Sunday, March 13, 2011

Will the REAL housewives please stand up?

USA Today  recently reported  the Neilson Ratings found that in black households the show Basketball Wives outscored (pardon the pun) the NAACP awards by seven points in the ratings. Basketball wives -#5 and the NAACP award- #12. Wow! What does this mean? CAUTION…RANT AHEAD:
I will tell you what this means. It means that we, the black community choose style and entertainment , over substance. Shows such as Basketball wives, Football wives, and Housewives of Atlanta are all based on superficial relationships put together by a group of producers and executives to generate “real” conversations for our entertainment. Then the producers, directors, and executives edit the film to create scenarios that look as if these women are drama filled tyrants who have no class. Now, if that is not the case then these women, based on the film shown to the American public, really are tyrants who lack enough class and dignity to control themselves in public arenas. I want to give them the benefit of the doubt but I doubt the benefit I am giving them.
I am a bit turned off by these shows, as I have attempted to watch them on more than one occasion only to turn the station in total frustration. I have been involved in discussions with my  educated friends who have jobs and families and found they love this show and will debate any passersby about the substance and quality of this type of entertainment. I am in the minority apparently because I hate these shows. In attempting to show others the flaw in supporting such shows, I have been met with statements such as “It’s just funny” or “ We know it’s not real”. Well the problem with these types of arguments is that although you and I know its fabricated  there are people who  believe that to be the basis for judging all of us. Also, we have to examine our motives. We love for our people to “keep it real”. Well , in that  very spirit, I want people to know that we all grow up and when we change from one socioeconomic status to another, we change- it’s not a bad thing to grow up and have to behave accordingly. In the black community, this change is considered bourgeois which literally means middle class. It can also mean a person whose  political , economic, and social opinions are based solely on protecting their property and respectability. We have enjoyed watching the best of us behave as though they were the worst of us.  When will we insist on having better images of us in media.

Although, at one point I thought could watch and empathize with their various situations, I have found otherwise.  I thought I could liken a character on the show to a friend in my circle but still-nope.  I have to explain time and time again with no avail that these shows reinforce horrible stereotypes and ideals about black women. The constant perpetuation that we, black women and our friends, lack emotional control in situations of conflict feed into the ideas that we are aggressive versus assertive and we are not able to utilize the King’s language peacefully to resolve issues.  Another reason I worry about this show is because  the show is referring to wives and I have found that a vast majority of the women on these are not married and the shows  focus very little on relationships with the children in a healthy way. Yes, they show the children buying new things and going on trips but not as much about the reality of being an affluent family trying to remain grounded. When they have an opportunity to show more grounded personalities who have genuine partnerships with their spouses and value their families, they are cut for not being dramatic enough. In other words, they are “ too boring”.
I want to reassure America that the REAL housewives are not behaving in such a manner as this. In fact, the stay-at-home mothers, otherwise known as housewives, are too busy being mothers and wives to have these drama filled outbursts  over one another’s “business”. I have found that we, the stay –at-home mothers, struggle to find time to call and hang out with each other because we are focused on home, family, school, business, and community.  As a mother who happens to be at home each day, I am concerned that the word and role housewife may be receiving a bad reputation.  Yes, we all understand the blessing of being home and we don’t  take it lightly. We respect it and one another.

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