Watching Oprah yesterday, I realised why I hate daytime television. Oprah was talking about how many emails she gets from women aged thirty-five and over, asking to be ‘hooked up’ with men of a similar age.
First let me say; I’m horrified by this symptom of a culture in which every uncomfortable emotion we experience must be ‘fixed’ by someone other than ourselves. I would hazard a guess that these women’s biggest problem is not that they lack men but rather that they lack brains!
Okay, okay, that’s a bit harsh (but it does read well doesn’t it?). In reality what they lack is the ability to analyse their behavioural patterns to date. If they did that, they’d know where things have been going awry and be able to attend to their own problems rather than writing to Oprah!
Anyway, back to Oprah. To whom did Oprah turn when seeking advice on hooking these women up? A man. A man who told women that they must dress as though they want to attract a man all the time…even when they’re just ducking out to the shops on a Sunday morning. When Oprah’s friend Gayle asked why she should get dressed up if she’s running into the shops for ten seconds in the middle of reading the Sunday papers. The man in question laughed and yelled “BECAUSE YOU’RE SINGLE!”
What was the audience response? They laughed. LAUGHED!
Where is the humour in his response? Effectively he’s belittling every single woman in the audience. And they’re letting him! Worse still, they’re enjoying it. The implication of his statement is that if you’re not with a significant other you’re somehow ‘less’ than those who are. I’ve been single. In fact I’ve even been a single mum. I’m here to tell you, there was nothing ‘less’ about me then. Neither am I ‘more’ now.
Let me tell you what was laughable about entire episode:
That in the one show the audience was told to be more confident about themselves in order to attract men. In the next breath they undermined any hope of confidence by explaining to women how their single status made them inferior.
More laughable still? That Oprah, the woman who endorses women’s liberation across nations, would effectively endorse such a puerile perspective on a topic encompassing issues like female self-perception, cultural expectations, gendered role relationships etc.
My advice? Grow a brain. Appreciate all the good things already in your life and more of them will keep appearing. That’s how life works!