Thursday, February 17, 2011

Traditional Marriage?

I won't get overly political here (I don't see my blog as a political soapbox), but a certain popular reality show got me to thinking about the way our society portrays traditional marriage.

Let me know if this sounds like a show you've ever heard of . . .

A young man decides to find a wife.  For reasons unclear to me, but which doubtless have to do with significant financial incentives, he chooses to do this on national television.  He is introduced to a group of attractive young women.  He does not choose these women, nor are they chosen by his parents or friends.  They are chosen by the producers of a television show, presumably for their ability to be pretty and personable on television.

In a competition watched by millions of strangers across America, the would-be bridegroom takes each of these woman on dates, followed by cameras, producers and make-up people.  The young man himself, the other women, and of course the audience, are all encouraged to judge each would-be bride and evaluate her strengths and weaknesses.  Competition among the women is strongly encouraged, as are backstabbing and gossip. 

At the end of this process, having eliminated one girl each week, the young man chooses a “winner” from among the last two women left standing, with the strong suggestion that he propose marriage to her (though in fact, of the fourteen times this bizarre ritual has been acted out, only once has it resulted in a so-far lasting marriage, and that was between the young man and the second runner-up, rather than the originally selected winner).

"The Bachelor" may be just a TV show, but I can't help but wonder what it says about us as a society.

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