Any man who has ever been in a relationship with a woman has at some point been subjected to watching Lifetime Television - for several hours on end, usually on a random Sunday. If for some reason this has not happened to you, pay close attention, for the following will save you future shock, awe and revelation.
She will be surfing around aimlessly and somewhere between the Disney Channel and ABC Family she will land upon a Made-for-Lifetime Movie. Starting then, the remote will not be touched for at least three hours, depending on what point you have entered the programming.
You poor bastard.
Whichever program you are coerced into watching, this will be the overarching message: men are horrible, horrible creatures (pigs). The series of events it takes to reach this conclusion is irrelevant. On Lifetime, it always ends up here. So don't be alarmed.
Comprehensive analysis of Made-for-Lifetime Movies reveals that only two basic plot lines actually exist. They also form the basis of everything ever aired on Lifetime (excluding some commercials, of course).
Main woman is in a seemingly happy relationship with a semi-wealthy to wealthy man, who nine times out of 10 has black hair and a goatee. One day woman grows suspicious of man when one or more of the following happens:
1. Man says he will be "held up late at the office because of the upcoming board meeting and the boss is breathing down my neck."
2. She finds another woman's lipstick on the collar of his white dress shirt.
3. He claims to be away on business, but after an amateur investigation and/or pursuit, woman discovers man to be in the arms of another woman, at a motel very close to their home town.
Again, not important. Man's plan is foiled and he now tries to kill woman. He always drives a black Lincoln. Due to man's careless nature and susceptibility to let testosterone get the best of him, he fails, and woman ends up killing man in self-defense. If she has a child they move far, far away to start anew. If she is not a mother, she moves in with her own mother to mend.
Conclusion: men are horrible, horrible creatures who kill women (if necessary).
Pretty intense stuff to be near the Disney Channel, no?
Main woman is successful, independent and of the upper-middle class. She either is ill with or has recently fought and overcome breast cancer. She oft reflects on the several serious relationships she has had in her lifetime (no pun intended), but that have failed to materialize into anything permanent. She wears dark-rimmed glasses and has four close girlfriends.
Her best friend sets her up on a blind date with a loose acquaintance of hers - "a friend of a friend." To her own disbelief, the date goes surprisingly well and she ends up falling in love with "Mr. Right." The couple is happier than ever when things take a turn for the worse.
Over a bottle of red wine, an argument ensues and man strikes woman. It is not yet evening. When she regains consciousness it is the next day and she has trouble piecing together the previous night's events. Then she notices the cuts and bruises on her neck and arms. She concludes she has been abused. She is about to go to the police when she receives threats from man not to do so, or else there will be "repercussions." Her friends encourage her to do so anyway.
So she does. Mid phone call or en route to the police station, there is a struggle between her and man, usually in her own home or on the side of the road, in the woods, at dusk, in the rain. Either way glass is somehow broken. She kills man in self-defense.
Conclusion: men are horrible, horrible creatures who beat women (if necessary).
To the directors of Lifetime Television: are you feminist lesbians or twice-divorced straight women with an undying hatred for people with penises? My guess is the latter since every woman ever featured on Lifetime Television is straight.
Can you imagine if there was a channel like this for men? I mean, there's plenty of stuff out there that objectifies women - but what about an entire channel where the target viewership is sensitive males and plots feature backstabbing women who lie, cheat, connive and steal from men and men are left with no other choice but to kill women in self-defense?
It just doesn't seem possible.
So grab a beer and get comfortable, guys. It's gonna be a long one. Just remember: you're not that bad.
For a parting thought, I'll leave you with this: I recently discovered that Lifetime is actually an acronym. The underlying message? Like, I Freaking Envy The Instant Men Existed.