A tweet from Moxie the dating coach (link below) triggered an interesting bit of wisdom and quite possibly a serious epiphany. Her tweet was:
Dear Dating Bloggers: YOU ARE NOT CARRIE BRADSHAW.
Female dating bloggers are an annoying bunch filled with single women who vacillate from extreme self-pity to grrl power in a matter of writing nanoseconds. The urban variety seem to hold the television character Carrie Bradshaw of Sex And The City (SATC) fame as something of a role model. In fact, there seems to be a half-generation of girls (not women) who viewed SATC not as entertainment, but as a video tutorial for a lifestyle. Happiness through designer shoes? Men rolled their eyes and pretty much ignored the whole phenomenon. It made little sense to us except as propaganda pitching a particular lifestyle.
After reading Moxie’s tweet, I figured it out.
It’s the attention, stupid.
Women love attention. Emotionally healthy women love positive attention and that’s how it should be. The rest of them will take anything they can get including nasty drama featuring physically abusive men. With SATC, the cameras were almost always pointed at one of those four characters. It was the ultimate in attention, even if the characters were made up and the whole thing was completely and utterly fictional.
I am of the strong belief that girls around the country followed the SATC mentality with the vague and amorphous wish that they would suddenly have TV cameras focused on them and their now-semi-glamorous lifestyle, despite living in Toledo and not being able to afford pricey shoes.
This is why I call it “attention pornography”. It’s certainly related to emotional pornography (link below) in some ways but it’s different in that the TV genre sets false expectations for receiving attention. Behave in a particular way or adopt a particular lifestyle (or components, thereof) and you might be the subject of television series! I know that sounds quite farfetched but wishes, rationalizations, and fantasies can do all sorts of things to affect female behavior.
Enter another popular TV format for girls (not women) is the “reality” show. Granted, most of such reality TV is scripted to a certain degree yet it’s still wildly popular. It’s pure attention for the select few who are in front of the camera. It starts young, too. Toddlers and Tiaras anyone? “The cameras should be on me” I imagine a woman thinking when she see’s a reality TV program.
What, reality TV program crews are out wandering the streets looking for women to feature in a new program? A big part of me thinks that is what is running through too many female minds in order that they get their attention fix.
EDIT: If enough attention-oriented TV broadcast programming featured women and girls receiving positive attention for being feminine… guess the result. Tweet it.
Next up for female-oriented porn and guys… 50 Shades Of Gray. [3/8″ yacht-braid nylon line in four, six foot lengths (marine store)…. Learn how to make a bowline and a clove hitch. Or, some silk or rayon scarves that are are at least 5 feet diagonally and half-hitches. Just saying.]