Lifetime: Television for Women?
I love Lifetime, what woman doesn’t? Sex, lies, passion, true stories, and suspense; topics that can keep a person hooked. I used to sit for hours watching a Lifetime movie marathon. Lifetime promotes its network as television for women. I sometimes wonder if it really is television for women who want to lie, cheat, and steal?
After watching Lifetime one weekend, something struck me as odd. Yes, all of these movies deal with women, but what are these movies really promoting? One of my guy friends said to me once that he was flipping through channels (the excuse every guy gives when he says he watched Lifetime) and he came about a movie on Lifetime. The basic plot of the movie was that a girl would beat her parents and cause trouble in the family. When her father said he was going to report her to the police, the daughter said, “go ahead, all I need to tell them was that you raped and abused me… my word against yours.” My friend then said to me “damn… on Lifetime all they do is just teach women how to kill their husbands and to exploit men.” After he said that, I realized that a lot of the programs on Lifetime have to do with women who are going to kill their cheating husband,or rapist, or a movie where a women is cheating on her husband with a younger man. The only time that a Lifetime movie truly touches issues, is when the movie is based on a true story.
Advertising for Lifetime tend to state quotes like: ” … and more stars you adore will steal the screen in back-to back flicks filled with secrets, scandal, and deceit.”, “New movie Monday, now women have something to do on Mondays”, and “Our lifetime commitment: Lifetime cares about the issues that really matter to women.” What issues are they committing to? What are they teaching women? That it is ok to cheat and deceive? That is ok to use our bodies to exploit men? Lifetime is actually very committed to women issues, they sponsor many events that promote stopping violence, rape, breast cancer, and other issues that effect women. Very rarely though, do the movies or television programs reflect the good that Lifetime is doing behind the scenes.
I hope that women who watch these programs realize that they can be more than conniving women; they can be successful women who own businesses and much more. I do not understand why Lifetime needs to use slogans like New Movie Mondays. That slogan in itself, to me implies that women during nights have nothing to do, but sit in front of the TV and watch such programs. It fits into the stereotype that women love to watch soaps and waste time. It gives the false pretense that women love to watch programs that deal with secrets, scandal and deceit, but we don’t like to watch programs that deal with current events. Women tend to speak about empowering themselves, and moving forward in the fight for equality, but we cannot move forward if we continue to hold ourselves back.
One day, maybe Lifetime whose programs deal with sex, lies, passion, true stories, and suspense, will truly reflect the issues that plague communities today, and become a true network that is called Lifetime: Television for Women.