I began watching the Maury show a year or so ago. Maury comes on at seven a.m. where I live and I happened to be flipping through the channels one day and landed on the show where Maury was handing out paternity test results. I found myself unable to look away, sort of like a car wreck. Women were claiming to be 1000% sure the man they accused of being their “baby-daddy” was indeed the man who fathered their child. At the same time, the man in question was whole-heartedly denying being the father.
With a background in counseling and law enforcement, I started asking myself questions about these people. First, why on earth would anyone want to air their dirty laundry publicly? Personally, I have enough skeletons in my own closet, but that’s exactly where skeletons belong—locked away, out of sight. Second, why are they 1000% sure all of the time? Isn’t 100% as sure as anyone can be about anything? Third, why do these women want apparently deadbeat men who care nothing for them or their children to be proven he is the father?
After watching this show for more than a year now, I admit I am addicted to the paternity shows, although I do enjoy the hidden video shows as well, and the lie detector tests to prove fidelity, but that’s another subject. I had to ask myself what is it about these shows that keeps me tuning in every single day, even when it’s a rerun of a previous paternity test show I’ve already seen? Why do I continue to watch women scream at the top of their lungs at a man who just as adamantly denies paternity?
One thing that never fails to amaze me are the men on the show. I cannot count the number of times I’ve heard the accused men say the reason he cannot be the father is because the woman slept with him on the first date, so she’s a ho and would sleep with anyone. Okay, she slept with him on the first date, but didn’t he sleep with her on the first date too? And why, in this enlightened day and time, are women still held to higher standards of sexual purity than men?
I saw a show once where the woman had tested thirty-four different men and still hadn’t found the one who fathered her child. I saw a man who admitted to fathering twenty-one children and still denied the two children by two other women who were on the show accusing him. And I was fascinated! So what is wrong with me?
Perhaps the guests on the show are lying and only play these roles for a trip to the big city and a break from their humdrum lives, but what am I getting out of watching? Am I a closet voyeur? Does their apparent suffering fill some need within me? Do I feel superior to these women because I have no doubt who my “baby-daddy” is? Or am I just watching for the entertainment value it offers?
All good questions, but I choose not to dwell too deeply upon any of them. I have told myself the reason I continue to watch is that just once I’m waiting for a woman to stand up in front of that live audience, on camera and say, “I’m a big ass ho and I have no idea who my baby-daddy is. My bedroom has a revolving door and the line moves briskly along.”
I figure that at some point we’ve all been big ass hoes, even if we didn’t wind up pregnant, and even if we don’t admit it publicly. As for me, my big ass ho days are behind me, but I sure do miss them! So the next time you watch Maury, or Jerry, or Steve, grab a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, sit back and relax—it’s a guilty pleasure no one else need know about. This is just between you and me.