Blame it on the fact I watched more televison over the
past couple of weeks while recovering from my bout with
Prednisone and it's side effects.
Have you noticed the television programs and commercials
where the dad, husband, male figures are just dumber than
dumb? Men don't have a clue and even the young children
have to bail him out? Or the wife has to explain everything
as if the male didn't get any education and has no sense
of what is going on. He couldn't possibly hold a job - he's
It's everywhere. If you haven't noticed it, you've really
missed something important going on in the American culture.
Men are stupid and women know everything.
I don't know about you personally, or what your relationships
with your dad or grandfather were, but when I was a kid I
truly believed my dad could do anything and fix everything.
On top of that he was the handsomest man I had ever seen.
I absolutely adored him. He fished, he hunted and so did I.
By the time I was in high school, I had discovered that my
dad had severe warts. No, not physically, he just was a very
flawed person. In fact, since I was an only child without
siblings to relate to, what we actually had was quite a
dysfunctional family. I didn't know that, as a child,
and it probably would not have changed who I am today.
But that image of 'dad can do anything,' and forgive me,
that 'Father Knows Best,' is part of the culture I grew up in.
Father Knows Best was a very popular television program in
the 50's, there were more, Ozzie and Harriet, and others
The point is the male figure was the dominate person in any
family. In my dad's house there were rules. Some a bit
strange in today's world. I was not allowed to wear pants,
and never shorts to the dinner table. We were not a wealthy
family, there were just some things a lady did not do. Yes,
I was a lady-in-training. You would hardly know that today.
I give that as an example, because whatever it was is gone.
Dad's was the final voice. You did what he said. You did not
question his authority - or why he set whatever rules. And
heaven forbid you did something wrong, that one was "just wait
until your father gets home."
If there was something important I needed to talk to dad about,
it was always after dinner when he was relaxed and had a full
stomach. Oh yes, that included asking for money since I didn't
have an allowance. And I had to explain what I was going to do
with the money. Give an accounting.
Dad ruled the roost.
Sure, times have changed and our whole society has dumped - or
rejected - lots of things which those of us who are older
remember with a sense of loss.
Yes, opportunities for women have really improved. I believe
any woman can do and be anything she chooses. And mostly the
pay status for women is the same as men. But does that mean
women are really somehow superior? I'd settle for equal.
If the television programs and commercials all deride men,
show them as bumbling, inept, and just stupid, what does
that say to the youth growing up?
Who does that leave as a role model? The movie stars? The
so-called sports figures?
Do you think the kids today can sort out the agenda of the
television programers? Or those who sell the commercials
Kids tend to believe what they see on televison as 'reality' -
and in fact a survey done a while back asking kids under 12
if a program (such as Law and Order) or the evening news
program were 'real.' The kids could not discern the difference.
And top that with the fact that kids see so much violence
and sex they think it is reality. It is how life really is.
They are numbed. How scarey is that?
So who is the role model for the family? It's not dad. Mom?
Chances are unless she was raised in a family which was
outdoor orientated, it isn't her. And let's face it, most
moms these days are also working. Thank our out-of-control
tax structure for both parents having to work. Our
demographics here at FAOL show we have about 8% of readers
who are female.
So the kids are not exposed to fishing at all, much less fly
fishing. They are exposed to plenty of media showing how
stupid dad is. They surely don't want to emulate him. That
leaves televison and we know how much good stuff there is for
kids doing anything outdoors. Can you just see a kid going
to mom and telling her he wants to learn to fly fish? Ya, right.
Is there a fix? Is there a way to get kids involved in our sport?
Some schools do have programs on fly tying, rod building and
some even arrange fishing trips. But they are few. We've
helped a couple of schools who wanted to have a fly fishing
course as part of their curriculum. And on the east coast
there is a program called Family Ties which has had some
success. I heard recently that the Federation of Fly Fishers
is going to be working with that program - it would be a good
thing if it succeeds in getting kids interested and involved.
For the most part however, I don't see great numbers of young
people joining the fly fishing fraternity. What a terrible
loss. And mostly because "dad is a dork."
~ The LadyFisher
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