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Does Reality TV Hate Women?

Writer Raina Kelley makes the point in Newsweek this week that reality shows must go out of their way to dig up women that fit practically every negative female stereotype. She writes:

Thanks to this ridiculous programming, sexists everywhere can make a cogent case that women are weak, shallow, vain, stupid, gold-digging, desperate delusional bitches. . . . For every 21-year-old knucklehead screaming because she wants faux ostrich feathers for her wedding centerpieces, I can put a million sane brides on the stand who somehow managed to get married without making fools of themselves.

While I'd have to search long and hard for a female reality star I'd want to represent my gender, I must call Raina out on something: male reality stars look pretty bad too! For every woman competing for the bachelor, there's a man trying way too hard for the bachelorette. For every Heidi, there's a Spencer.

In the war between the sexes, I'm not sure who wins the battle for looking worse on reality TV.

Photos courtesy of Bravo

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Jinx Jinx 6 years
I agree with Tres, for every woman who isn't given a good light, I can name a man who wasn't either. As for the Hills, that isn't really reality tv, its just crap. :rotfl:
NikkiBaby89 NikkiBaby89 6 years
i love rhw:nj!
Rebecca14916991 Rebecca14916991 6 years
I stopped watching reality a long time ago because it was making me lose faith in the human race. I watch game and competition shows though! Iron Chef, anyone?
Sumhope Sumhope 6 years
Its reality t.v. and therefore it is understood that it is anything but reality. I don't know anyone who watches the Hills and thinks to themselves 'yes this is life'. I take back the above in regards to survivor tho (best show ever).
cherryblossom cherryblossom 6 years
If were really sincerely honest with ourselves here, we will admit that we all have the bad qualities that these women have inside of us somewhere, it just depends if we choose to use them or not.
SKC-Sparkle SKC-Sparkle 6 years
I agree with La Tua Cantante and totygoliguez. While our society in general looks vain, idiotic, and manipulative on Reality TV, women are portrayed in a particularly bad light. Where are the shows about strong, savvy, and intelligent women?
reesiecup reesiecup 6 years
Most reality TV shows out there are edited for ratings. Such shows cast those that are eccentric, dramatic, or are willing to do/say anything for their quick 15 minutes of fame irregardless of sex. We just need to remember that reality TV does not equate to real life. However, reality shows can be entertaining. I love Top Chef, Project Runway, etc. The Bachelor, The Hills, Rock of Love etc. never interested me.
Beauty Beauty 6 years
I agree that reality tv makes everyone look silly, but I think totygoliguez is on to something.
genesisrocks genesisrocks 6 years
Reality TV makes everyone look stooopid
totygoliguez totygoliguez 6 years
In shows like the Hills, were every girl lets her boy friend disrespect them in some sort of way; and the desperate housewife who are so catty among each other. I do believe that the way women are portrait in those shows is very diminishing. You hardly see a strong, independent women, who respects herself.
KimBurnett KimBurnett 6 years
You are not in the minority, Kim.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 6 years
See and I would much rather watch a sane bride who is deeply in love with her groom (and visa versa) and who both show respect for eachother than someone who is going to cuss people out, call eachother names etc. But then again I don't watch these programs so I know I'm in the minority. I'm so glad I rarely watch tv.
a-million-suns a-million-suns 6 years
Let's face it, a crazy bride is almost always going to be more fun to watch than a sane bride. It's just mindless entertainment; that's what most reality TV is about. And like Tres pointed out, it's not just the women.
emma-noel emma-noel 6 years
ppl in general just arent very smart nd instead of cmplaining about stupid ppl, dat woman shoudl do something about it if it hurtz her feelingz so bad
Kimpossible Kimpossible 6 years
This is true but the same can be said for men and sitcoms. How many of them put men in such a bad light? Making the husbands look like complete morons who can't seem to do anything for themselves or successfully tend to their own children.
dm8bri dm8bri 6 years
One of my college buddies is on the Bachelorette right now and he hardly gets camera time because he's...normal. She keeps picking him, though, so I guess he's doing something right!
Pistil Pistil 6 years
Exactly. It's supposed to be entertaining. And it's entertaining to watch people act stupid and do ridiculous things for their 15 minutes of fame (apparently, otherwise "Reality TV" wouldn't be it's own category). And "Reality TV" is anything but. There's nothing real and normal about having cameras constantly in your face. And even when it's not scripted, it's always edited so every episode is the CRAZIEST, MOST DRAMATIC EPISODE EVER. I'm not insulted by it, because I can't take it seriously.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 6 years
I agree with all of you ladies. No one who is "normal" is going be cast on a reality show; that would be boring to watch! Additionally, of course they are going to edit it and people wind up looking worse than they actually are.
La-Tua-Cantante La-Tua-Cantante 6 years
I agree with you mondaymoos that it makes people in general look really stupid. If I were from another planet and watched reality shows to learn about humans I'd be like...what a dumb species. I realize that was a weird way to describe it.
Sun_Sun Sun_Sun 6 years
anyone doing a reality tv show must be at least a little off. hence the craziness.
mondaymoos mondaymoos 6 years
Agree. Reality TV doesn't make women look stupid, it makes PEOPLE look stupid. And besides, who wants to watch mindless television about a perfectly sane person going about their life? That's MY life (uh... well, mostly sane person) and TV is supposed to be about taking a break from that.
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