Monday, March 25, 2013

Married to Medicine:Aspirations to a Divorce from Bravo

I tuned-in to last night's premiere of Bravo's latest reality series, Married to Medicine and about half-way through I remarked that I would rather be homeless than have to live like the women on that show.

Apparently, in Atlanta, if you are a woman, being married to a doctor is like being in the Witness Protection Program and once the ring goes on your finger, your identity is taken away. (complete with plastic surgery physical transformation of course)

The plot revolved around the new-girl, who's name I won't bother to mention, because it really doesn't matter since she has no identity except that-of "doctor's wife". Her cohorts are apparently disturbed because new-girl doesn't know how to act the way that she should they want her to act.

This hazing is supposedly designed to make a proper doctor's wife out of a girl from the ghetto. How being bullied, teased, and interrogated by a bunch of elitist snobby bitches transforms one into their idea of how one should act, I don't know. Clearly they wanted a reaction, and yes, the woman got upset-who wouldn't?
One of them went so far as to proclaim to her face that she would never marry a man who did what new girl's husband did. (he had sent out a group-text message cancelling their wedding).

The gang decides to mentor her and give her more chances to be their victim  step up to the plate, and assume the position that she assumed by saying "I do".
I was still stunned from what I had seen while I was watching Watch What Happens Live, when Andy Cohen mentioned that The New York Times had given Married to Medicine a favorable review.  How could they? A show that is just begging to be condemned in my opinion, and the NYT calls it "entertaining"!

(I just checked that New York Times link and remembered my revulsion at the apparent fashion amongst Married to Medicine's cast. I don't care if it's politically incorrect to talk about someone's looks. If the "look" is a matter of style or fashion, of course I can comment, and those women certainly were not born with mouths that look like giant hemorrhoid-inflamed sphincters. THE EMPEROR HAS NO GODDAMN CLOTHES! and someone needs to tell these girls that rectums on your faces are NOT pretty!)

For a television network that holds itself out to be gay-friendly, Bravo's characterization of heterosexual married women, is absurd. Is it because of this gay-centric perception that they get it so very very WRONG? And no credit is given to Married to Medicine for showcasing two of the women who happen to be doctors themselves, because those women too are given the Bravo-treatment and hobbled with stilts (high-heels), and forced to wear the Bravo uniform, (no slacks allowed, false eyelashes, more makeup than a drag-queen...), just like all of the other "wives" that Bravo presents to us as their idea of what a woman is supposed to be.

Slate gets it right on their blog titled  "Hey Women, If You Really Want to Lean In, Marry a Woman". "Lean in", is the title of's current number one best seller and the recommended way of dealing-with the invisible, unbreakable glass-ceiling.

Here's what Slate says about "leaning in":

"...the elegant solution of professional women refusing to have children until someone fixes this situation has been taken off the table. It's a major conundrum. So why not look to men for answers? Men have managed the sticky situation of both having a job and having a home life for decades now. Their solution is possibly even more elegant in its simplicity than the "don't have children" one: Marry a woman...."
Are they joking or just looking for more options in the never ending quest for women who want to "have it all"? 
Lean In is not so much about "having it all", as it is about equality. Or maybe more about the lack-of equality between the sexes in the business world. But Lean In is not your typical feministic (meaning angry and aggressive) battle cry. No, author and executive big-shot Sheryl Sandberg didn't get to the top of the best-seller list with vinegar-she "leaned"-there.
Sandberg is correct that our country needs to have this conversation. The fact that a book of this topic being so widely received is the proof. But the best advice that she's got is to "lean in"? I'm having a little bit of trouble understanding that. The idea of "leaning-in", in my mind conjures up Little Wayne sipping a little bit of cough medicine and smoking a blunt. OK-maybe Little Wayne leans back, a little too far-but "leaning in" just feels like having a little something and depending which way you lean-it could go either way. And either way, you're dopey.

Dopey, of course being one of the Seven Dwarfs, brings me back to the topic here. Which is/was Married to Medicine-the television show. And the state of women, and how they are portrayed and perceived especially when it comes-to Bravo. Snow White, being the Disney Princess that she is, married the Prince, and lived happily ever after of course. But Snow White had helpers! Seven of them, and also some animated birds and characters.

Bravo has featured homosexual couples of both sexes, Brad Goreski and Jackie Warner-to name two members of that set. Slate responds to Lean In with the suggestion that women who want to achieve career goals should take wives. But the idea that in order to be considered eligible for those top executive positions, without the worry of slipping-down the ladder of success on our children's placenta, and getting caught in the umbilical cord of love that ties us to our family so strongly-The idea, that women need wives, not so much as sexual partners, but partners in the business of life, is an idea that is legally federally prohibited in the USA.

