Reality Dating Shows |Reality Check

Stephanie signed up for a TV dating show to further her acting career. She knows that as long as she remains a contestant then her career will go further. She also knows that if she fights with her fellow contestants then she will get more air time.

Ben is the man at the centre of the program. He has a dozen women climbing over each other for his time and attention. He is effectively dating all of them. And they all live in the same house. It is a commune and definitely a polygamous relationship. And he knows that if he throws around the ‘L’ word then he will have them chomping at the bit.

Apparently it is fun to watch programs like this, year after year. But here are my issues.

  1. The dating shows are inherently anti-woman. They encourage women to fight against each other, to degrade one another in front of the man, to kick each other down. They say that it is okay for women to treat each other like garbage for the sake of a competition and the ‘affection’ of a man. It is never okay. Women have enough obstacles in the world without inhibiting each other. We should strive to uphold the women around us, to be loyal friends and promote a positive relationship with our colleagues and acquaintances (because we already have a good relationship with friends).
  2. They promote polygamy. Sure, polygamy is fine if that is what you desire (although it is definitely not for me), but don’t sugar coat a lack of commitment. Would anyone tolerate a boyfriend who was dating multiple women at the same time on a ‘try before you buy’ basis. It’s like saying, “Hey, I find you physically attractive but not important enough for me to respect you and only date one woman at a time.”
  3. Shows allow the viewers to think that they actually have a role to play in the ‘relationships’. I’m sorry, but Josie from down the road cannot comment on whether or not she approves of my relationship. She cannot say that my boyfriend is too good for me or that I deserve a terrible fate. Neither could I decide if two people are compatible or not (of course, this would change if the relationship was unsafe).

So it is up to you if you continue to watch or boycott reality dating shows. But every view keeps the show going for longer. I cannot and will not condone such glorification of this anti-woman activity. That is my stand. You may agree or disagree but to me this is just another way to abuse women for entertainment.

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