Last night I was at a restaurant and there was a TV playing silently one of the major cable news stations and as I glanced up at it every couple of minutes (because, well, I’m well trained to look at a TV screen if there’s one there), I couldn’t help but notice that (not exaggerating) about 75% of the time the thing being discussed was something related to “reality TV,” and the issue that was being covered at great, great length was an incident on “The Bachelor” in which one of the contestants said that she’d act like a bimbo (even though the general public thinks she’s not because she has a college degree) in order to get the guy’s attention.
Now, I think that there are a lot of really, really important issues wrapped up in this that I would be happy if folks would seriously discuss, such as gender roles, society’s views of women, intelligence, and higher education.
However, it makes me really, really, really sad that the issue is only raised in the national consciousness when it’s on one of the cheaply-produced, lurid, base and uncreative TV shows that get mislabeled as “reality” by the media networks that air them. All one has to do to become aware of the issues of gender, intelligence, and education is, you know, talk to people, read a real newspaper, look around the world. In short: FUCKING LIVE!!!! OPEN YOUR FUCKING EYES, PEOPLE!!!!!
Why is reality more real when it’s on “reality TV?” Is our society so blind that they can’t see that intelligent women put on a bimbo act everywhere, every day, and it only merits discussion when a woman on a nationally-viewed show explicitly says she plans to do it?
Makes me want to smash my TV and live among the Amish or in a pre-industrial area where there is no “reality TV.” Not really, but it’s a nice escape fantasy.