Does The View pit women against one another? Sure, it does
My Facebook is erupting with anger and nonsense. A friend of mine who is a nurse is up in arms over The View's Michelle Collins' snide comments about Miss Colorado's take on nursing as her skill during a recent pageant. Is nursing a skill? Definitely. Did Collins agree? Of course not. Friends are posting micro-essays on the importance of nurses and nursing and, obviously, they're right. I'm sure you've seen it. It looks a little something like this:
There are even commenters trying to blame the comments of the "comedian" on a liberal viewpoint. Any liberal will tell you that's crazy — we love nurses, too. But that won't stop the hate from flowing forth. Why?
Because once you put an idiotic thought out onto the Internet, someone is going to latch onto it and never. let. it. go. We live in a world where people spend their free time trolling the Internet for things to comment on. We seem to thrive on controversy and a clashing of viewpoints. But, is that possibly the best way to do things? Wouldn't the world be a better place if we could learn to communicate peacefully?
Wouldn't the world be a better place without The View?
I surmise that it would be. Pick an episode, any episode, and watch what happens at The View's table. Rarely do you see two women taking on a hot topic and debating it calmly. Instead, you have angry women spewing pop culture-related venom at one another. These four or five women are paid millions of dollars to argue. They "listen" for what they want to comment on, instead of listening for the sake of understanding. They let the first thought that comes to mind come rolling off their tongues instead of taking the time to come up with clear, concise, well-thought-out commentary. The result: chaos. In fact, take a look for yourself:
Just think about the hiring process. They hire an outspoken Christian conservative (Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Candace Cameron Bure). Then they hire an exceedingly liberal woman who is somehow an affront to Christian beliefs (Raven-Symoné, Rosie O'Donnell). The filler is usually two more women who fall somewhere in between the spectrum. These aren't women with political, sociology or even religion degrees. They're celebrities who are already known for standing up for what they believe. From the very get-go, things are looking contentious.
Don't be fooled by their place in the world as proof that they're smart or how important they tell you a matter is to them. At the end of the day, most TV shows live and die by their following and by the attention they attract. By that logic, we should assume that the women of The View are paid not necessarily based on how well-loved they are, but by who can bring the most viewers to the show, the most clicks to the YouTube page. That's not done with intelligent conversation; it's done when you pit women against each other. People click to hear some idiot comedian scoff at nurses. People share a video of a football player's wife referring to a civil rights movement as a "hate group".
I'm going to ruffle some feathers and suggest: The View doesn't promote intelligent thought. It rarely shares reliable statistical data. And, most important, it doesn't promote calm, mature debate. It pits women against each other. In promotes a culture in which it's acceptable to roll your eyes or make faces at a person who disagrees with you. It suggests that if you want to be listened to, you need only be louder than the rambling others at your table.
Is this who we want representing our gender? Should we really take their opinions seriously when they can't present them in a more adult manner?
So, before you rage against the comedian or rail against the close-minded conservative, remember: The View isn't news, it's entertainment. Ask yourself: Are these people true experts in what they're arguing about? Could I get more intelligent insight elsewhere? I'm not opposed to a show where women debate one another. I'm just not sure The View is the answer. I really want a show where women represent themselves better. I don't think that's too much to ask.