As of recent I have become a rather large fan of Spike T.V., television for men. Not so much as I like to watch television but I find it rather amazing what they consider to be television for a “man.” All day long you can watch campy 1980’s action films with stars like Jean Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren and Sylvester Stallone – proto-typical male types. The ones that make you want to get off your La-Z-Boy and break out the gym membership you never bother to use. Possibly enroll yourself in a martial arts class just so if need be you could handily deal with the a-hole who cuts you off in your morning commute. As if all men love terrible acting with some good fight scenes in their movies. Anyhow, what I find even more interesting than the male machismo in the films on Spike is the commercials in between the violence.
Each commercial is about a product that will make us more masculine, so that we can be like our male counterparts on screen. During the day it is subtle, performance-enhancing substances for the average Joe. As the night begins to roll around is where it gets really fascinating. At every commercial break you can expect to see an advertisement for “Girls Gone Wild,” a male sexual enhancement drug, and some guy urging you to buy supplements. It gets into my head between bouts of grown men smashing each other’s faces in inside an octagon. If I watch a few hours of this I find myself pondering the intentions of Spike. I begin to think, ‘do all men wish to grow their penis two to three inches with a topical cream or some magic pill?’ Must all men be big, muscular, skilled fighters? Do we all really want a hot drunk college girl? Don’t get me wrong the latter would be great… but I’m rather happy with myself. Actually, I’m rather happy with my wife as well, my kids, my job, my physical attributes, hell I’m happy my penis simply functions properly. I could do without the extra three inches. Still though, these commercials make me wonder. What is it that our society now deems a “man.” As I watch all of this information flooding into my living room I can’t help but grow mildly insecure.
I work a job in sales, I’m not a MMA fighter. Am I less of a man? The television tells me so. My pecks are not as big as that guys, I must be therefore less masculine. ‘How big should my penis be,’ I wonder? This television for men is subtly influencing us, the man, to feel insecure about our very being to sell a product. It intrigues me, so I watch and continue to watch and make my observations. In the end, I simply feel bad for the college student who downs a six pack of ripped fuel every day, purchases these sexual enhancements and gobbles them up like M&M’s, just to think he’ll meet girls from the “Girls Gone Wild” videos. I think I’ll refrain, maybe go out for pizza and beer, and relax and be content with who I am – a “man” (as far as I can tell).