The Real Housewives…Really? and “The Resolution for Women”

The Daytime Bible Study that I lead is reading “The Resolution for Women” by Priscilla Shirer. This week’s chapter is “My Integrity”. “It’s those undercover, low-key matters, the ones that cloak themselves in the guise of entertainment—those are the ones that hook us. They’re unobtrusive. Quiet. Too comfortable and familiar, really to be asked to leave. Just there. Justifiable.” This quote from the chapter made me research my writings and dust off this blog written 5/1/2011 but never published. Enjoy.

Housewife is defined as a married woman who manages her own household as her principal occupation. So will someone please explain how we can have the Real Housewives of Various Cities and only a few of these women are really housewives!

I guess I should say that I don’t care for reality television…primarily because it isn’t real. There are countless hours of footage shot and creatively edited to portray anything that will boost ratings and entice more viewers and sponsors.

Consider this, have you ever had a camera follow you around for 24 hours? Me neither. It can often be uncomfortable for me to take a picture or give an interview. Something about the presence of a camera can cause a shift in one’s behavior. Cause us to not be our true authentic selves.

The Real Housewives of…Orange County, Atlanta, New York, New Jersey, Washington D.C. and now Beverly Hills, I have watched them all. It started innocently enough with some channel surfing. My curiosity peaked and soon I began to watch regularly. I was astonished, appalled, embarrassed (both for them and for myself for watching), but gradually I was sucked in to the point that I even chatted with girlfriends about what was happening on whatever “Housewife” group currently airing. We would spend precious time discussing these women as if we knew them. We had taken the bait and been enticed by these “distraction agents”!

Upon closer inspection, I noticed several curious details about the women featured on the “Housewives” franchise. The fact is that few of them are housewives by definition because their households are not their principal occupation. The majority of the women enjoy lucrative careers outside the home and still others earn a living by simply being famous. Some of them are not even married, which would challenge the use of the word “wife”. And one of the women has even become famous apparently as a result of her very public, ongoing affair with a married man. Surely she cannot be considered a “Real Housewife”! The drama that surrounds their lives reaches outrageous proportions in each episode as the program travels to the various cities represented. Still we watch…and still I watched…and discussed and judged and watched. Then one evening after watching a “Reunion” show that was particularly mean-spirited and totally over the top, I began to notice that many of the women seemed to be sad. (subsequently several of the cast members have left the shows)

That was when I evaluated what I was doing. I had unintentionally joined the ranks of millions of pop culture viewers who find “sport” in other people’s lives. Kind of like when the Romans looked on during a chariot race or a coliseum filled with lions devouring Christians. Soon my heart began to hurt for a woman who for whatever reason had decided that, “15 minutes of fame” was more valuable than her life. I can’t imagine the world looking on as my family unravels due to marital difficulties, a failing business or a child on drugs. Seriously what would cause anyone to choose to share such invasive snippets of their lives with people who don’t care at all about the well-being of their family?

I prefer to share my personal trials with a handful of trusted friends whose loyalty is proven. We don’t always agree but we do provide one another with a safe environment to expose our hearts. Despite the safety net of genuine friendships my favorite person to cry out to in my times of trouble is my Savior, Jesus Christ. HE and only HE, has a way of holding my heart and restoring peace to my soul. So I began to pray for the women of “The Real Housewives…” I began to look at them as Real women, who need to know that there is a Real GOD, who loves them…Really!