ABC, needing to guard against the potential loss of viewers that usually occurs in summer, is ready to roll out ‘Mistresses,’ a (sort of) new show about four women finding their way in the world by — mostly — having sexual encounters. i say “sort of” a new show because it seems we have seen this one many times before.
Four women, very close girlfriends; some married, some not. The common denominator — surprise — is the steamy sex they are having. “Sex and the City” anyone? This is HBO’s “Girls” for the older woman. Or it’s a pornified version of “Desperate Housewives” or “Lipstick Jungle.”
But what makes this one different is that it is unabashedly about the sex. The trailer for the series has plenty of steamy snippets featuring bedroom shots and lingerie, but supposedly this is about four professional women on paths of self-discovery. i would expect 50 Shades of Grey references in abundance.
i am not opposed to good shows that feature strong female characters as the centerpiece of the drama. i am opposed to shows that feature a tag line that says:
“Attraction. Passion. Deception. I can’t help it.”
Is it me, or is this insulting?
Shouldn’t real women be offended? The message is that women can’t help themselves, they just have to engage in extramarital affairs. And shouldn’t women be insulted that this is what passes for self-discovery? Seriously, you’re a grown woman and your just now discovering that you’re attracted sexually to good-looking men?
How is this different from when the shoe is on the other foot and women get upset at men who defend their lusting or their viewing of pornography as “Attraction. Passion. Deception. I can’t help it.” Women usually end up despising men who act helpless and say that they cannot stop looking at other women. And rightly so, it’s demeaning to everyone involved. It’s also a pathetic response from man who isn’t actually a man, rather is a boy trapped in a man’s body — or better yet, is a man who is actually living out a prolonged adolescence.
But in our pornified culture, you can get a lot of traction for a show or an idea if you tell the story from the woman’s point of view and you depict her as a sexually free and uninhibited woman who is the driver of the sexual adventure. This is the way porn grabs hold. It’s no longer dirty old men who can’t control their impulses, it’s ambitious women who are so together and attractive that it makes the sexuality — even adultery — a positive thing.