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The oh-so-enlightened show Wife Swap is featuring a “fanatical feminist” (cue scary music) in their season premiere.
Hum… makes you wonder what the other woman will be like.
Maybe born-again christian with traditional values and 8 children?
some “fanatical feminist” she is if she has given in to the patriarchal institutions of marriage, network television and reality shows.
Just FYI, Faerylore, the video preview shows the other wife to be a pageant mom who does her daughter’s homework and chores for her, keeps a Christmas tree up year round “because everyday is like Christmas” for her daughter, and basically raised a spoiled brat who can get away with everything because of her looks. If the preview is any indication, the feminist comes off looking good, REAL good. That may not have been their intention (wife swap, like all reality shows, deliberately cuts their videos with bias to create drama and tension), but by comparison the feminist just seems normal. Hard to say if the show will come off that well, the few times I have seen snippets of the show, everyone seems like cartoon sterotypes, with usually one painted as “the bad guy”. Hopefully it won’t be the feminist this time.
that was tongue-in-cheek.
on a more serious note, i saw the preview, and her opponent is blonde and pageant-pretty, while the FF is, of course, rather large and dumpy-looking. because all feminists look like men, and all pretty women don’t care about improving women’s position in the world.
hum. thanks Jacqueline! Yeah I agree, I’m sure they’ll edit whatever might be left of ‘reality’ outta that show before it goes on air.
Yeah, looking at the preview it looks like the feminist is the good guy, and is trying to get the spoiled brat to see that she is, in fact, a spoiled brat, and the dad to understand that that’s poor parenting. With a girl that spoiled she’ll probably come across as a “tough love” type at most.
invisible_hand: Maybe it’s just me but the feminist mother looked much more attractive than the scary, decrepit-looking pageant mom. Of course she’s not going to look like the 15-year-old, we really can’t compare the two. She looks like a normal mom.
Also, I’m sitting here thinking, “Uhm, duh, pageant mom, you just admitted on national television that your daughter never does her homework and you enable her to cheat. You do realize that she won’t be allowed to graduate high school now, right?”
How do they find these people??? Or rather, why do these people volunteer to be shown on national television?
I couldn’t get the video to run, but isn’t that the point of reality shows?
To reduce people to stereotypes, to portray regular people as evil and incompetent and generally imply that they need to be controlled by a strong Christian leader?
Reality shows are totally Orwellian and appeal to the worst impulses of viewers.
Yeah, it’s pretty hilarious that she divulged doing her daughters homework on national TV…
I have never seen this show, so I might not have a leg to stand on, but from the previews it seems as if it is all the mother’s fault. Since the wife is the one who gets swapped(maybe they do husband swap, I don’t know) it makes the point that the wife/mother screws up the kid/family life, and only another woman can try to fix this. It doesn’t show the husband and wife in concert making decisions about how they want to raise their kid. To me the previews allowed the husband to be equal in maturity to the kid(not stepping up to his responsibility as a father and adult!) and also place the blame on the mother for screwing up her kid.
That’s the impression I got too, erin. It seems very insulting to both men and women. Why anyone would choose to participate in something like this is beyond me. Do they get paid or something?
Yes, Manda, they get paid very well. Something like $50,000 I think. But then again, there are two of these kinds of shows — Wife Swap and Changing Spouses, I believe — so I could be getting them confused. But I’d be very surprised if both of them didn’t end in a cash reward. I’ve only ever seen one episode — the infamous one with the fanatical Christian woman who nearly sent herself into a nervous breakdown over the other family’s (very benign) pagan rituals.
Cara, you aren’t confused. Families do get paid for participating,and also for refering other families who eventually participate.
I’ve never seen the show, but read this piece by a family that was asked to participate:
I very much agree with you gals that the “fanatical feminist” seems to be the normal one, but if I’m right and no dramatic changes have occurred in the five years I’ve been out of high school, a significant portion of America might identify with Blondie.
cantdance: Thanks for posting that link! I’ve bookmarked the page so I can read Mr Jeffries’ future columns, too.
But don’t you think it’s strange that the casting producer e-mailed Mr Jeffries and not Mrs Jeffries, even though she is the one that would be leaving for two weeks?
