Photo: Lindsey LaMont on Unsplash
As you may or may not know, The Real Housewives is a franchise with several series on the television network, Bravo. It follows the lives of different women from an upper economic class, some even married to famous men in various cities around the United States. Currently, the list of cities includes Atlanta, Beverley Hills, Dallas, D.C., Miami, New Jersey, New York City, Orange Country, and Potomac. The shows have gathered a huge fan base, including “hate-watchers.” Throughout the years, it has given us a lot to talk about and, in recent years, people have started questioning how good this show is for feminism.
Those who believe in feminism, who fight for it and try to educate others on it, believe in the equality of women. We believe women have the same rights as men and that there should be no difference in how they are treated, seen, respected, and paid. We want women to have the place in society that they deserve; to be valued and not mistreated because of their gender. And we fight for women to be free to do, say, and think whatever they want without being valued as less.
When shows like The Real Housewives come into play, people question how they affect society’s view on women. Some believe the shows make women look stupid and superficial. These people think seeing women spending their money frivolously, gathered around drinking, leading “vain” lives, and sometimes even fighting, is a bad representation of women. As if that certain type of woman is not what a woman should be or how she should behave. They are criticized for their actions and their words. They are less valued as a woman because they do not follow a certain norm or expectation. They are louder than women should be.
And that is when the big question comes in: is The Real Housewives good for feminism? A common answer would be no. The show is not good for feminism because it portrays women in a light feminists do not agree with. Women drinking and spending their money while sometimes making uneducated comments is not the way they want the world to see us. It takes away from the fighting we have done and the respect we have managed to gain with this movement. However, is this right? Is a show like this really bad for feminism?
The Real Housewives is not necessarily bad for feminism. If we believe in the equality of women and respect for all, these ladies should be free to do whatever they want. A woman should be respected and valued the same way whether she has a Ph.D. or spends her evenings sipping mimosas by the pool. We fight because we want the world to see us for who we are and not be judged for being women. So, why would we judge other fellow women? Feminism exists so women can do what they want with their lives while being respected and paid the same way men do for doing the exact same thing.
If you have not The Real Housewives, maybe give it a chance and watch at least one episode; see for yourself what everyone is talking about. If you believe it is bad for feminism, ask yourself about your definition of the movement. Try to keep an open mind because we all need to stick together for feminism to work, for women to be equally respected and valued.
Lara was born in Argentina on Christmas; raised there and in Mexico. She graduated university with a BA in Latin American Literature and then moved to America where she currently lives with her girlfriend and cat. She works at a daycare as an Infant Teacher and during her free time you’ll find her reading or watching several TV shows while drinking diet coke.