Thursday, September 16, 2010

Women on Television

Reality shows are promoting a terrible image of women. With shows like “Real Chance of Love,” “Flavor of Love,” “For the Love of Ray J,” and most recently, “Rock of Love,” it seems there is no hope for the advancement of women on television.

All of these shows are based on one premise, having a bunch of women compete for the “love” of a male bachelor--by any means possible. As one might suspect, the shows are filled with dramatic love triangles and vicious cat fights that only leave viewer asking for more. In fact, these shows proved to be so popular that they were all extended multiple seasons, some of which are still being rerun on VH1.

I find it appalling that our viewing audiences, many of whom are women; actually promote the furtherance of such shows by allowing them to get such high ratings. In fact, “Flavor of Love 2,” gave the VH1 network a record breaking 3.3 million viewers for its premier.

What is so amusing about these shows and what does this mean for the roll of women on television in the future?

The season premier of “Flavor of Love 2” started like most seasons,
“As Flavor Flav opens the door to the mansion, the new Flavor of Love girls race[d] like cattle to claim their beds. Less than thirty seconds into the house, two of Flavor Flav’s handpicked girls get into a flower-throwing, hair-pulling wrestling match over a bed.” This riveting season premiere (I really do hope you sense my sarcasm) came to an end with one of the girl’s defecating on the floor.

If the 3.3 million viewers of “Flavor of Love 2” are any indication of amusement, or at least interest, it seems that these viewers are amused at the destruction of the image of women on network television. Take a look at some of the audition tapes for the women that made it on the show.

The casting directors only look to cast people who we are willing to watch, which according to this video are “hoes” and girls that like to fight.

With the support that we are providing for these shows, it’s no wonder that it has become more and more common to have women depicted in this derogatory fashion on television. The only way we can bring about a change is to take a stern stance against these types of shows. I call for all feminists from around the nation to join together to boycott these shows. If we continue to allow ourselves to get sucked into supporting this type of programming, the image of women on television may never recover.


Alcestis said...

Agreed! These shows are awful! Just seeing commercials for them I immediately change the channel or turn off the TV. I can't see the appeal or entertainment at all.

However, I am more concerned with the younger female audience who can't or don't know they should change the channel. While I hope parents are monitoring what their children watch (NO CHILD SHOULD BE WATCHING FLAVOR OF LOVE), it may not be that easy to protect them from these ill portrayals of women "as seen on TV." Talking to my eight year old cousin, who once hoped to grow up to be just like me, her new role model is Kim Kardashin. I guess it could be worse, at least Kim is a successful business women? But I am still concerned. How can my cousin and her eight year old friends talk about Selena Gomez, Hanna Montana, and Snookie?

Yazzyjazzy said...

I think we should all boycott songs that bash women too. I hate the stereotypes these shows and songs promote - mainly that women are just sex objects and sluts. I also hate the double-standard. In the SAME SONGS male artists are talking about how they love to be with tons of women, but how they can't respect "whores."So stupid!

And I totally agree that women need to stop being so passive about the message these shows (and songs). Katy Perry sings a widely popular song called "California Girls," essentially promoting the stereotype that women are just here to sexually please men. Lyrics of why California girls are so desired include "Sex on the beach, we don't mind sand in our stilletos. We freak in my jeep." Thanks for the shout out Katy, but I think you forgot that California girls are also intelligent, hardworking, and progressive.

2elle said...

To echo Alcestis' comment, the role models that young girls have now are just depressing. Lindsay Lohan, Snookie, Paris Hilton, basically anyone from the MTV/VH1 reality shows... I just don't get it! I miss the days when MTV was actually a music channel. What a novel concept.

My role model growing up was Marie Curie. We also had the Spice Girls and Britney Spears though. Maybe pop culture just isn't the best place to look for role models. It's too bad leading women scientists, executives, journalists, etc. don't get more media attention for their accomplishments.

Bijorn Turock said...

I agree with you 100%. Today’s society does not provide enough media coverage for women making major accomplishments in the field’s of science, politics, and the arts. It seems that the only time women get any media coverage is when they are involved in some kind of scandal. Maybe this is why some of today’s role models for girls are people like Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton, who both became extremely famous after the public got a hold of their sex tapes. If these women are the role models for today’s young women, what are we going to expect from the women of the future? Sex tapes! I certainly hope not.

To get the change we want, we must advocate for it. We must not invest in pointless articles about celebrities who lose their bikini top at a pool party. Rather, we should invest ourselves in dynamic women, who are breaking boundaries and are on the edge of innovation.