I don’t usually watch TV, but I’m somewhat interested in watching the beauty queen / feminist episode of “Wife Swap”, just to see how stereotypically the people act. I wonder if some of the scenes are scripted, just to make the people seem even more stupid/mean/etc.
That looked awesome!
The feminist Mom is a overweight but she was well put together – not dumpy. The Pagent Mom looks like an idiot who is raising a monster.
That show is actually pretty interesting. In the end, 2 families of radically different values and backgrounds get an opportunity to see how the other side lives. Sometimes it actually works out well. I haven’t seen it that many times but it’s generally interesting and sometimes they have super crazy people like the Jesus freak who thought her ‘other’ family was possesed by the devil.
I predict the season opener will show that there is a lot to be said for feminism – yay!
Basically, Wife Swap should be renamed “Watch The Bitch Get It” because that is what is really is about. It is really worse than the Bachelor or Top Model because you have that comparison that a wife is something swapable – ya never have Husband Swap as the focus. Because really, aren’t husbands, except for their money, not really present at home? (I am being totally sarcastic.)
You have your uptight bitch pitted against loose bitch; the bitch that “love my kids, never talk about my kids” and the “cold” bitch that is not attached to her kids with velcro. Really, it should be a new year’s resolution that the show should go.
The feminist appears to be making a solid attempt to give that little pissant a dose of reality by teaching her some values that her sorry-assed parents have yet to instill in her. Good on the feminist (of course), though I agree that the portrayal of participants in the Movement is typical of what we see in the media.
I’m anxious to see how big a dose of reality the kid gets, what she learns from it, and what light the lady’s actions sheds on the Movement.
I’m not certain about the context of the clip but why does the woman, who is tagged a “fanatical feminist”, demand that the girl drop pageants and study?
Some people are better off using their looks than they are their brains or lack thereof.
Adrienne Curry is a great example. She received $2 million to pose in Playboy so her choice to pursue looks over brains made economic sense.
and when adrianne curry is too old to get paid to model and too passe to get reality show deals, she’s going to have to look for another D-lister to marry to pay her mortgage.
also, that girl is a pageanthead, not a runway model and the two are VERY different things. there’s nothing wrong with using one’s looks to earn a living at some point, but isn’t she a bit too young to write off all other pursuits? at that age she should be given a good education and encouraged to be as well-rounded as possible. she’s not lindsay lohan; it’s not practical to write off ever having to know anything or use her brain for a livelihood (and neither is it, in my opinion, conducive to raising a person of substance to allow such a young person to forego all activities that require more than two brain cells to rub together).
Basiorana, I wouldn’t worry about her not being able to graduate high school. I’m sure that the school is well aware that they’d be sued if they attempted to take any such action.
Some people are better off using their looks than they are their brains or lack thereof.
Our looks are a fact of our existence and shouldn’t require cultivation. Our minds, whether we are very smart or just average, need to be developed. If pretty people are discouraged from educating themselves they become dependent and can be easily exploited. I believe the philosophy underlying your post explains the presence of so many women in the porn industry, while so few of them manage to rake in the millions of dollars being made off of their bodies.
In the real world, stupidity is tantamount to helplessness. You can’t have seriously been advocating that pretty girls should remain stupid and coast on their looks though, so perhaps I’ll let it go.
That is no feminist. That woman is more like Andrea Dworkin.
She does look rather fat…
Ok, so this is getting on my nerves!
She does look rather fat…
So Fucking What?!
Because there is a stereotype of feminists being unattractive, fat, and sloppy our MSM representations should always Be slim, pretty, het fashion plates?
Not to attack you Kim, but the vibe I’m getting (and you aren’t the first to say something like it) is “Aw, why does she have to be fat? Why does she have to be unfashionable? It’s such a shame! Not all feminists are like that!”
Yes! We know this! And Yes, I’d like them to know it too! However, to lament that this woman is not what we would LIKE for her to look like seems to be giving into an unwinable argument/not feminist! IF she “fits” the stereotype, it’s not her fault! It’s the people who MAKE the stereotypes! She doesn’t have a responsibility to bust all stereotypes at all times! And maybe she likes the way she looks!
