On this week’s episode (December 13, 2011) of Last Man Standing, youngest daughter Eve has, in her mind, a “date” with Victor, the boy she has a crush on. But she gets crushed when Victor asks her for her opinion on who he should ask to a dance. When her mom finds her with her first broken heart, she gives Eve a hug, offering these encouraging words: “Oh, there will be plenty of boys….all of them equally disappointing.” Her dad’s encouraging words? He would’ve “pushed that kid’s bike down the storm drain.”
So, you may wonder, what are real boys who are watching supposed to think about all this? (If there was any indication that Victor knew Eve had a crush on him, I missed it. Watch the episode here if you want to find out.)
For a quick answer, ask yourself what would girls think if in the episode the sexes had been reversed: Dad, giving broken-hearted son a hug, says, “Oh, there will be plenty of girls…all equally disappointing.” Mom: “I would have pushed that girl’s bike down the storm drain.”
Here are possible messages picked up by real boys watching the real episode:
- I must constantly risk scorn and ridicule because I must tell every girl who doesn’t interest me romantically, “If you have a crush on me, stay away from me.”
- I must avoid developing a non-romantic friendship with a girl because if she ever develops a crush on me, her parents, siblings, and maybe the whole world will want to skin me alive if I don’t feel the same way about her.
- A girl’s crush on me means I’m forced to be involved with her romantically if I want to avoid being seen as “equally disappointing.”
- I must never break a girl’s heart (though girls are free to break boys’ hearts and no one cares.)
- If I want to stay in everyone’s good graces, I can never break up with a girl, no matter how terrible she is.
- I as a boy am automatically seen as disappointing to girls.
- Wow. What an episode of Last Man Standing! The show’s producers would never treat girls that way. That makes me very, very angry.
- I as a male am always the butt of gender-based jokes. When it comes to making one sex look bad relative to the other, television always plans to gore the male bovine, even in a program aimed at a male audience!
I may be the last man watching Last Man Standing. And this week’s episode was the last time this last man will watch Last Man Standing.