We womenfolk are often referred to as the fairer sex, but perhaps blokedom should be labelled the unfair sex.

You see, fellas get a raw deal these days. While men still occupy the top jobs in most fields, they are being run down, excluded and humiliated in so many other areas. Have a look at how the media portray men, in particular fathers.

TV shows are filled with father characters who are hopeless, uninterested, bumbling idiots – Phil of Modern Family, Homer Simpson, right, Family Guy, American Dad, Shameless, any character played by Tim Allen or, lately, William Shatner: Need I mention $#*! My Dad Says?

Or they are only seen as the money tree, there to bow to every whim of their wife and kids, a la dad Bruce on Keeping Up With the Kardashians or Jay on Modern Family?

If you believe the ads, men are so clueless they are unable to find their socks, their keys, their brains … They would rather watch sport than spend time with their families, and they have no idea how to use any type of household appliance, particularly a washing machine, or help with the chores.

In short, they are useless:

The Great Wall of China to keep the rabbits out …

The father who fills up his car with purchases then sends the kid home in a taxi.

While we ladies might get a giggle out of these characters, we need to stop and think about the message this is sending out.

If all these characters were women, there would be an almighty stink made by the many, many female columnists out there. Yet because men are the target, we all shrug our shoulders, have a chuckle and move on.

Where are the Mr Keaton (Family Ties), Dr Huxtable (The Cosby Show) and Mr Cunninghams (Happy Days)? The dad of Diff’rent Strokes? Talk about a progressive role model – he was a single father who took on two (black) foster kids and was always fighting racism on their behalf.

Dave Rafter used to be one of the few good ones on TV but look at his form the past season – anger and rage issues and now he’s cheated. Why couldn’t the writers have made it Julie who slipped up? Or at least made it with someone Dave’s age?

No, it always has to be the bloke, because blokes are untrustworthy and unable to control themselves around younger women.

The constant message from TV, movies and commercials is that men are cheaters, lazy, unreliable and stupid.

We are denying our men strong role models at a time when many don’t have them in their own lives. Are we producing a generation of men with such a confused sense of identity that they really will turn into their media counterparts? Feminism does not mean running down men. The battle of the sexes is a terrible term. Why does it have to be a battle, with a winner and a loser?

Should women’s freedom of choice, expression and opportunity really come at the expense of men?

Equal means equal. It doesn’t mean the pendulum swings the other way and we do to men what they did to us for centuries.

Fathers play an incredibly important role in parenting. Yet we have managed to dumb down and denigrate their role, so that all they’re seen as is the sperm donor.

Men are confused about how they should behave in this brave new world.

Should they offer to pay the bill on the first date? Are they allowed to tell a work colleague they look pretty today, or is that harassment?

Many have been abused by women as they’ve politely opened a door for them, or offered their seat on the bus. Ironically, these are the same women who complain there are no decent men left in the world.

So many men I speak to say they are worried to talk to children in public in case their actions are misinterpreted. One even said he thought twice when coming across a lost child, in case the mother suddenly appeared and mistook him for a paedophile.

It used to be that men were strong, respected and dependable. They still could be, if we’d only let them.