Gah. Anyway. Please do correct me if I am wrong. I apologize in advance, but that’s just the way I was feeling.
She agreed to be on Wife Swap and is a feminist? Something about that doesn’t add up.
Hey, KIM7813, I’m fat. Size 18/20. Does that mean I shouldn’t be a feminist because I happen to fit into one part of the stereotype? Or are you just one of those sizeist types that thinks everyone needs to be a size 6?
“Our looks are a fact of our existence and shouldn’t require cultivation. Our minds, whether we are very smart or just average, need to be developed.”
I don’t think it’s inherently a bad thing to cultivate one’s looks, within sane limits. However, brains and personality are much less perishable than looks. Someone who’s pouring all of their resources into enhancing their personal beauty isn’t going to have anything left when, despite all of their efforts, that beauty fades.
Daddy, I want an oompa loompa! I want an oompa loompa now, Daddy!
In all seriousness though, my only problem is the way that this season premiere (sp?) is being marketed. Why is what should be considered normal parenting labeled “fanatic feminism”?
And I thought the same thing in regards to the girl’s mother doing her homework for her. That girl won’t be able to graduate from high school now that her teachers will all know that her parents do her homework for her.
erin said: Since the wife is the one who gets swapped… it makes the point that the wife/mother screws up the kid/family life, and only another woman can try to fix this.–
In watching this show a few times, the husband doesn’t always get off the hook. It’s always a weird dynamic, which the producers of the show exploit, especially on Fox’s Changing Spouses.
Sometimes the wife is an understanding partner and parent who moves into a house of some lazy slob who parks himself on the couch. Then she transforms him into a wonderful father and husband in the course of an hour. Miracle!
Then sometimes there’s a self-centered mother who sees the error of her ways by a father.
More often then not, however, it is just a show of unending conflict as drastically types of families are mashed together and claw at each other’s throats. Makes great TV, but I always feel dirty after watching it.
“She does look rather fat…”
“Some people are better off using their looks than they are their brains or lack thereof.
Adrienne Curry is a great example. She received $2 million to pose in Playboy so her choice to pursue looks over brains made economic sense.”
Please tell me this is a joke. Please. Please.
I have so much i want to say but right now I am so angry that I can’t even think or type straight.
People who are getting all vitriolic here – I really haven’t found this show to be overly sexist. Really. It’s about the only reality TV that I can watch without throwing things (though sometimes it happens lol)
I admit I’ve only seen the US version once, have seen a lot more of the UK version. It annoys me (a) that they’re always to antagonistic during rule-change week and (b) they cut it SO much, the shows are all very similar because they cut them all the same!
But sometimes it’s really amusing, and in the case of the one American one there was a rich Italian-American woman swapped with an ultra-hippy woman whose husband and son have long hair and wears skirts, and they live off what they can scavenge and sell on.
The hippy woman actually manages to show the wanker husband how incredibly demanding he is on his wife and make him learn some empathy which was totally shocking, and when the rich woman forces the hippy husband (god, how categorical of me) to get a job and they’re all shocked how this guy with waist length hair and a stoner attitude is a fantastic employee I was very gleeful.
Sometimes it’s downright painful, but it’s basically about making everyone look like arses and having some sort of definitive change real or manufactured after the swap, and not especially sexist IMO
Actually, she’s EXTREMELY FAT. She looks too much like a blob.
As for me, I’m overweight too, but I’m rather slim compared to the feminist shown in that preview.
I find it even sadder that she acts more like Andrea Dworkin than us. WAKE UP, AMERICA! Not all feminists hate being sexy. We’re sexy within sane limits.
Seeing the debates on here – it just made me realize that the show is simply pitting women against each other. “Oh, look at the hot little blonde and the old feminist scream and yell at each other.”
Shit like that divides us, not unites us, as feminists.
I think KIM is a troll, trying to get us mad.
And, Andrea Dworkin is a feminist.
I think people are mad because feminists are always portrayed as fat. Why couldn’t they have found a “conventionally attractive”, skinny, blonde feminist to counter the pageant mom? Why is the fanatical feminist the fat feminist?
