One of the most popular shows of recent times is Desperate Housewives, the story of a group of wives, who are by turns bitchy, philandering, manipulative, but, importantly, the stars of the show; the men are like grooms at a wedding – necessary, but only in the sense of serving as foils for the women. Nothing catches the spirit of this show better than Kevin Gray’s article in Details magazine entitled “How Desperate Housesives is Castrating Us All: Just when men finally mastered sensitivity, we’re told we’re too weak to satisfy a woman.”
“The wanton women of Wisteria Lane loom over their men like gynocentric avengers. Sex bomb Gabrielle cheats on her rich husband, Carlos, with a 17 year old gardener. When Carlos tearfully confides his suspicions to his mother, she takes his chin in her hand – and slaps him for being a chump. When Bree asks the other gals how to get a screwed up neighbor boy to disclose a secret, Gabrielle pipes up: “For God’s sake, Bree, you’re a woman. Manipulate him. That’s what we do.”
“Manipulate the losers. No wonder men are so baffled. An editor friend of mine who watches the show, and dates a hottie, asked me, “When did men become such pussies? Women push us towards being emotionally vulnerable, and then they find it repellant.”
“Consider everything we’ve sacrificed and fixed about ourselves to fit into the pastel colored suit of the sensitive man. And you can start with Sunday night – once we might have commandeered the Trinitron for the last NFL game on ESPN; now we sit through none other than Desperate Housewives so our lady can get her bitch on. We gladly go to museums and hold hands thoughtfully in front of impenetrable abstract art. We loofah. We can tell the difference between her Manolo Blahniks and her Jimmy Choos and can whip up a vegan tempeh rollatini that will shiver her timbers…Now we not only know how to make a woman orgasm – we make sure she does. Hell, there are diaper changing stations in rest-stop men’s rooms now. We’ve come a long way, baby.
“But something has to give once you’ve been re-educated, and in this case it was eons of “real man” skills. So no, we can’t retile the roof or change the oil or snake the shower drain…Instead, we – shamefacedly – call for help…The fact is, we haven’t just quit mashing Bud cans against our foreheads; we’ve lost our caveman mojo. “What I hear from men is that after all the sensitivity training, they actually find women are less interested in them,” says California psychologist Aaron Kipnis, author of What Women and Men Really Want. “This is a danger, and every guy knows it.”
“For decades, the women’s movement has waged a brilliant PR war, attacking masculinity as coarse, retrograde, and even dangerous. A generation of bewildered men have sat through compulsory rape-awareness classes in college. The message: your dick is a threat to society”.
So men become the new women, while women (at least on Wisteria) become the new action heroes. Each woman on Desperate Housewives has a little bit of Schwarzenegger in her. But these housewives are not the judo kicking, sword swinging warriors of Charlie’s Angels. They engage in more realistic forms of combat: psychological and emotional. “This show is a sad extension of the feminist mentality that men are useless and don’t deserve human regard,” says conservative talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger. “It’s psychological S&M, where you treat a man bad and he takes it. It’s S&M without the whips.”