Well I think I’ve seen it all now – an ad promoting a reality TV show featuring none other than the never-really-was Mark Phillippoussis. In this show, called “The Age of Love”, the Poo (dubbed a “tennis megastar” but strangely not identified by name in the voice-over) gets to choose from a literal bevy of women all vying for his attention. And what could be more humiliating than making women compete for the fleeting fancy of an egotistical macho man? By making them compete in two teams according to their age – one group of competitors is in their 20s, the other in their 40s.
Over and above the execrable gender politics of the universe in which this scenario is deemed an appropriate “entertainment”, what exactly is the prize? At least on American Idol there are clear professional benefits that accrue to the winner. A recording contract, exposure to millions of potential record-buyers, the knowledge that he or she has some combination of vocal skill and popular appeal. These women of course were not forced to participate in the show; but in the year 2007 I am still dumbfounded by the fact that there are women who believe participation – and, one has to assume, consummation – is a professional and personal step forward. A Poo on both your houses.