The federal law that states with certainty that women are not equal to men is called the Defense of Marriage Act (link DOMA). There is a vote on this on Wednesday in DC. This is the federal law that permits American men to solicit mail order brides (link) from foreign countries, but denies women the same right. Now maybe you aren't personally interested in a mail order bride, and I'm only interested in the idea enough to know that in the United States of America, as a woman, I am NOT allowed the same civil rights as American men have in this matter.

And maybe THAT is what ticks me off about Bravo, and their idiotic portrayal of women, wives, and Married to Medicine in general. Maybe if there really were equal rights for all people, I could agree with The New York Times about how "entertaining" it is to watch these women makes fools of themselves and their families. And although I am heartened to see that the "conversation" has been validated, the proposed solution, (lean in?), has me more than a little bit worried.

The critical response to Lean In hints at real solutions to the fact of inequality in boardrooms and executive offices. Notions of elitism, and intellectual snobbery, aimed towards the author and allegations of political ambition are made. Bravo sells it's viewers to advertisers as "aspirational". As-in, we "aspire" to what we are seeing unfold before us and therefore products placed in and around the programming, are the things we aspire to buy and/or have.

But what aspirations are they presenting us with? Obscenely expensive crippling  foot devices, disfiguring, painful unnecessary surgery on our bodies and faces, at least two layers of make-up and glued-on/taped-on/painted-on crap on our skin, with any hairy areas being either deleted or burned into whatever position is in style, plus tight-clothing and girdles. And if all of THAT isn't enough, to make it as crystalline clear as the glass ceiling, Married to Medicine, now wants women to ASPIRE to having no identity at all except as the spouse of someone else. I may not ever watch another episode of Married to Medicine, but I'm rooting for the "Ghetto Girl" in all of us to say, OH HELL NO! to what Bravo says about women and our aspirations.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Faking it With the Kardashians

Since the episode with Kim Kardashian finding a stray chihuahua who she called "Princess"-turned out to be scripted, and the story is that the dog that Kim "found", and kept really belonged to an assistant.(not a "stray" as portrayed on "E".)
And the emergency life-saving surgery left the viewers wondering about the cliff-hanger since the dog was never seen again-(full discussion here)
..."The latest episode of Kim Kardashian saving a stray dog was a complete HOAX. I just called the Vet Clinic Kim brought the dog to and they told me the dog is an E News employees pet and the dog is not sick... its ok and well.."-quote from link above
And Reality Tea spotted and documented a great report on another scripted episode :PROOF that Show is Fake...and Staged"-article here

I became a little worried when I heard the sad news that "Mercy", the cat had died.Story link Here/Mercy the cat is dead .

I was wondering how that was going to play-out, or IF it would on Keeping-up With the Kardashians. So I wasn't surprised to see the recent, "Kim is allergic to Dander"-episode, complete with a doctor's office visit and a REALISTIC-LOOKING allergy test.

Hmmmm. I said to myself. Maybe Kim really DID have an allergic-reaction? I don't know if she did or didn't but I did a little research to try and determine IF what we saw in that episode could be faked.

The Daily Mail has an article about the episode with THIS photo of the "allergic reaction"-skin-test on Kim's back (link)

It sure LOOKS like she developed a red-bump doesn't it? But then I did a little MORE research about the allergy skin-test. What I learned, is that YES, a red bump is a good indication of a positive reaction to a substance. BUT, part of the test involves a "control" prick, which is SUPPOSED to REACT! As a matter of fact, IF the "control substance" does NOT react-(in other words if there are NO red-bumps/reactions), then the test is invalid. I enlarged the Daily Mail photo of Kim's back, and it looks to me like what the viewers were told was a reaction to "cat dander"-was the control reaction, since she really does not have any other spots big enough to be "the" "control reaction. (and I'm not even a doctor! Just nosy I guess).

So. IF someone wanted to FAKE a show about someone being allergic to cats, what they COULD do is point to the CONTROL reaction, (which is usually marked with an "X" and set to the side), and say that THAT is a "dander-reaction". Here is an enlarged (modified for you © watchers!) photo of what viewers saw next to a patient who has several reactions and a control reaction marked "X". See below:

I know that I usually don't blog about Keeping Up With the Kardashians, but I DO keep up with them every once in awhile. This week I saw a screaming YELLOW! tabloid headline about KIM having a 22 million Dollar Baby! or some such nonsense-it was a great cover and really caught my eye! The story attached to that has crazy rumors about secret IVF treatments etc...And of course we ALL know that Kim's estranged husband allegedly wants to tell the world that the show (and the marriage), is F-A-K-E, but I'm not posting this as a "hate"-blog.

I can't help but appreciate the Kardashians for the eye-candy that they bring to the E Network, and I ♥ Rob Kardashian's Aurthur George socks-(available exclusively at Neiman Marcus). But documentation of how scripted the show really appears to be has to be done. Why? Because defining reality is not the job of actors, or families, or television networks. If it was, Keeping up With the Kardashians, would be an entirely different show ;)