An urban myth and popular excuse used to pressure women to excuse unwanted sexual overtures from and actions by men is the notion that 'men are fixated on the size of their dicks' and 'preoccupied with sex'. This myth is not only nonsense but also an insult to mankind.
Food matters to men too as do many other priorities such as philosophy, politics, art, and literature. Patriarchal societies have evolved from caveman times. Thinking men have responded to generations of women in western societies who had asserted their human rights and demanded equality in treatment. Without the support of men in western society, women would still be suffering repression as in some Middle Eastern societies.
The selling of values through popular media has been important in the evolution of attitudes about sexual harassment and relationships. Personally, I think that media influence began when the medieval Code of Chivalry was promoted through the popular media of that time - bards and minstrels - to combat the power abuses rife at that time. The widely promoted ideal In practising the solaces of love, thou shalt not exceed the desires of thy lover was a response to a common abuse. Was this the first time a woman's rights in sexual practice were considered and recognised as valid?
In the seventies and eighties, television shows such as 'I Dream of Jeanie' and 'Bewitched' reinforced that women should not have power. Not only did 'I Dream of Jeanie' heavily sugar coat the master slave relationship, it reinforced that women who had access to unlimited power were frivolous in their exercise of it. It affirmed a woman's place was in service of her master benevolent though he may have been. Likewise 'Bewitched' sold wifely domestication as the rightful price of love. Although Samantha and her kind had unlimited power, it was used for luxury consumption, lifestyle, and getting out of jams again demonstrating that women did not know what to do with real power.
Likewise, popular media today, as part of its exploration of gender relationships and politics, reflects, challenges, and at times unwittingly affirms negative environments and cultures that foster a locker-room mentality and related harassment. In numerous story lines, genuine sexual freedom has been hijacked; real gender freedom has become shackled to sexual expectations that a woman 'should put out' as part of gender interaction and because of sexual freedom.
17 Again (2009) is a good example where the story represents the growing counter cultures of respect and disrespect in gender relationships but doesn't probe it. This is where the susceptible viewer can miss the passing editorial comment embedded in the narrative about teen female behaviour and think that such behaviour is the accepted norm, and it was the father (Zac Efron) who was out of step (although still really handsome)!
Glee offers a similar exploration but also documents harassment and bullying as a common feature of a culture where talent, intelligence, and difference are compartmentalised and portrayed as unpopular, even unacceptable. As central characters, the nerds and geeks are portrayed as types of anti-heroes, however, any validation of them in the narrative may be missed amidst images of blonde bombshell cheerleaders and body-beautiful football jocks and the preoccupation with sex and its power. The biggest concern about Glee is the representation of harassment and disrespect as part of life. Without any embedded subtle editorial comment in the show, its stories unwittingly validate and perpetuate that status quo. The unthinking person absorbs that embedded value and is less likely to draw a line within his or her own environment.
Although we are in the 21st century, many groups within the media continue to 'sell' traditional gender myths and promote acceptance of harassment and inequality as a given in life.