This episode is a replay of one we first posted in back in 2017. Gillette’s recent “Toxic Masculinity” ad recently brought ideas about the ways in which men are portrayed in popular media to the mainstream. Dr. Andrew Smiler has studied men and media for many years, and share some great insights. It’s definitely worth revisiting!
If you were a social anthropologist and you wanted to understand the norms and values of some ancient society, you’d likely take a look at their cultural artifacts. You’d closely examine their writings, paintings, sculptures, etc., to look for clues regarding how people within a certain culture were expected to behave and interact with the people around them.
1000 years from now, when anthropologists somehow get their hands on our TV shows, they’re going to learn a thing or two about how men were supposed to behave in our society if they wanted to be respected or admired: Save the day, always have a witty comeback handy, be aloof – or a doof – in your relationships, and get the girl. Any girl. Actually, all the girls. And only girls, of course. As many as possible (and pretty much all of them are possible because you are the guy no girl can— or should— resist.)
Hopefully, the writings of researcher and therapist Dr. Andrew Smiler will survive until that day, so that future scholarly types can get a fuller picture of our off-screen reality, which is that most men are not promiscuous, most men do value intimacy and relationships, and most men, in fact, are not “most men.” He and Dan share some concrete strategies on how to show up as the man you want to be, not necessarily the man advertised on TV.