Tuesday, May 1

Prime-Time TV Sweeps Women to All-Time Lows

As TV networks head into their big sweeps and hotly compete for ratings and advertisers, Sandra Kobrin gapes at the demeaning and downright scary portrayal of women in our most powerful communication medium.

For starters, you might think that since women watch more TV than men we would be reflected in the programming, with at least an equal proportion of male to female characters in prime time. But you would be wrong.

Women are less than 40 percent of the characters on prime time and are underrepresented as creators and writers.

But what's worse than the quantity is the quality of women on TV.

Just look at NBC's newest hit, "Deal or No Deal," which will air its 100th show during sweeps. There are 25 women on the show, but they're more like wallpaper. They stand posed in the background waiting submissively for host Howie Mandel to point at them so they can open a case, smile or frown. They are identically dressed in short tight cocktail dresses. They march down the steps in unison, stand identically and smile the same plastic smile. Silent. While their names and ethnicities vary, they are undistinguishable in their commodity-like appeal.

LINK: Read entire article at Women's e-news

1 comment:

Amanda Reaume said...

I agree! The way those women are treated is quite frightening! Women as wallpaper - I like that description. There are far too many situations in which women are seen and treated as wallpaper.

The usual defense of such treatment is that the women chose to be a part of the show. In fact, I read an article about how there was a Canada wide search for women when the show did a Canadian edition and that there was intense competition from women for these spots. I always find it so disturbing how women sign themselves up for these things. What in their lives and in society has made these women think that being seen as wallpaper is a good thing and something that they want? How are women taught that this (the performative sexuality of the female commodified) is all that they are good for, and indeed, something that they derive pleasure from performing?