Reality shows spotlight
Mary B. Carradine
Like other college students with jobs,
I don't usually have enough free time to watch television. My evenings
are either spent in classes, studying or
seeing actual friends of mine, not watching
some show. But two Mondays ago, I came home early from class to find my
roommate glued to the
television. She yelled at me in disbelief
to come see what she was watching.
There's a new reality television show that
consists of 25 prostitutes vying to marry the same man.
So the women don't come right out and call
themselves prostitutes, but perhaps you should decide. They all live in
the same house and are taken out
on dates by this one conventionally attractive
man. The man buys them gifts and pays for these evenings (with the help
of the ABC network), and then
proceeds to engage in physical contact
with almost all of them. At the end of each episode, he chooses a certain
number of women to eliminate. Of
course, the winner is the last one not
Most "winners" of shows like these receive
cash rewards or vacations. But the winner of this certain show, The Bachelor,
will marry the bachelor. That
is the prize — marriage to a man the contestants
hardly even know.
Apparently there used to be a show where
women battled to marry a millionaire who actually had a history of domestically
abusing the women he had
Ever since MTV started airing its "reality"
television series The Real World, networks have been scratching and clawing
to fall in line with thehype.
CBS's Survivor and Big Brother only fanned
the flames, and now every network has its own reality show. But some networks
have chosen to integrate
dating with reality television, which
is outrageous and disgusting.
It's not that I'm some hardcore marriage-defending
conservative. You can be as godless as possible and still believe in the
sanctity of love and
self-respect. There will be people on
NBC's Fear Factor later this week eating live cockroaches. What has our
society come to?
As I sat there watching The Bachelor I
couldn't help but to wonder — where did these women come from? Who made
them believe that they needed to
be in the feces-spotlight of prime-time
television to be pawned off to a stranger like desperate, self-hating trollops?
I could ask the same question to the fools
who participate in Fear Factor. They may receive money and seconds of fame
for ingesting live animals, but
eventually the money will be depleted
and the seconds of fame will be short-lived. Self-respect will last as
long as you want.
The participants in these reality shows
are pathetic, but there will always be participants as long as the ratings
are high. It is arguably just as
disgusting to watch these shows and contribute
to their success. It may be exciting and shocking to watch someone go on
bad dates or wade in a pool
of live snakes, but our society
needs to learn how to control itself and not applaud the preposterous acts
Carradine, a senior computer engineering
technology major, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.