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WHY I HATE THE BACHELORPosted Tuesday, March 10, 2009, at 11:28 AM
by Lisa Earle McLeod
It's wrong. It's just plain wrong. It violates the social order of the universe.
Yes, I'm talking about The Bachelor, the horrific reality show where a group of attractive young women compete for the attention of one man.
It's just plain gross, and after seven seasons of this smut, I can no longer stay silent.
No I'm not offended at the TV trend of creating cheap programming by inserting cameras into the lives of crazy people. As an ardent fan of Toddlers & Tiaras, I've always said, one family's dysfunctions are another family's Friday night entertainment. It's a free country and if you want to tart up your two-year-old in the hopes of her becoming Little Miss Chitlin' Strut, you better believe I'm going to watch every mascara-running minute of it.
Nor do I believe that television has a moral responsibility for upholding standards of taste and decency. If the general public wants to lower the bar, who am I to quibble with the network execs for dumbing down our collective IQ?
My outrage has nothing to do with taste, privacy or decency. My moral opposition to The Bachelor is because it violates the laws of nature.
The women are not supposed to chase the men. The men are supposed to chase the women.
Who does not know this?
That's why women have shorter legs; because we're the ones who are supposed to be caught.
Now before you get yourselves in a bra-burning snit, please allow me to proudly inform you that my great-grandmother marched with Susan B. Anthony, and I bought my two daughters Tonka Trucks. So save your angry letters.
I'm actually fighting this battle on behalf of women. Na*ve young women who have been manipulated by a TV show to act as stupid and reckless as, well, young men.
The show's web site says, "one man hopes to find true love after meeting 25 women." Ha! What really happens is the women compete against each other, while the Bachelor sits back and enjoys the chase; actually relishes the chase, because the women do anything to get noticed.
Can you not see the fundamental problem with this? Men are supposed to make fools of themselves competing for women, not the other way around.
It's no coincidence that not one of the bachelors ever married the woman he gave his final rose to.
Yes, I know the most recent bachelor wept big puppy dog tears when he had to choose between two wonderful girls. But Mr. Emotional changed his mind a few weeks later, further proving the point. Men shouldn't be allowed to choose, because they can't.
I'm surprised he didn't ask the producers to let it go on for four seasons - "Let's not quibble here ladies there's enough of me to go around."
It's also no coincidence that the only marriage to ever come out of the Bachelor franchise was on The Bachelorette, when Trista chose Ryan, after he battled it out with 24 other men to win her heart.
That's the way it's supposed to work. The more effort the man puts into winning the prize, the more he appreciates it. And the harder we watch him work, the more secure we feel about being won.
Whether it happens on TV or in your local bar, men chasing women is the proper social order.
But when a bunch of girls get drunk, snarky and lose their clothes, just to get a rose from a man, well, that's just entertainment.
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I can't take any more. The economy is tanking, the election is endless, and now it looks like I might have to sell my blood if I want to keep my kids in mac 'n cheese. Oh, and did I mention that, thanks to falling house prices, I probably owe more on my home than it's actually worth? I want to go back to bed, pull the covers over my head and have somebody wake me up when my 401(k) bounces back. I don't know about you, but I'm finding myself so jittery about, well everything, that it's all I can do to surf the net. Kind of ironic, isn't it? I should be working more, but I'm so anxious about my finances that I'm actually working less. Alas, such is the world of grown-ups - stress, anxiety, depression. And to think that I wasted much of my childhood wishing I could be in charge of my own life. Why in the heck did I ever think that was a good idea? Give me a few cookies, a blankey and a nice place to lie down and I swear I'll never complain about an early bedtime again. These are tough times indeed. Even if you're still OK, you'd have to be one cold, hard, rich person to stay immune to all the angst in the air. So how do you cope? How do you get through today when you're so worried about tomorrow that you can't see straight? I overheard a news commentator say that people are thinking twice before they go out to eat or buy new clothes. I'm guessing that those are the people who still have jobs. Because the people without jobs aren't spending a nickel on anything except cheap carbs and keeping a roof over their heads. Yet as depressing as our collective and individual situations may be, the last thing we need to do is let our fear get the best of us. If you spend all day quaking and anxious, guess who wins? The fear. Yes, I know FDR had a roof over his head when he said "we have nothing to fear but fear itself," but he was right. Every moment you waste paralyzed with fear is a moment you could be doing something, or resting up so that you can do something tomorrow. It's been said that there are only two emotions, love and fear, and all the other emotions are derivatives of those. So I'd like to make a suggestion. Let's chose love. Let's decide to love each other and to love ourselves, no matter what happens. And if you're really a Pollyanna, perhaps you'll join me in deciding to love the fact that this crisis is serving as a call for us to become our better selves; a call for us to look within and rid ourselves of consumerism, greed and the need to keep up with the Jones; and a call for us to have more empathy for those who are struggling. Maybe this is a chance for all of us - and I include myself - to decide that we love our country and we love our fellow human beings more than we love our stuff. Yeah, I know it sounds hokey. But you don't change your circumstances until you change the thoughts that created them. Cowering under the covers in fear may feel safer. But in a crisis, the truly powerful response is love. (c) Copyright 2008, by Lisa Earle McLeod. All rights reserved. Lisa Earle McLeod is a keynote speaker, author and nationally syndicated columnist. Her books include "Forget Perfect" and "Finding Grace When You Can't Even Find Clean Underwear." Contact her at www.ForgetPerfect.com.
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