Yesterday I got an email from Youtube with the subject line "10 million people know the most popular guys on YouTube. Do you?". Well, no, I don't. This tugged at my curiosity (which I know was the purpose of the email). I gotta know who the most popular guys are (and also what kind of masculinity they're selling). I was hopeful it would be something awesomely positive (hey, I'm an optimist) but I was sorely mistaken. They're all just a bunch of cavemen, literally. See for yourself...
"What Guys Are Really Thinking"
In the first scene, a group are buddies are egging on one of their friends to go get a woman's number who's doing yoga in the park. He tells her is that his friends put him up to it and he promises her that he's not a creep. Then they replay the scene where the guy turns in to a caveman to illustrate "what he's really thinking". He just wants "bam bam", he's definitely creepy and of course she's clueless.
Basically the message is that guys pretend to act nice, but all they really want is sex and they'll tell you what they think you want to hear to get it. Great, guys have been reduced (again) to pathological liars and sex addicts who are incapable of genuine emotion and healthy relationships. Oh, but I bet it's just a joke guys, right? Right. I know they're capable of more so this is disappointing.
They go on to show you how they're not really listening to us when we (obviously only) talk about going shopping (stereotype), losing weight (stereotype), and fashion (stereotype). They'd rather stare at our boobs than listen to what we have to say, because, as they're insinuating, anything we have to say couldn't possibly be interesting.
When the date is over and she says she "has to do homework" but she'll "see (him) around" the caveman inside of him throws a temper tantrum saying it was a "waste of time" because he didn't get "bam bam". So, here we are again with yet another example of a male stereotype that no matter what they do, the ultimate goal is sex.
On the flip side, they show the female characters turning into cavewomen who say "You no try hard for bam bam, you no get bam bam" sending the message that women really want guys to pursue them even if they say no (Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!): FYI, "no" means "no" and "yes" means "yes", let's not get that confused. Too many guys have fallen for this myth that if they just keep harassing a girl long enough she'll cave in and give them sex. Just to clear that up, here are a few definitions everyone should learn: sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape. (BTW, plying someone with alcohol so you can have sex with them is rape.)
The "most popular guys on YouTube" couldn't help themselves but to wrap up their video with a few more stereotypes. "This girl want bam bam...and chocolate, and bubble baths, and shopping, and watch romantic movie with man-hunk Ryan Gosling". Hey guys, you've really got us pegged...he he, he he...NOT. I'm sure you don't all want to be categorized as a bunch of douchebag assholes so I'd appreciate it if you didn't stereotype us into a bunch of airhead shoe-crazy over-consumers. I do appreciate their acknowledgement that women like sex too. We can do without the stereotype that its something only guys want.
I'm sure the makers of this video probably thought they were just being funny, and maybe if we lived in a world where rape, sexual assault, or sexual harassment wasn't a problem then maybe...no, not even then would this be funny. What this "humor" and "boys will be boys" attitude really does is tell guys their just a bunch of sex-crazed idiots who are incapable of anything other than harassing women (so why even try to be anything but). There are lots of Good Men out there. Sure, there are guys whose main focus is when and where their next booty call is going to come from (mostly their the ones who've fallen for the stereotype) and there are guys who force themselves onto women (criminals). However, even though most rapists are guys, not all guys are rapists. Men are perfectly capable of having genuine human interactions/relationships that don't involve the pursuit of sex. These stereotypes are just holding those guys back from evolving with the rest of us.
To help our two sons avoid the pitfalls of this limiting/dangerous stereotype, my husband (an example of an awesomely good man) and I will teach them about healthy masculinity and how to identify and avoid those negative stereotypes of what it means to be a real man.