I don’t watch daytime television. Ever. When I visited my mother last week, I did catch a few minutes of Ellen while she watched it, and it was not that bad; I happen to really like Ellen, and she didn’t talk about celebrity clothes or breasts or masochistic yet popular literature with her guests. Wendy Williams did all of this and more; it was like watching the worst stereotype of a woman gushing about every single thing that a woman is “supposed” to gush over while her audience rapturously joined in, and it made me ill.
For starters, it hurt my head—which was already hurting, of course. But if this is what people in this country think that women are only interested in—if it’s what women themselves think they should be interested in, that they should act like—we are in trouble. It’s really no wonder the religious right thinks we need help making reproductive decisions if we come across as these mindless, vapid creatures who care about nothing but whose dress is the cutest and whose boobs are the biggest.
I have never seen women talk about their breasts in such a way! With my friends and family, it might be to complain about how we can never find the perfect bra, but that’s about it. I suppose we aren’t as privileged to have no problems and nothing else to talk about other than our perfect breasts or our plunging necklines or whatever.
All of the women I know have other things on their minds. They are talking and thinking about politics—and not about what shade of lipstick Sarah Palin is wearing, mind you, but about health care and how to feed their families and what kind of benefits they can get for their children’s college funds. They are talking and thinking about their dreams and how though we never seem to have time to pursue them, we try to dabble in them even if just a bit.
We are talking and thinking about disparities between women and men, and women of color and other women, and American women and girls and those from all around the world, and what we can do about it. We’re talking about our kids, our lives, our gardens, our books (and they sure as hell ain’t books about men controlling women), our music, our loves, our drives. We are talking about anything other than our breasts or Kim Kardashian.
I am sure there are plenty of women who do; I really am. I just don’t know them, and I know that this kind of entertainment that assumes all we care about is gossipy trash isn’t something that any of us really need in our lives. How about inspiring women? Whatever happened to Oprah?