Butsch attempts to explain Networks' reasons behind their reliance on stereotypes for their shows. These stereotypes are: smart and respectful men paired with either "equally" respectable women or a buffoonish wife for middle-class families vs dumb idiotic "working-class buffoons" paired with a much smarter and successful wife as working-class families. What I seemed to notice from Butsch's article is his somewhat dislike of this portrayal of working-class men.
The first thing I was wondering about while reading was what Butsch's point for this article was. Was he simply trying to point out the stereotypical networks? Or was he attempting to create a movement? To create some sort of ripple/change in Network television by showcasing their actions to the public?
Then as I continued to read, I noticed a depiction of working-class and middle-class families that I did not like. YES, the depiction of buffoonish husbands/men is definitely wrong, but what rung a bell for me was the portrayal of women in each "family type". This is, when a woman is portrayed as dumber or reliant on her husband, the family is of "middle-class" or even "upper-class" but when she is smarter or "too-good" for her husband, the family is portrayed as "working-class."
So I wonder, must women forever be portrayed as reliant on a man to be successful? For her family to be happy and successful? For her and her family to achieve the "American Dream?" From what I've seen, society is slowly changing; there are more smart stay at home fathers than ever before. There are also more middle-class families with the wives as the main "bread provider." The stereotype that single-mother families or buffoonish fathers are working-class seems to be deteriorating since many of these families do not only consist of such stereotypical family members: there are single-father families and both equally intelligent (definitely not stupid) parents.
So I wonder, do networks really not notice this message they are sending? Or is this supposedly based on actual studies and examples of "working-class" families? I understand that shows usually depict extreme stereotypes--after all, as Butsch tried to explain, these stereotypes make creating a lot easier--however do shows really not understand the possible messages they are sending? Or am I the only person who notices this sort of stereotyping? Or is it that this "stereotype" has just been embedded in our minds as it has been for creators of shows as Butsch mentioned? Does this make it OK for Networks to portray such stereotypes? What must we do in order to cause a change? Or are we OK with these stereotypes?