The McBournie Minute: Pop should represent the populus

There was a time when I considered myself up on all the latest happenings in pop culture. I knew all the big players, all the latest news and gossip, and I knew it all because I could read the celebrity magazine headlines while my mom and I waited to put our groceries on the belt and check out. I was probably seven.

Since then, I can safely say I have focused more on what, rather than who, is cool. I pay attention to certain types of music and certain genres of movies. I watch certain types of shows with certain ads aimed at my demographic. Slowly over the years, it seems I have drifted farther and farther out of contact with what is “fresh,” as the kids say these days. I think.

I realized just recently that basically all of what we define as pop culture is really just what the females of the species find interesting. Let’s run down a few of the latest headlines, shall we?

The Proposal’ gets a big ‘yes’ at the box officeThe Los Angeles Times
Sandra Bullock and Van Wilder star in a romantic comedy about a boss and an underling who get engaged so Bullock doesn’t have to get deported. Guys, and I should clarify here, heterosexual guys, are not interested in this movie. They are going to see it because their ladies wish to see it. It’s not that all guys hate romantic comedies, it’s Sandra Bullock. Ug. There’s also the basic plot outline of “Act 1, they don’t like each other, Act 2, they kind of like each other, Act 3, they have a big fight and make up with a big soundtrack” that does it.

Miley Cyrus joins Jonas Brothers for tour kickoff in
Yes, there are creepy guys out there who are interested in this (Bryan Schools), but these two singing entities are largely aimed at youngsters and tweens. Inexplicably, this often translates into full-grown women liking their songs and/or shows. I will not attempt to explain this one, I will merely say that it’s the females driving this one, not the menfolk. Next time you hear one of those Miley Cyrus songs playing in a bar (for some reason), listen for the women singing along.

Is Gisele Bundchen dressing for two?The Boston Herald
Yes. Tom Brady is as good at knocking up super models as he is at winning Super Bowls. But you know what? Hundreds of other NFL players impregnate women, sometimes their wives, sometimes not, all the time. It’s not news because the knocked up are not famous names. But more importantly, they are not famous names with women. I didn’t know who Gisele Bundchen was until I heard that Brady was dating her. Apparently he was also scorned by women for leaving his pregnant super model girlfriend, Whatsherface. I do not care who is currently accepting Brady’s sperm, and I am pretty sure the average straight guy doesn’t either. Women, on the other hand, do.

Some might come back and say that the Sports section is the male version of pop culture, but I think that’s sexist. First off, women like sports, too, (heck, we even let them have their own separate but equal leagues!) and secondly, guys are not obsessed with sports in the same way. We like other things, not just the stereotypical cars, beer and boobs (though those are pretty sweet). We’re just more diverse than that.

Guys don’t buy magazines anymore, just ask Maxim, Playboy and Blender. But that doesn’t mean we don’t like things. The male pop culture market is under-served and under-represented. Society’s definition of “pop culture” leans too heavily on women, and that itself is sexist. Shouldn’t something that’s “popular” be considered so by more than just half of the population?