This blog chronicles my life as I try to balance healthy lifestyle habits with my husband's penchant for pizza rolls and my daughter's desire to watch iCarly 8 hours a day. It contains a mostly humorous, kind, and somewhat spiritual look at everyday life and the people who live it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My Life as a Lifetime Made for Television Movie

I think I was in my early 20's when a new channel was born: Lifetime, Television for Women. I was a devoted follower of the made for television movie. I avidly watched as Farrah Fawcett's bed burned, Barry Bostwick molested counted little girls, babies were switched at birth or stolen, women were betrayed, beaten, and cheated, and died from all manner of poignant, gut wrenching diseases. In many ways, these shows were a kind of higher education for me. Just out of college, new in my career, product of a broken home, I was searching for what it meant to be an adult, a woman, a wife. The education I received led me to believe that I would live a storybook life for a few years: devoted young handsome husband, beautiful home, great career, committed friendships. Then the trouble would begin. My husband would cheat on me, then molest our (or somebody else's) kids, then I would be diagnosed with a terminal disease which I would valiantly fight while confronting my ex-husband who would now be married to a high school girl, while I attempted to reconcile with my mother enough so she could raise my kids once I died from my terminal illness.

Sound familiar? And it's not just Lifetime Television that is to blame. Terms of Endearment, Steel Magnolias, Thelma and Louise, Sleeping with the Enemy, The Accused, Beaches, Vanished, (and the list goes on and on) all send the same messages to women. Live in fear.

I have always been a good student and I learned my lessons well from these movies. I lived most of my 20's in a constant state of low level fear. I felt like I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop. I had a hard time feeling content in my happiness because I feared that my happiness was just Act I and soon there would be a commercial break and God-knew-what-misery was in store for when the show resumed. We often hear of the dangers for children who watch too much TV, inappropriate shows on TV, or are exposed to "too much, too soon." I propose that there are just as many dangers for women who are watching all this crap which is targeting women, playing on their emotions, fostering a climate of fear, and generally depressing the hell out of us. I am surprised by how relatively silent the feminists are about this issue. Is there a network for men that shows a constant stream of movies about them being cheated on, molested, beaten, and then sentenced to die a painful death? Spike TV seems to show an endless parade of men doing stupid things interspersed with men being obscenely masculine, saving the day through their heroism, and then getting laid. And we get Lifetime???

I say NO MAS ! (I recently saw Beverly Hills Chihuahua with my daughter) Do not watch these shows, movies, or read the novelizations. Do not give away your power and live in fear. Do not glorify being a martyr or martrying your children. Turn the channel. Send a message.

Do not celebrate fear.

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