Rachel asked, “What is your take on the new show coming to Lifetime called Preacher’s Daughters?” I figured that instead of just replying to her comment, I’d turn it into a post. Because this is going to be more than I can fit into one paragraph.
First of all, I don’t like most “reality tv” because it’s not reality. It’s a twisted sexed up version of reality. The networks only make those shows because so many American’s are either stupid enough to believe that it’s real, or they just don’t care and like to indulge on crap tv. Watching your favorite “guilty pleasure” tv show is fine, just don’t believe everything you see on tv.
Now that I’ve said that, let’s get on with the show. When I spoke with the producers of this show a year ago, I thought that it was going to be a top-notch documentary on preacher’s daughters, not a religious version of “Teen Moms.” Thankfully, my age disqualified me from being a part of this show. Also, there’s no way the Preacher would have ever agreed to something like this.
Maybe I’m being a bit harsh, but after watching the promo for the show, I was not impressed. It was more like mentally and spiritually offended. Of course, during the promo, they showed a clip of one of the girls having to break the “I’m pregnant” news to daddy. Then you hear the dad asking the girl how many (guys she’s been with) and saying that they need a paternity test. They are just trying to boost ratings, and that’s exactly how to do it.
I also feel a little sorry for the girls on the show. After watching all the clips online, it seems that their parents, like so many religious zealots (including my parents), have control issues. I know that my dad was so controlling of me that I never would have even dared ask him if I could go out on a date. Once, in seventh grade, I asked him if I could go to a school dance with a female friend, and his answer was, “No. All they do is play heathen music and the boys and girls dance together. You’re not allowed to ever go to those dances.” I knew right then that my social life was going to be nonexistent until after I moved out of the Preacher’s house, and I was right. I sure made up for it later though, and so will these girls. Actually, since times are very different now, these girls seem to be more rebellious earlier than I ever was. At least I waited until I was 18 and out of my dad’s house. Even then I tried to be a “good girl” and managed to stay a virgin until I was twenty-two. These girls are only sixteen and seventeen and they are already dressing like bimbo sluts and sneaking around having sex.
My sister, Fallen Angel, and I agree that just because a girl’s father is a preacher, that doesn’t mean she rebels any more than other kids. It just means that she’s scrutinized more closely than other kids. Being a preacher’s daughter means having a constant spotlight on you and being constantly judged. Unfair as it may be, it’s the truth. If the average teenage girl gets pregnant then she’s just a statistic, and no one really thinks twice about it. Hell, they even give some of them their own “reality shows.” However, if a preacher’s daughter gets pregnant out of wedlock, it’s a huge shock, a scandal, a blemish on her family’s name and reputation. It’s ridiculous. Kids are kids, and yes, some of them are going to have sex. It doesn’t matter who their parents are or what their parents do for a living.
This show is just another example of how the media is pushing a stereotype about a group of people. It’s stereotyping Christians, preachers, and of course preacher’s daughters. It’s true that some preacher’s daughters rebel with a vengeance (i.e. ME), but many of them lead normal, happy, productive lives. I’m sure that the producers of this show had a plethora of teenage girls to choose from for this show, including some very nice, good, and normal ones. Yet, they chose to have only the “wild” and “rebellious” ones on the show. Probably because good girls don’t boost ratings like slutty girls do. That’s sad, but true.
The fathers of these girls are another matter entirely. I don’t know how any true “man of God” who could allow their church, family, and daughters to be put on television and exploited in this way. Well, I can think of a couple of ways they would allow it…if they were sucked in by the greed and/or fame. Even if they did/do have the best of intentions in signing up for this show, they will soon learn that it’s not exactly like they thought it would be.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not too worried that the show will cast Christians in a negative light. Plenty of Christians do that all on their own. I’m worried about any negative stereotypes being encouraged. Sure we can laugh and make jokes based on stereotypes, but in the end all they really do is hold us all back as a society.
Maybe you think I’m encouraging the stereotype about preacher’s daughters. If so then you probably haven’t read much of this blog. Even my tagline at the top says “Nobody’s perfect. Why should I be any different?” And that’s exactly how I feel about it. I’m no different from anyone else. I have my good parts, my bad parts, my crazy parts, and my normal parts. I have good days and bad days just like everyone else. If I’m going to be judged on something, let me be judged on the kind of person that I am, not on who my father is.
I think the girls on this show should be given the same respect. They should be judged on who they are, and not on how controlling or extremist or conservative their fathers are. God knows, they will have a hard enough time as it is just being teenage girls.