College Essay Examples


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Men have consistently been portrayed as possessing handyman skills, but being very incompetent in areas that require more use of the brain.


In the hit 1990s TV show “Home Improvement,” in the episode May the Best Man Win, Tim the Tool Man Taylor is a man who is obsessed with tools and building things. He hosts a fictional TV show called “Tool Time,” and is consistently getting himself into trouble due to his lack of attention to safety. In this essay, I will analyze how men are depicted in the show. The male “macho” attitude is featured prominantly in the show, and as the main character, Tim, tries to figure out how to function with a woman as the boss, he is continually made to appear unintelligent. 

The episode features Tim and his daily activities, which include acting very macho a lot of the time. Tim has hosted “Tool Time,” for the past three years and has been given credit for making the show a success. But when his former producer runs off with a magazine centrefold, a new producer steps in – the former producer’s daughter. This starts a dynamic that has Tim battling to keep his show in the style that he wants. The first confrontation that the new producer and Tim have is over how to renovate a home. Tim wants to feature the renovation of a basic patio as the main focus of an episode. However, the new producer wants to add “a few French doors for light,” thus creating a breakfast nook. Tim does not like the idea because it is not manly enough. He says “Are you crazy? This is ‘Tool Time.’ Men don’t eat in a nook.” This shows the stereotype that is placed on men, who, according to the show’s writers, do not consider a nook to be manly enough. This reveals the macho attitude that men are depicted as having, due to the fact that they would rather eat a more “manly” setting.

Tim’s intelligence is belittled in the episode when the confrontation with the new producer continues. When on the site where the crew is ready to shoot the episode, Tim arrives to see that the new producer has essentially taken over for him. She has the entire crew laughing at her jokes, and running her errands. When Tim arrives, he is upset, and continually tells her that it is his show. Tim is about to shoot a scene from a roof that the new producer tells him is too dangerous to stand on. However, Tim says that the show is for men, and men need danger to be entertained. This is another stereotype that is portrayed in the show, and is claims that men are dangerous and reckless. Tim then proceeds to climb the ladder and then stand on the roof. While shooting a scene, Tim walks around the roof before eventually falling through. This action claims that men can be arrogant to the point where they are unintelligent, and women actually have more intelligence than men. This is represented in the fact that the new producer had warned Tim about the potential of falling through the roof, but Tim ignored that advice.

The dynamic that is created between the new producer and Tim is also a stereotype that men cannot handle a woman being the boss. Tim gives off a “my-way-or-the-highway” kind of attitude when he is told that the new producer is the daughter of the former producer. He assumes that she does not know what she is talking about when he arrives on the set to shoot the scene from the roof. When she warns Tim that he should not stand on the roof, he essentially says, “What do you know?” She mentioned that she got a look at the foundation from inside the home, and determined that “the roof is unsafe.” However, Tim, as a stereotypical guy, does not think she knows what she is talking about. He then asks surprised when she details renovation terminology.

The shows depicts men in a very unflattering way. According to the writers, men are macho people who have little regard for safety, and they cannot have a woman as a boss on a renovation show because they do not know anything about “guy” interests. While there has been a considerable amount of emphasis over the years on stereotypes relating to women, the stereotypes about men have been largely overlooked. Feminism made great progress for the women’s rights movement, but the media sometimes goes too far, and it ignores the stereotypes that are placed on men. As the reader has seen, “Home Improvement” depicts men in an unflattering way, by labelling them as being macho and with little respect for women’s ideas.

Works Cited

“May the Best Man Win.” Home Improvement. Walt Disney Studios. Burbank. 1992.

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By Hanna Robinson

Hanna has won numerous writing awards. She specializes in academic writing, copywriting, business plans and resumes. After graduating from the Comosun College's journalism program, she went on to work at community newspapers throughout Atlantic Canada, before embarking on her freelancing journey.

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