Last year, I vowed never to publicly discuss in my articles or on social media shows like Real Housewives, Basketball Wives or Bad Girls’ Club. I didn’t want to use my platform or voice to promote the bad behavior that the casts of these shows exhibit on a weekly basis. Unfortunately, I didn’t stop watching.
Now, after seeing Evelyn Lozada on Basketball Wives leap across a table to attack another women who was not threatening her, I’m done. To add insult to injury, on a recent episode she felt no remorse and acknowledged that at 36 years old (my age) she should know better, but she didn’t care. For me, the nail in the coffin was when I heard a teenage girl say, “Don’t make me go Evelyn on your [butt]!” With that statement, Ms. Lozada’s public legacy was confirmed.
More importantly, hearing that young lady say that made me feel ashamed of myself. By supporting the show with my viewership, I was keeping it on the air for young women to see and ultimately, emulate this horrible behavior. Mindless recreation or not, I too had become a part of the problem. If no one watches then, programmers will take these programs off of the air and find alternate programming. It’s ironic that positive television gets such low ratings, but we so-called positive people aren’t supporting it, but will watch a grown woman cuss and fight. Yes, I’m indicting myself too.
Ms. Lozada is just one of many “women” acting far less than lady-like for ratings and fame. And, to be clear, it’s not just women of color doing the fool on TV either. However, with such a dearth of images of women and men of color, I believe, there is a heightened responsibility. True, it’s the networks that are programming this craziness, but they wouldn’t if we didn’t watch it and if there weren’t women willing to do it.
But, before the masses stand in complete judgment of the ladies of the “brawl TV” shows let’s take a look around us. I see women in conflict all the time. High-powered, highly educated women who definitely know better and have no cameras on them. These women might not be throwing fists, but they’re doing much worse. The tongue can be a mighty sword and I’ve heard and seen many a woman slain for blood. Up close and personal examples of bad behavior have an even greater effect on all of us, especially our young people.
I’ve often said that we have to be careful what we feed our spirits. You might not think it has an affect on you, but everything you consume seeps into your sub-conscious. It begins to take residence in your psyche and can direct your actions. So, before we have more young girls “going Evelyn,” sister-friends please stop fighting.
Wishing you love and ceaseless joy! Follow @NathanHWilliams on Twitter.
Nathan’s book INSPIRATION: Profiles of Black Women Changing Our World is available now.