What is it about a cat fight?
From an early age, our mothers taught us to act "lady like". Well, most of our mothers, but it was sort of an unwritten rule that a girl should act a certain way. They told us to act demure, speak softly and if we had a point to make, to speak succinctly and assuredly, so as to get our point across. Be eloquent and make people listen to our logic, and above all always keep our emotions in check. At least in public, for one would never want to be considered one of "those girls".
With the dawn of the new Millenium, social media and reality TV, those social mores, taught by years of mothers before us, have basically gone to the dogs...or the cats, because in this day and age, it's the "cat fight" that gets the attention. By today's standards it's the squeakiest wheel that gets grea$ed, and "those girls" are fast becoming reality starlets with publicists and posse's to prove it.I'm not saying this is the way to go, either. What I am saying is that it's a fact that a cat fight translates into TV ratings and magazine covers, and why?
Take for example the Real Housewives franchise. Bravo built an entire TV network on cat fighting, bad behaving, supposed "housewives" who look to have it all and then some. But that wasn't good enough or interesting enough, and the Bravo exec's quickly realized that it was the most controversial housewives, the ones who made those cringe worthy moments happen, that the viewers really wanted to see. They wanted to talk about their bad behavior on social media sites and in blogs and fan the flames for more bad behavior.
Probably the most notorious example of a Real Housewives cat fight moment was when controversial New Jersey housewife Theresa Guidice famously flipped a table. It was the flip heard around the world.
This clip is NSF and contains expletives.
Theresa then went on to become even more famous with her "Fabulous" empire of cookbooks and products, and she continues to cash in on her notoriety today. Look at NeNe Leakes from Real Housewive Atlanta. She's parlayed her bad girl, no nonsense, "oh no she didn't" image into a full on Hollywood acting career.
But before the bad behavior on Housewives, there was the man who built his image and fortune on cat fights. In 1991, a then almost unknown Jerry Springer launched "The Jerry Springer Show". I'm sure the intention of the show's original premise was good info, interviews and discussion, but it's producers soon realized that the shows about tawdry, controversial subjects were leading them to much higher ratings and bigger revenues. 22 years later, the show is simply nothing more than a cat fight boxing ring, complete with bells going off and hair weaves and wigs flying.
With topics like. "You Stole My Man and Then Had His Baby!" and "Bad Girls Oiled Up", it's just a matter of minutes before the fist-a-cuffs come out. Security is present, but they are more like the referee's in the ring, "keeping it clean". Springer even admitted in 2000 to Reuters in an interview, "I would never watch my show. I'm not interested in it. It's not aimed at me. This is just a silly show." Yet he cashes those silly checks.
Is the phenomenon of good girls gone bad enough to keep this detrimental behavior alive in the public eye? The answer remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure. I am part of the problem, not the solution. As long as I continue to watch these train wrecks happen, they will continue to produce them for my/our viewing. And I'm not quite sure how I feel about that.