In the past few years, I’ve become interested in the rise of female power, particularly in the realm of money and consumption. Here’s an example from your local drugstore’s magazine rack.
I don’t do this with any sense of resentment. Men have wielded the purse strings for all of human history, after all. It’s high time that pendulum swung the other way.
Last night, it occurred to me television was following other media forms in its reorientation to female audiences. Consider the most popular shows in the US for last week:
- Dancing with the Stars
- American Idol – Wednesday
- American Idol – Tuesday
- The Mentalist
- NCIS: Los Angeles
- The Good Wife
- Criminal Minds
I can’t speak to all of the shows in the top ten, but the top three definitely have a predominantly female audience. None have an obviously mostly-male audience. This should be no surprise. Women control a huge portion (85%, according to this article) of a household’s income. And–this was news to me–they watch more television. The most recent data I could easily find was from 2004, but in that year, Statistics Canada reported that adult women watched nearly five more hours (25.6 to 20.9 hours) of television a week than men.
Musing on this topic on Twitter earlier today, I asked about TV shows (besides sports and shows about cars) that predominantly appeal to men. Here are some of the suggestions I received that rang true:
- Handyman Superstar Challenge
- Most Extreme Elimination Challenge
- Deadliest Catch
- The Simpsons
- Family Guy
There were also several suggestions for anything on Spike TV. Is that the only male-oriented channel, besides the likes of TSN and SportsNet? What’s your experience of watching television these days?