The Week the Women Went: More male image stereotype?
The Week the Women Went is a new reality show in which all the women in a town go away for a week leaving it to the guys and dads. It could reinforce a negative male image stereotype, or the men could prove their potential with the women around – even if a 4-year-old has a cup of coffee.
Now that the thrill of watching the Olympic Games is over, my 17-year-old son and I sat down to witness the predictable mayhem inherent in the premier of the Lifetime TV series "The Week the Women Went," where it seems natural to root for the men to fail and provide entertainment after all the women of the town have gone on a seven-day mass vacation. However, as the parent of four boys, I have to root for these hapless men left holding the kids and family businesses to rally and show us men can parent, albeit in their own spray-paint-the-pageant-dress and feed them Ramen noodles fashion.Skip to next paragraph
Lisa Suhay, who has four sons at home in Norfolk, Va., is a children’s book author and founder of the Norfolk (Va.) Initiative for Chess Excellence (NICE) , a nonprofit organization serving at-risk youth via mentoring and teaching the game of chess for critical thinking and life strategies.
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I know this series has all the hallmarks of playing to the cheap seats as a feel-good marathon for the Lifetime female audience, but I think men are much more capable and resilient when put to the test. If they fail, it will be more attributable to the one-week “experiment,” which was previously produced for TV in England, Canada, and Morocco.
Because if you give the men much longer than a week, they will find a work-around and then the whole feel-good format is gone along with the women. I tell you this as a mom who went away for a week last year and came home to controlled hysteria, but after having to leave again the next week, returned to the male version of Martha Stewart and felt superfluous. Week one was a train wreck, but the second time my husband found his feet and reinvented himself, our family structure, and my workload in a meaningful and lasting way.
So it’s possible that we could see shades of that in the unscripted Lifetime series narrated by comedian Jeff Foxworthy and billed as a “social experiment of Biblical proportions.”
The show opened with two fiery sermons: one delivered by a man and the other by a woman in the town of Yamassee, S.C., population 1,000.
“Women! Can’t live with ‘em and can’t live without 'em," the male preacher quipped to his congregation.