The sad reality of reality TV

I’m going to confess that I have watched a few Real Housewives in the past.  (I even checked into the Khardashians for about 15 minutes and yeah…ummm, I just can’t even.)  Pure entertainment from a completely surreal and alternate universe of “real”.  They were always amusing until the repetitive catfights.  Meow.  I mean….I am 45 and I’ve never fought with my girlfriends like that.  My sister in our hormone fueled teen years maybe….but not my friends.  I’ve never even seen my friends fight like that with other friends.

Anyway, the reality is that as a society we can’t wait for these Reality TV people to fall in real life and Man.  The press is all over that like white on rice.  We have sunk to a ridiculously new low with these shows.  My idea of Reality TV is HGTV…you know reno shows.  Good stuff!  Show me what I can do when I knock down a wall…THAT’S what I’m talking about.

And now, with Josh Duggar.  I know this is going to be controversial but several things just really stand out to me here.

  • This was 13 years ago, right?  He was 14.  Right?
  • It appears the family addressed this in several ways and there weren’t any further issues.
  • He repented.  He moved on.  There was forgiveness.
  • I’m not condoning any actions here, but it would seem this was dealt with on many different levels at the time it occurred.  And of course, we only know what we hear in the press… let’s take it all with a grain of salt, the truth lies somewhere in between and since I have no personal knowledge of this situation, my assumptions are as generalized as the folks who are ready to hang this young man.  For something he repented of.  as a teenager.

Isn’t this what we desire when people are wrong?  When they make poor choices?  Repentance.  Rehabilitation.  Are we now saying that a 14 year old can’t ever recover from mistakes?  Yes, they are at the age of reason, but they are not fully developed in the brains yet.  This is why we don’t consider them adults until they are 18.  Even then it’s another 7 years until the frontal neurons finally connect and actions and consequences are (hopefully) more understood.  Then why do we even bother with rehab programs and releasing people from juvenile detention, jail and prison?  Because if you can’t be expected to recover from  your mistakes at 14 do we ever??

I realize the biggest concern is that this is of sexual nature, however, shouldn’t actions be the proof of rehabilitation?  Truly, this can be translated to every poor choice made:  drugs, alcohol, theft, running with the wrong crowd.  It just seems ridiculous to me to expect change but to never REALLY expect that it will occur.

Unfortunately, once people put themselves “out there” it’s game on in the public perception.  I hope and pray we, as a society, can let go of this mob mentality and maybe the reality tv trash, too.


5 thoughts on “The sad reality of reality TV

  1. laurachristine06

    The tragedy in all this IMHO is that the parents willingly made their family into public figures *knowing* this skeleton was in their closet. If he’s truly repented, Josh should be able to have a clean slate. Now his name has been dragged through the mud. And his sisters should be able to heal in anonymity. No victim of sexual abuse should have her status made public *except* by her own choosing. But here, neither the brother nor the sisters had any choice in the matter because of their parents’ greed and/or stupidity.


  2. Micaela

    I agree with everything you said, Tracy. I’ve only been following it from a distance because crimes against children do horrible things to my psyche, but for all I can tell, we need to leave these people alone on this subject. And maybe their parents should cancel the show to focus on healing their family.


  3. motherhoodandmiscellany

    I agree. I think the worst part of it all is that people are so thrilled to be able to have a scandal involving the very outwardly religious Duggar family, that they splashed this all over the media with no concern for the victims and how it would affect them to have their privacy completely disregarded. The victims were victimized all over again in the name of ratings.

    I came over to your blog from the Edel Gathering FB thread. I’m hoping to get to meet you in Charleston!



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