Updated: Aug 17
Here's a rundown of men we love in our fave series. Spoiler alert: They don't possess toxic masculine traits or have been detoxified. Now, these are men we stan! Warning: the videos may include spoilers.
1. PHIL DUNPHY, Modern Family
If you watch Modern Family, we bet you also think Phil is one of the best series dads ever. He is not embarrassed to show his hobbies even when some of his family think it’s lame. Likewise, he is not reluctant to show affection for his wife, his kids, and his father-in-law (which provided the show with lots of plot points to fix their relationship as in-laws).
Phil being the best dad ever for a minute
Like most dads, he also faced challenges when his daughters Haley and Alex started to grow up. It’s not easy for a dad to let his little girl go but Phil eventually learned how to trust in his kids’ decisions - that his guidance and upbringing are more than enough to arm them in the real world.
2. JAKE PERALTA, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
With a black sergeant, a gay and black captain, two Latina co-workers (Spoiler alert: one of them comes out as a bisexual and one he ends up marrying), the show doesn’t fail to insert a lesson on social justice without being too preachy.
This one’s special because Jake did start out as a privileged white male who didn’t know any better. Eventually, as he becomes closer with his diverse squad, he learns to be attuned to struggles he doesn’t deal with personally.
He doesn’t get insecure when Amy gets promoted before he does. He even encourages her that she deserved that promotion and celebrated with her when she got it. He supported Rosa when she came out as bisexual.
"Every time I think I understand how bad it is, it's just way worse than I imagined." - Jake Peralta
In another episode, Amy reveals to Jake that she got harassed in the workplace and that’s why it’s important for her to solve a similar case. Jake says, “Every time I think I understand how bad it is it’s just way worse than I imagined.” This scene is just so powerful because it shows how men can listen to women and recognize their privilege. Women are not always looking for men to save the day but to listen, really listen.
3. DARRYL WHITEFEATHER, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Darryl Whitefeather is the head of Whitefeather & Associates, the law firm which protagonist Rebecca Bunch started to work for when she moved to West Covina in the pilot episode. Unlike most white male bosses in TV shows, Darryl is more in touch with his emotional side. He is understanding of his employees’ problems that he usually is taken advantage of, but this does not harden his heart towards others.
More than a boss, he is a loving father to Madison and he always seeks out the best for her. Spoiler alert: he also came out as a bisexual man some episodes later by singing his catchy song, Gettin’ Bi.
"I don't know how, I don't know why. But I like ladies and I like guys."
Though Darryl’s character may sometimes be a bit too clingy for comfort, he has a healthy way of processing his insecurities and always remains a true friend to Rebecca and other characters in the show.
4. AANG, Avatar: The Last Airbender
The last of his kind, Aang is a free-spirited nomad who once ran away from the huge responsibility of being his era’s avatar and was preserved in an iceberg for over a hundred years. Aang set out to fulfill his destiny along with his friends - Sokka, Katara, and Toph. For an Avatar who’s supposedly the strongest being of his time, he’s open to learning whenever he can.
In one scene where a waterbending master refused to teach Katara because she’s a girl and her place as a waterbender was supposed to be in the healing huts (sounds familiar, right?), he angrily walked out and said if the master won’t teach Katara then he won’t too.
There are more moments reflecting Aang’s inner sense of justice and how he repeatedly rejects the idea that the only way to beat the Firelord is through violence. Spoiler alert: He does find a way around it! #RejectingToxicMasculinity #Feminism101ForKids
5. FAB FIVE, Queer Eye
These lovable bunch aren’t fictional characters but we admire them just the same. The Fab Five is a group of men and a non-binary person (JVN the queen!) who do holistic makeovers for clients from diverse backgrounds.
"Bobby's my Jay-Z and I'm giving him Beyoncé" - Karamo Brown
Each of them has their own specialty when it comes to making their clients’ lives better but all of them are in touch with their masculinity in healthy ways. Not only do they make their client’s lives better but they influence the audience to shine in their own ways and be confident in their imperfections. We weren’t meant to be perfect anyways!
"He needs to understand that being vulnerable is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength. It shows that you are in tune with yourself, which is the sexiest thing to men or women." - Karamo Brown
We hope you enjoyed this TFFs Picks. As much as we try, we like to watch our shows with a feminist lens and identify characters we love because they are believable but at the same time still teach us a lesson. We do hope we get to have more shows like this in the Philippines, too. After all, the Filipinx culture is a nuanced experience as well and need more #MenWeStan in this country.