I’m sure we’re all into fat acceptance and whatnot here, but the rest of the US isn’t. So the smart mom has to be “ugly”. Way to go stereotypes.
What I’m hearing every time someone expresses dismay that the woman is fat is, “Damn, why don’t all the fat women just disappear? Don’t they know they make us look bad?”
And fuck that. Fuck anyone who even suggests it and fuck anyone who forms an opinion about this woman before they hear the quality of what she has to say. You are all part of the problem.
Geeky_Girl, so what we should just bend to the pressure of the stereotype? Is it wrong to accept her the way she is? As I said before, It’s not her fault she “fits” into the stereotype. It’s those that make, adhere, and uphold stereotypes that hurt us!
Also, consider the fact that if she was beauty-industry approved people would focus on her looks say things like “Oh, she’s too pretty to be a feminist”.
WE should all know that beauty standards are set up so that nearly everyone falls short and should feel like a failure. You can’t win for losing.
SHE is not the stereotype. People are placing the stereotype UPON her!
I mean it’s almost like people are saying “Omg, she fat and a feminist? Now ppl will think feminists are fat! OH NOES! What’re we going to do?”
I can’t believe this.
I’m referring to the fact that Andrea Dworkin was an ANTI-PORN feminist.
In fact, feminists like us would do what we want to empower ourselves.
We can have sex with men or women and not feel guilted in a phallocentric patriarchy as long as we’re confident in ourselves not to give in to archaic, sexist notions.
We can model for a centerfold and be seen as more than “a slut”: We can be seen as confident.
We can participate in contests that either judge us by how beautiful on the outside OR the inside.
And I’m not trying to be a troll. I find it harder that you can blow my commentary out of proportions.
Not all feminists hate being sexy. We’re sexy within sane limits.
Oh yeah, this is a real feminist statement.
Who says *any* feminists “hate” being sexy? You’re basically defining “sexy” as “not fat.”
And how do you define these “sane limits” of sexiness? Let me guess: the patriarchy-approved brand?
Good for you for being sexayyy. Lord knows that’s the most important thing about a woman.
The feminist arguments get mixed up with the fat aguments some times. But I’d be kind of curious to see who they cast as the ‘fanatical feminist’. If they’re not that fanatical, they may come off really well to the average viewer. On the other hand, if they are really fat, that will probably not reflect well on feminism. Its not fair that we judge people for being fat, but its expecting too much of Americans to look past that on a lowest common denominator reality tv show. We don’t like to view really fat people or really ugly people. And there is a difference between an overweight and not very sexy, but nice looking woman and a really obese person. If the show represents feminism as being really obese and looking really bad- that will not win anyone over to the cause of feminism and that would be unfortunate. If you’re really obese I can imagine you would disagree, but I think feminims sans obesity has a better chance of making progess in the public mind and I think its a more important cause to boot.
“I have so much i want to say but right now I am so angry that I can’t even think or type straight.
Way to perpetuate the stereotype that we’re all emotional creatures incapable of forming a rational, coherent argument.
My point isn’t that smart girls or even average girls should foresake education for the pursuit of modeling.
My point is that there is a certain percentage of the population that is dumber than dirt and education is a lost cause on them.
Given the choice between being a waitress, a cashier at Walmart, or taking my clothes off for $2 million dollars, I’d have to say the $2 million would be the way to go.
“Way to perpetuate the stereotype that we’re all emotional creatures incapable of forming a rational, coherent argument”
No seriously. I really really hope you are kidding, for your sake. I COULD say, “way to perpetuate the stereotype that we’re all moody bitches” but I won’t.
“We can model for a centerfold and be seen as more than “a slut”: We can be seen as confident.”
As for this, I’m a little confused. It’s ok to pose for a centerfold to be “empowered” but then we get mad when men objectify women (including centerfolds)? Is being in a porn magazine like that not supporting the objectification of women?
And just because a feminist is anti-porn doesn’t mean shit. We weren’t even talking about porn on this thread.
ekswitaj: A court would laugh if parents tried to sue a school because they helped their daughter cheat. If it happened in college, she would have been instantly expelled, no second chances. My high school would have failed her, and every court would have backed that decision.
