Lifetime TV Creates a World No Sane Male Will Visit

‘The Week the Women Went’ is an experiment in ‘I don’t want it.’

Why do all these women look as if they’d just won the lottery? (Photo: Lifetime TV)

Jul 28, 2012
Allan MacDonell is TakePart’s News + Opinion editor, with a focus on social justice.

Following the lead of Canada’s CBC Television and the UK’s BBC, Lifetime TV is foisting The Week the Women Went upon the American cable landscape. Billed as “the greatest social experiment,” experiment in what is not specified, the unscripted show’s gimmick is to evacuate all adult women from a small town and film the fallout, supposedly to “explore modern gender roles.”

A promo for The Week the Women Went asks: “Can you imagine a world without women?”

I have an answer for that, an emphatic answer: “I refuse to imagine a world without women.”

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My world without women would be an uncomfortable, barren universe. For starters, I would have no world except for the extraordinary and, astoundingly, universal efforts of one particular woman; the woman I called Mom (right up until the day leukemia succeeded in taking her away).

I can hardly imagine my world without her, and it has lacked her for more than 20 years, and now I’m being asked to picture my current existence stripped of all its female participants? I should imagine friends, relatives and acquaintances, all gone?

On the list of professional people essential to my physical survival and mental stability, my dentist and my doctor are both women, my veterinarian is a woman as well, and both times I’ve needed to consult the clarity and support of a shrink, the shrink has been a woman. Here’s something I cannot picture: Me spilling my guts to some intrusive, unctuously interested dude who paid too much for and is too proud of that diploma on his office wall.

At least half of my favorite teachers were Mrs. or Miss Someone Very Important to My Development. More than half my coworkers are women. My boss, and I am not sucking up here, is a woman. My wife, that person who, for better or for worse, is one of the primary people who tolerates and often appears to enjoy my companionship, and who joins me in my most absorbing, ongoing conflicts and resolutions? She’s female.

Having received advance notice of The Week the Women Went, maybe I still haven’t heard the world’s most unappealing idea ever for a television program. But I would need to make a concerted effort to conceive of a less attractive reality than the “the greatest social experiment” that is The Week the Women Went.

Which do you prefer to imagine, a world without women? Or a world without reality TV? Leave your whys and why-nots in COMMENTS.

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