|Posted by Jennifer L Pozner|
May 25th, 2007
When: Sat 5/26, 8:00 - 9 PM, EST
Station: Fox News Network
Why?: Read on…
When critiquing media content and the outlets that produce it, it’s important to avoid overgeneralization. As I mention in my Bitch magazine article, “How To Write a Protest Letter“:
“Don’t complain that your local paper ‘never’ reports on women’s issues or ‘always’ ignores poor people. Even if stories on topics like workfare are infrequent or inaccurate, their very existence will serve as proof to editors that your complaint doesn’t apply to their publication.”
There are tons of examples of strong, important journalism found in corporate media outlets that are otherwise often problematic.
The latest example? A great discussion I taped yesterday with Fox News Network’s Geraldo Rivera about the deeply disturbing and misogynistic portrayals of women on reality TV dating shows like ABC’s “The Bachelor,” in which twenty-five interchangable Barbie-doll types compete against one another for the chance to marry a hunky lunkhead they don’t know from Adam. The discussion will air on Saturday evening’s “Geraldo at Large” broadcast on Fox News, Saturday May 26, 8 - 9 pm EST (the segment is in the second half of the hour).
Geraldo wanted to do the segment because, as a father of teenaged daughters who watch “The Bachelor,” he is disgusted by the messages the show sends his girls. I don’t remember the exact phrase he used, but from memory, he described the show as being two steps back for womankind. It was a short interview, only three or four minutes total, but I was able to point out some of the most problematic elements of reality TV dating shows, including the fact that they portray women as wanting nothing more than to languish in harems while waiting passively for some guy - any guy - to choose them, and in the meantime are edited to give them impression that women are stupid, shallow, greedy gold-diggers who exist simply in competition for male validation — all for the profit of advertisers, product placers and networks for whom no content is too crass. I told Geraldo that he was right to want more for his daughters.
I’ll post the video when/if it becomes available. But, remember to tune in on to Fox News at 8 - 9pm EST tomorrow night - would love to hear what you think in the comments below.
Glad that Geraldo opened his show to a discussion about the sexist representations of women in reality TV dating shows? Would you like to see more such media critique on Geraldo At Large? Once you’ve seen the segment — which will run in the second half of the hour – let Fox News know by sending your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Please forward or BLIND COPY your letters to these networks to WIMN via info [@] wimnonline.org)
PS: as always, if you’re interested in bringing WIMN to your campus or community group for a multi-media discussion about representations of women in reality TV, contact WIMN using this form, or let us know at info[at]wimnonline[dot]org