Should she be forced to give up pageants? Eh. I don’t know. I strongly dislike pageants but it’s a free country. However, these parents have taught their child 1) She doesn’t need to have any actual skills, academic or even basic housekeeping, to survive in the world; 2) people will give her whatever she wants, and SHOULD give her whatever she wants, and if they don’t they’re a big meanie; and 3) cheating and breaking the rules is okay.
Honestly, banning the pageants might be more of a way to try and make this kid see that she will not survive in the real world if she continues with that horrible sense of entitlement. I don’t view it so much as a case of “I hate sexiness and people who market their beauty” as “I hate people who assume that value is determined only by physical appearance and that all other skills are less in comparison to beauty.”
If the show represents feminism as being really obese and looking really bad- that will not win anyone over to the cause of feminism and that would be unfortunate. If you’re really obese I can imagine you would disagree, but I think feminims sans obesity has a better chance of making progess in the public mind and I think its a more important cause to boot.
So b/c the “general public” of America relies on stereotypes and the beauty industry standards, Feminists should give into those in order to make people more comfortable with being feminists?
Are you fucking kidding me?
So b/c fat feminists would make America’s boner limp, we should hide them away and trot out the hot feminists to attract more people? What kind of people?
Something tells me that a person who goes “Oh shit, hot feminists! What was I waiting for? I’m gonna sign up for NOW!” If the argument that wins them over is the fact that there are “attractive” feminists, then I’m not quite sure they’d really agree with feminist principles in the first place!
You have got fucking kidding me!
Well, I broke down and actually watched the show. In spite of the fact that they obviously encourage all participants to be as crazy as possible the feminist came off rather well in an impossible circumstance. Pageant Mom was fairly impossible, but in a run-of-the-mill way.
Pageant Dad though? He creeped me out. He looked, smelled, walked, and talked like a child molester to me, which would go part-way to explaining his obsession with his child’s looks, dependence, and helplessness. Maybe it wasn’t happening, but I got a definite vibe.
Also, if I had been Feminist Mom I would have tried to get Pageant Daughter tested for a learning disability.
All in all Feminist Mom was fine. I think more of the conflict in values between families came from the Feminist family’s Quaker faith than the feminism. Not that the Quakerism was a bad thing, it’s just that people who pledge to live a simple life will not mesh well with unreconstructed materialists.
Their 13 year old was perhaps socially awkward, but I also thought she was pretty awesome. The social weirdness will melt away in college and she’ll just be a brilliant, confident person. Nothing wrong with that.
1. Who else actually watched the show? I see sgzax did. (Btw, your LD comment was interesting, sg, and maybe the kid was dyslexic; despite the poss. LD, though, she came off as pretty smart to me – I was shocked at her handwriting and spelling but impressed that she was as articulate as she was given the fact that her parents were working as hard as possible to stymy her education and intellectual growth.)
-I wonder if anyone’s perspective on Angie the Feminist’s weight would change if they knew she’d coauthored a book on PCOS and is likely a PCOS sufferer. Obesity is frequently a side effect of PCOS. Would any of the blamey vibe of this whole trainwreck thread decrease if people found out it “wasn’t her fault”? Or would the assertion that fat women should cease to exist continue uninterrupted?
3.) Seriously, WHY is her weight a topic of discussion? What the everloving crap is that? I thought the way she came off on the show was frankly awesome and that there was a ton to discuss in the show, both in terms of the stuff she said (she was really articulate and well-spoken) and in terms of the way she was presented; and people are talking about her WEIGHT?! What the hell?
4.) And a special “wtf” to you, Kim, for arbitrarily determining the “sane limits” to “sexiness”. “Adhere to conventional and fundamentally unnatural standards of physical attractiveness that society imposes on you, within reasonable limits!” – piss all over that.
This is an interesting discussion…and I love the oriny that of all the discussions happening about the show this is the only place discussing we weight…fat blob? ouch
Let me try again – no glasses and a little one on my lap makes my spelling look like Alicia’s.
Anyway…I’d like to talk about the rest of the show if anyone is not interested in my weight..
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