Hey friends –
Does anyone have some extra coffee beans to share? I’m feeling lethargic as all get out, and the idea of round-the-clock java is becoming more and more appealing each time I blink (because for serious, the levers on my eyelids don’t seem to be working at the efficiency I am used to around here. Can I also get some WD-40, stat?)
For the past week I’ve been running myself ragged at the gym, (DAMN YOU TEAM AMERICA! Your inspiration will be the death of me!) pretty much to the point that I am almost too exhausted to sleep at night .
I know, I know – this sounds absolutely absurd, but it’s true. As of late I am having a heck of a hard time getting (at the very least) an uninterrupted six hours of sleep. Add this to the fact that we had a full moon last night and well, it’s a feat and a half that I actually managed to catch a dozen winks (let alone forty.)
Walking to transit today my mind was in a bit of a fog. Standing on the platform, I felt like a living statue, hard-rooted to the structure of the station, the tracks, the rails – waiting for a ride I couldn’t possible ever take, bolted in place.
I wish I could say that this meditative mood had lasted the entire ride into work.
This, alas, wasn’t the case. In truth, I was blasted from “blasé” to “blazing” in two seconds flat, from the minute I sat down and unfolded my Metro newspaper and saw this:
Now, in case you cannot read anything beyond the headline (due to the overall crap quality of my phone’s camera) it must be pointed out that, unfortunately, this is not an article covering the dynastic civil wars for the throne of England that were fought betwixt 1455-1485 by two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet (whose heraldic symbols were the “red” and the “white” rose, respectively).
I mean, it’s totally easy to see how one would jump to this conclusion, right? Because in truth, what else could the author possibly be referring to?
Sometimes, my naiveté astounds me.
So it would seem as though Canada is finally making that last fateful leap into the twenty-first century (or you know, fully endorsing the complete – moral and otherwise – bankruptcy of humanity) by getting it’s very own edition of The Bachelor.
Ugh. Just typing those words makes me feel like I need to go barf in someone’s shoes.
Now, it’s no stranger to those who read this blog that I am a pretty big (self-fashioned) champion of women’s rights, both here in my native land, and across the globe.
That I live in a patriarchy is a truth – that I refuse to be silent about it, is another.
To me, there is pretty much nothing as blatantly anti-women as this shit-stain of a show.
This is how I look at it:
Let’s take a notion, one that is not only incredibly antiquated and destructive, but also pervasive, accepted, and continually propagated: that a women should find love, at whatever the cost, whether it be through public humiliation, or violence against others, or by fulfilling degrading and infantilizing stereotypes – because sweet mother of pearl, the fleeting, scripted affection of some third-rate sports start/actor/steel conglomerate tycoon is better than nothing, AM I RITE LADEEZ?
Let’s take this notion, exploit it, profit hugely off of it, and then make it seem as though we were doing the contestants a favour, because they’re all just back-stabbing, fame-whoring, ditzes, who were probably on the path to Nowheresville, AM I RITE VIEWING PUBLIC?
See, this is what really kills me about the whole situation. Either way, you’ve roped women into coming on the show because either 1.) social pressure has led them to believe that because they are of X age and single, they are fated to a life worse than death-by-trash-compactor (à la Star Wars) because they have yet to find and secure a partner, so in order to stave off said horrifying fate, they find themselves willing to do anything or 2.) we’ve created this horrifying counter culture where people love to watch individuals (both men and women) who equal parts fascinate and repulse them. Random Dick and Jane’s are catapulted into super-stardom for acting like amoral idiots, careening around our televisions with their private parts, vomit streaks, and prowess for poor decision making on display for all the world to see (or laugh and point at) – to the point where people are willing to sign up for these shows because they know it will make them famous.
This says nothing to the fact that the crazier they act, the more famous they will become, up until their saturation of trash media becomes complete, and then the backlash will begin, and a collective amnesia will fall upon the masses and no one will be able to remember why they even liked them in the first place, which will serendipitously take place around the start of the next season of America’s Next Top Bottom Feeder.
And so the cycle continues.
The second part of what kills me about this show, is knowing that the reason they keep coming back (seriously, it’s like Jason bloody Voorhees somehow managed to reincarnate himself into a TV program here) is that women watch it.
And they watch it in droves.
The fact that this is a successful, long-running show because of its popularity amongst women kills me.
Why does the degradation of others give us such personal satisfaction? Is it because when we construct the perfect other, it gives us a pass from objectively looking at ourselves? Is because giving in, or even becoming a part of the problem, is so much easier than working towards an attainable solution?
Like I said up-thread, I am a champion for my sex through and through and my belief that these shows are poison to the advancement of our cause, in no way changes this – it just adds a new layer, or dimension to the situation.
In all honesty, it makes me feel like a bad feminist.
How do I fight for autonomy and choice, while at the same time, stomp around lambasting both the women who go on these shows, and the women who watch them?
I suppose at the root of it, I just really wish that we lived in a world where these misogynist cultural memes didn’t exist, let alone thrive.
Then no one would be involved and I wouldn’t feel so overwhelmingly conflicted.
Further, this phenomena makes me questions other elements of our society – how damaging are these types of programs for men? And what kind of screwed up social expectations geared towards males do they highlight? What kind of lessons are we teaching, promoting and reinforcing that are damaging to the entire human population?
These shows are brutal, bar none hands down for everyone involved.
Seriously, it only reinforces my belief that we need to drop the ideas of raising “good girls” and “good boys.”
We need start working on raising “good human beings,” period.
Come my one hundred and tenth birthday, I don’t want to be lying in the comfort of my deluxe iron lung, watching a woman’s heart break in half, because some cyborg cosmetic dentist dumped her in front of twenty billion people (and taking into account what I imagine will be people’s thirst for brutality, she’ll probably be literally dumped into a pit of starving lions, or anacondas, or fox news correspondents – what have you.)
And believe you me folks, there’s not enough coffee in the world for that.