All of my roommates (and pretty much anyone I know with a uterus) enjoy watching "The Bachelor."
Here's my qeerie: 25 women fighting for the attention of one man in the desperate attempt at matrimony? How is that a tv show? Have these producers even seen what my ward's Linger Longer sessions are? Or FHE? Or an HB party? Or ANY LDS party, for that matter? How is this any different from REAL life, besides the over-processed hair, excess of plastic surgery, runny mascara, and ill-fitting bikinis? PS- I live in Orange County, so...NOTHING. NOTHING is different here.
What's even more alarming is this: I can see myself in one of these girls. Shocking, I know. In the commercial clip, I rolled my eyes in embarrassment at the girl who hopped up and started dancing in front of "The Bachelor" during a party. But then in the full clip, I saw her- a perky little cheerleader who smiles like an idiot, can't stop giggling, and (when asked to) hops up and performs part of her dance routine for him. I hate to admit it. It shames my soul to know the truth, but...I would totally be That Girl. Do I smile constantly? Yes. Giggle at EVERYTHING...Well- when it's funny. And let's face it. That situation of 25 women showing off their "tricks" (like webbed toes) in order to get attention from a man? Hilarious. And sad. But also- hilarious. And if someone asked me to hop up and dance during a party, well...They don't pay me the big bucks for nothin'.
But please. To pass this off as entertainment? Hits a little close to home, people. And when your real reality becomes akin to a reality tv show, that has got to indicate some serious moral values are in the toilet. Along with self-respect, dignity, and self-esteem. And then when a girl has him use her body as wetbar, following up with a very serious, "I'm a Christian and I believe in old-fashioned moral values," followed up by a lapdance and taking her top off...well...I wish I could say I didn't know anyone like that. But the desperation reeks of reality. Of women who cry because they think the man they've met is the ONLY one they want, or who are convinced this is their last shot (when they're 26), or those who are so desperate for attention that they will do anything to get it- even if that means backbiting, stripping down, making a pass too early in the game, or (fill in the blank).
How is it that, after all these years of progress in the Women's Movement and with Women's Rights, we have come full-circle (albeit with degenerative moral values)? How did it happen that women are still made to feel like they are "competition," desperate for the attention of a man they barely even know more of a profile of? I'd almost love the opportunity to be on a show like this, if only to stand up and say, "No. I cannot, in good faith, accept that rose. Because I think you are a white-bread statue with a lot of money and very little character or personality. And I refuse to be put into a competition for your affection with strippers, alcoholics, and desperate gold-diggers. Thanks for the shrimp cocktail."
What would happen to our LDS social scene if every woman stood up and did much the same? If we all said, "I'm sorry- I refuse to take part in this social madness you call a party (or linger longer, or ward activity, etc.) and respectfully request that, if you'd like to get to know me and become REAL friends, spend some one-on-one time with me. Don't facebook/myspace/linkup friend me; forge a real, honest-to-goodness rapport with me through conversation and short-term adventures, as you would devote to any friend you find interesting."
Last night I refused to "stop by and hang out" at a guy's house; when the surrounding 6 women expressed shock that I "don't hang out anymore," one of them laughed and said, "So what? You just date?" And I thought for about 1.2 seconds and answered, "Yes. Yes I do. I date ALL my friends now," explaining that, male and female alike, every actual friend of mine gets exclusive time and attention. Why? Because it shows them they matter to me, that I care about their lives, and that they are special individuals. That time alone together- even when it's a 30 minute jog along PCH or a quick trip to the grocery store together- allows me to get to know them better and then, yes- we really ARE friends. And when we go to parties and see each other, we know better. We're don't feel devalued or desperate for attention. We've already elimiated the competition.