The "Beatin' Up Women" Network

      • “Smack!” “Pow!” “Krackk!” “Thud!” That’s not Batman, that’s, ,
  • the Lifetime network, for those of you who have not experienced US cable TV.
    -My mom watches some of the shows on this station and occasionally leaves it on, and y’know, from what little I’ve seen just passing through, I doubt I have ever seen as many women get beat up per hour on any other network at any point in time as I can regularly on Lifetime. You can almost figure if you watch for a half-hour, you will see at least two woman-beatings, if not more. The female leads of many shows (especially the “Made For Lifetime” movies) get beaten pretty regularly, I note. Every criminal is a man, which isn’t to far off the truth, but then you have this image… of virtuous women repeatedly getting beaten up, because (almost) all men are criminals. OK, whatever. - The “beating” I can’t quite get though: why? Is it just an easy way to depict suffering? Is it something of a spectacle? I get this wierd vision of the salesman calling advertisers:
  • “Say, we got a new show this spring, big name stars, million dollar production. Interested?”
        • “How many BPH* does it have?”
          *=Beatings Per Hour
  • “Fifteen now, but it’s in editing. We’re gonna massage it a bit more. I can see 17, maybe 18.”
    -From watching the amount of violence towards women on this channel, I can logically assume that somebody likes to watch women getting beat up. The problem is, the advertisers are slanted heavily towards women. It may be dumb, but it seems to sell, so there must be something to it’s attraction. So come clean, ladies: do you like getting beaten up? Do you have any tolerance of it? Is it “normal”? Do you like watching other women get beaten up? -And finally, would you let male children watch this channel? It makes it seem like beating women is normal; like it’s what men are supposed to do every now and then, which doesn’t seem like it would help the problem in the future any. And is anyone protesting/boycotting this station? Regularly featuring intragender boxing can’t be helping women’s causes much, partcularly showing it on a channel targeted at women viewers.
    -I yam stumped. - MC

A standup comic (can’t remember who) once said that Lifetime is the “Meredith Baxter gets the crap beat out of her” network, which ain’t too far from the truth…

I think the deal is, the network wants to show women being empowered; in order to do that, the female characters have to overcome some sort of obstacle to empowerment, and an abusive SO is the quick ‘n’ dirty way to accomplish that. Almost as popular these days is the “lecherous boss” from which the female lead must escape.

In our household it’s referred to as the “Men Are Pigs Network.”

All Purpose Listing for Tonight on Lifetime:

  • After suffering years of abuse at the hands of her wealthy husband, Kate Jackson learns to live…and love…again*

I think that whole network is written by Danielle Steele.
On the upside for us ladies, you also get a fair amount of Ken Olin saturation. They have three of his made for t.v. movies that they seem to run on a repetoire. If I see him kill one more estranged wife I’ll tear my own hair out.

My husband nearly went batty one night because we got sucked into watching an ENTIRE Lifetime movie just so I could get my Ken Olin fix (why don’t they run thirtysomething in syndication?). At the end of the movie, he just looked at me and said,

“If you ever tell ANYONE that I watched three hours of Lifetime, I’ll bury you in the backyard.”

we’re in love.


The only Lifetime movie I ever watched was called “Baby Monitor: Sounds of Fear”. I strongly doubt that its makers intended me to laugh as hard as I did through the entire thing.

I never realized that about Lifetime, MC - how very creepy. I wouldn’t see those shows as necessarily empowering to women.

Most of the stories they show on Lifetime are taken from true life incidents. I agree that they are trying to empower women, however, it starts to grate on ya after a while. Maybe they should show more women breaking the glass ceiling, doing great volunteer work, etc.

What, pray tell, was the plot of this movie?! It sounds like an overhyped EyeWitness News expose.

Can’t stand Lifetime in general: the movie dialogue is sappy and the characters are so badly written and stereotyped that a gingerbread cookie has more depth. As it stands, I will usually tune in to the last 10 minutes to watch the rapist/mugger/arsonist/wife-beater get caught and brought to justice. Hey, it’s like watching Matlock: they show you info you were not privy to during the show, and you know the last person on the stand is the one who really did it…

Except if I’m home from work I’ll watch Lifetime to get a couple hour fix of Designing Women and The Golden Girls, when Time-Warner is not showing infomercials on the station.

Speaking as a woman, and as a woman who’s had a few obstacles of her own (and which I’ve overcome quite nicely, thank you very much), I find the Lifetime channel to be insulting and degrading, not only to women, but to men as well.

NO woman deserves to be tortured at the hands of another, and NO man deserves to have the stereotype of torturer applied, especially for the purposes of “entertaining”. I see nothing entertaining about watching stereotypes of abused women fighting for their lives against stereotypes of abusive men. Or against diseases which are eminently treatable. (I’ve known women with breast cancer who have gotten through treatment with such grace and dignity and humor that it makes the average Lifetime heroine seem positively insane.)

Admittedly, most of the movies are horrible, but some of the nice, fluffy romance stories are good for nice, fluffy romance stories.

I also happen to like Any Day Now and Strong Medicine (in spite of its title). And they show Murphy Brown reruns…

Tonight on Lifetime (Feb 12, 2001):

A Mother’s Fight for Justice (2001)
A woman mounts a crusade to deal with the drunken driver who hit her son. Based on a true story.

Starring: Jean Stapleton & Meredith Baxter

The thing that bugs me about Lifetime is that it (for some reason) bought the rights to Unsolved Mysteries, which airs every weekday at 1 AM. Therefore, I’ll be watching Robert Stack tell us about chilling disappearances that were resolved in 1991, and all of a sudden, commercial time. Someone walks into the room, notices the “Television for Women” pitch, and raises an eyebrow. No!! I’m just watching UNSOLVED MYSTERIES! IT IS A MANLY SHOW! DAMN YOU, LIFETIME!

occ - thank you for the giggle - I can picture thwe conversation: the more you defend yourself, the worse it gets.

"No really! I was watching “Unsolved Mysteries! Really!”
“Uh-huh, sure, riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight…”

On the same note, didn’t Lifetime run “Homicide: Life on the Streets” for a short time before it was moved to CourtTV?

Movies on Lifetime have pretty much the same title: (Dangerous-Sounding Adjective) (Noun): The (Name Of Woman) Story.

I despise Lifetime. Every movie I’ve seen (in the listings – I don’t voluntarily subject myself to such abuse) seems to center around how some woman “overcomes” some bad situation or other that anyone else would’ve seen coming and gotten out of the way of.

If you want to see REAL empowered women, watch “the Powerpuff Girls” on the cartoon channel. None of this noble suffering in dignity for them, nossirree! They proactively grab trouble by the shirt and beat it into submission! Now there’s empowerment!


[sup]Yeah, I know the PPG are cartoons, but the movies on LT are less realistic anyway. “Based on a real-life story” my arse![/sup]