part, they have a vigor and enthusiasm for the gig that the dudes don't. Maybe more to prove.
Whereas many of my female coworkers think professionalism and assertiveness is to be an absolute bitch (and they will proudly tell you that they are a bitch)to any living or nonlving creature. I find the female docs to aproach situations with logic, grace and a real assertiveness that pissess the "bitch" nurses off.
My point is that I fear these nurse shows have a decidely anti-feminist and somehow anti-male slant at the same time. And my weaker minded co-workers are gonna dig it.
"Life is full of little pricks" Nurse Jackie's billboard says.
According to Mercy and Jackie too, "Life is full of big ol' vaginas" as women in these series seem to deal with snooty white male doctors by fucking them. Next season they'll get married. And get pregnant but lose the baby by getting kicked in the gut from a crazy patient. Nurse Jackie's treatment of her new nurse, oh yeah, same as on Mercy is called "horizontal violence." i.e Nurses eat their young. It is the emotional and verbal abuse, the conditioning we receive that enables us to be the most abused workforce in America since the god damn labor movement. I suppose the thick skin also helps keep one from going to the darklands.
I like the percocet addiction though. Sporty.
If you only knew....

Anonymous said...

Whiskey, I'd be interested to read a comparison between Mercy/Nurse Jackie/Hawthorne/Grey's Anatomy and, say, Scrubs or ER. Scrubs and ER are definitely at opposite ends of the drama/comedy spectrum, but they both seem to be directed at a much more general audience than these new shows. They also seem to to be a lot less PC-oriented.

ladyraine said...

Whiskey--

Sometimes I genuinely wonder where you have done your dating. You are clearly in the mire of having some seriously bad luck with women. Not all women are bitches out to get you.

"shopping, gossiping, obsessions with fashion, celebrities, shoes, and finding kittens, puppies, and babies "cute" to be annoying."

I can honestly say I find everything mentioned there equally annoying (except for the fashion).

You are right, though. Men and women need to stop trying to pretend to be "the same" and spend more time enjoying the differences and learning about them.

Anonymous said...

I agree that all the things you've pointed out are true but I think you're missing the overall picture.

The presentation of the nurses as assertive(in fact down-right aggressive), cynical, reckless with other peoples feelings, this all reminds me of feminist carricatures of men.

Whether intentional or not the heroine of the show is presented as living just as women tend to imagine a man living(careless by way of lacking emotions). It's a womans fantasy of what it might be like to be a man.. with a woman as the man.

The interesting question here is why women have this bleak conception of men(in my opinion blatantly in conflict with traditional ideas of manhood as well as everyday ecperience) and why they want to embrace it as a model for emulation.

randian said...

The interesting question here is why women have this bleak conception of men

In my experience, women harbor such ideas to flaunt their own superiority and improve their own self esteem.

It shouldn't be surprising, then, that women tend to vote liberal, since so much of liberalism is about conspicuous displays of virtue and assumed moral superiority.

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

I'd argue, conversely, that the mindset of the folks writing these shows are the kind of folks prone to focusing on the bad stuff that happens as being the only truth.

IE, "I can't get a date with guys I'm interested in if I act like myself, and I think of myself as smart" becomes "men are scared of smart women" rather than trying to figure out if they're smart and obnoxious, if they're attracted to jerks, of they neglect their own appearance in favor of their intellect....


Liberal tendencies seem to be only slightly related-- more on the "I know better than you, so I'm going to organize things to work MY way!" type thing, or mommy-state, vs "I know better than you, but any system I come up with will be able to be abused, so let's set some ground-rules that are least likely to be abused and most likely to be effective--then, if you fall down, you should get up, dust yourself off and get going again" philosophy of the right.


Oh, dear, why did you have to bring that up... now I'm wondering if the high number of childless liberal women that are active in political matters are misplacing their mothering instinct to the entire country.... (it's worth noting that folks tend to become more conservative as they get older, get married or have children)

Evan said...

Females are not the sexual gatekeepers. Who cares what females think afterall? It is men who write our laws and define terms, not the irrelevant female. The female sexual fantasy is a lesbian sexual fantasy without marriage and children, because they hamper female promiscuity with other lesbos. Men are also sexual gatekeepers. Due to divorce many men are avoiding marriage and fatherhood altogether. It's the gaying of America. Females abused to laws to make men's behvior as well as their own queer. Now everybody's gay. The genders hate each other.

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

*snort*

BS.

1) both men and women write laws and definitions
2) there is no "the" sexual fantasy for women-- although patterns indicate a tendency towards preferring stronger/more powerful men
3) sure, men can be sexual gatekeepers-- generally, though, 'Self Esteem' by the Offspring is more accurate. There's nothing new about men wanting the milk without the cow, what's new is the mik-keepers having a way to offer it and being willing to do so on a wide scale.
4) In spite of pop culture, the sexes don't hate each other. Some very perverse sub-groups hate, but don't mistake the squeaky wheel for the whole cart.

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