What is it with Meredith Vieira?
I never found her objectionable before. I kept an open mind about the shoes she had to fill on the Today show. I reminded myself that this is 2% News instead of Whole News. That's fine. I'm living lowfat these days anyway. Plus, it's sort of op ed broadcasting, and I anticipated angles and setups and so forth.
But Meredith. Meredith. Meredith. Meredith. I can't seem to like you on the Today Show. In fact, right now, I'm thinking I don't much like you at all, period.
First you did the whole drinking moms and aren't moms just babysitters without pay thing. Now, in that case, it was a little hoopla. The backlash of comments were actually more interesting than anything you said or implied. However, I gotta say, it's not so much what you said as how you said it.
And that is exactly what happened today.
Today you interviewed two women about sex and I swear to mackerel your lips were puckered up like you tasted something foul the entire time.
The promo for the interview reads:
Laura Sessions Stepp, author of "Unhooked," and Amber Madison, author of "Hooking Up," talk with TODAY host Meredith Vieira about the new culture of casual sex among teens, and its effect on young women.
At Bunko on Friday night, we discussed this very issue, by strange coincidence. Many of the women in my group (you know, basically my age bracket) have teens. One lady is a principal. They were discussing how kids have to smoke outside now when sneaking cigarettes because the bathroom stalls are always so full of kids getting and giving blowjobs.
I gave a very credible impression of a cod just yanked out of a crystal clear lake.
At least I looked surprised and not like I just ate bad prunes.
At least I didn't say, "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free," and pucker up a little more, lowering my face, looking up through my lashes, all while leaning back and folding my arms across my belly..
Like Meredith did this morning.
I'm not sure who looked more startled: me, or the two authors. Young Amber Madison recovered first.
"Umm, that's kind of offensive to men and women," she said, going on to explain that we need to acknowledge the emotion in men as much as we need to acknowledge the sexuality in women.
Meredith just raised her brows.
Honest to abe I cannot tell if Meredith's cow comment was a setup, or a really prudish judgment. If it was a setup, her body language and choice of wording to setup the discussion was...well, horrible. It was offensive and obnoxious.
Hooking up isn't new. It's not even a new term. Back in my salad days they also called it "fuck buddies." It was going on twenty plus years ago. I was there.
So is today really different?
I listen to all this talk about out of control teens and sex and I'm torn between whether this is some relapse to the early 60s with all the square cats pretending nothing ever happened at the drive-in or if it is some Emo-type overhype.
It seems pretty much like it ever was.
But I guess I'm not scouting high school bathroom stalls, either. I'm assured repeatedly it's not like it used to be. It's worse. A lot worse.
Okay. Maybe it is.
Or maybe it's just OUR KIDS and not US and OUR FRIENDS, and it seems worse because of that.
Or maybe we are older, instead of teens with fresh hormones and not much in life to distract from the sultry drive those entail.
Or maybe there really is a problem with teens not having a healthy attitude about sex, which begs the question, "Why?"
Teens have always been sex-crazed. It's a biological imperative. They play with boundaries and rules, including sex boundaries and rules. It wasn't so long ago that I don't remember the hot thrump of my heart pounding in my ears and stomach. I remember my fingertips going tingly with excitement when a boy I liked asked me out. I remember feeling light-headed when we both got into the car---alone, together---from the sheer overwhelming nearness of him. Blood rushed through my body in a different way then. Everything was closer to the surface, and I blushed more easily. I'm pretty sure both boys and girls breathed a little faster in proximity to a crush. Kids made good decisions, and bad ones, back when I was a teen.
So, if things are different, in a worse kind of way, then what happened, and is it really as widespread as reported?
I don't have any answers to that.
I can't say Meredith Vieira's offensive and tired phrase, "Why buy the cow when you get the milk for free?" displays any kind of healthy attitude about sex, love and relationships either.
I don't know every man in the world, and I haven't done any kind of scientific investigation, plus I live in a family-oriented suburb, so this is purely anecdotal with a probably heavy bias...but, there seem to be an awful lot of men I know who, while not perfect for every woman they ever dated (and who among us has never, ever been called a jerk by a disappointed ex?), have just as much emotion and appreciation for relationships as women do.
I managed to date an awful lot of these men. I managed to marry one, too.
I don't know. Maybe it's living up to expectation.
All I know is: I'm no cow, never met a man who thought I was one, and I never met a man who only ever cared about One Thing.
The other thing I know is that cow comment needs to be retired. Permanently. That's just as unhealthy an attitude as anything these "unhooked" and "casual sex" talking heads are expressing concern about.
Meredith, work on the body language, work on the comments. They aren't supercool ba-dum-dum one liners that make you look witty. It's not funny, or hip, and you aren't on The View any longer where you can stop and explain yourself. You sound and look obnoxious when you talk that way. Lean forward, ask challenging questions but use real words, not offensive cliches.
Please remember to send me a link to your blog post about HPV or to any good blog posts or resources you found useful and helpful...deadline is this Friday, March 9. For more information, read my blog post about this. I've gotten some great links so far and I look forward to more!
copyright 2007 Julie Pippert
Tags: "Unhooked" and "Hooking Up" and teens having casual sex,Meredith Vieira