Modern Love Week: Dear Thursday: The Secret Lives of Men

I often imagine that there’s life on other planets, but like us, they don’t have the resources to leave their planet and come to, much less find ours. Then I imagine that they might know about us, b/c we send so many TV signals into space. Then I wonder what the aliens must think of us.

For example, if I were to judge American Love through TV, I would think that

1) That it’ss usually men who initiate divorces, trading their wives in for someone they have been cheating with.

2) The vast majority of men cheat. And …

3) Almost no man wants to get married and have children.

"Divorce" by

"Divorce" by

However, in real life it’s statistically proven that the vast majority of American divorces are initiated by women. Of course, both men and women cheat. And, I’m fairly certain that the number of heterosexual men who don’t want marriage or children is rather small compared with the general population. I think if the aliens did truly get to know us, they’d be surprised by all the married men in America who aren’t cheating or trading in their wives for younger models and who want to have children.

So why is television so stuck on portraying men in this fashion? Maybe this is what life is like for the modern male TV writer? Maybe they’d rather not think about the fact that their wives are much more likely to leave them than vice versa. Or maybe it’s a reflection of the American value system: We like our women pure and our men dirty?

Either way it seems to me that men have been getting an unfair reputation from TV, books and movies alike.