Age of Love? How About How Low Can We Go?
The Bachelor isn’t bad enough? Now we have two groups of women, divided by age, competing for one man?! And people are watching this on television? What the hell is wrong with us?
Enough questions. Clearly we don’t get it, but let’s start with what we do understand—if the current “please choose me” offerings on our tubes (or flat screens) are any indication, the Women’s Movement didn’t do much to change things—especially our perceptions of ourselves.
Sadly, it’s almost understandable on the part of the twenty somethings—please all you twenty somethings out there—don’t take offense, but we all do stuff when we’re younger that make us cringe with the proverbial “what was I thinking?!” horror when we look back with 20 or 30 or 40 more years of perspective. (Rumor has it that more than 40 years of perspective on the dumb stuff we did brings wry amusement and sanguine self forgiveness.) But in many ways that’s what being young is for—making mistakes you have the time, energy, strength and stamina to recover from. Most of us survive the arrogance of youth. We may have a few scars, but the wounds heal. So with that we are grudgingly forced to give the young’uns a pass. You’re excused.
BUT that means we really have to hold the forty something’s lovely pedicured feet to the fire because you are supposed to know better. Yet, you have elected to objectify yourself, to voluntarily line up for display on the shelf, to engage in embarrassing and humiliating rivalry with other women, as you wait to be picked by HIM. You who are validating the gender specific, cultural epidemic of “Am I pretty enough? Tall enough? Petite enough? Funny enough? Smart enough? Skinny enough? Dumb enough?” And you who are resurrecting girls’, past and present, worst party and high school dance nightmares --- in front of millions of people no less.
We know the knucklehead producers (who imported this show from Australia) are men—that’s a given, but it wouldn’t be on the air without the cooperation of women.
So when we complain about perpetuation of unequal pay for equal work, the tyranny of the glass ceiling, the unfairness of the mommy track, the power of “mean girls” cliques in schools, the stunning lack of self esteem in our girls and young women, the continuing problem of teen pregnancy, the plague of absent fathers, rise of domestic abuse—REMEMBER it’s not just the participants on these shows that are at fault, we all contribute to the climate in which these issues thrive every time we watch.