Friday, March 23, 2007

I Scare Myself

Suze Orman scares me. A lot of people will say that's because I am just afraid of strong women who assert themselves. That's true. I'm generally afraid of strong people, men or women, who assert themselves. I'm generally afraid of women. Still, Suze is special.
I think it all starts with the wide-eyed leer coming from the cover of her new book, "Women and Money." In it, she claims, "I want you and every woman you know to take control of your lives by taking control of your finances." Do I feel excluded because I won't be part of the great solution? You bet. It also seems to imply that I may be part of the problem. I feel threatened by her assertion that her streamlined plan will: "Create a healthy relationship with your money,
Make more out of the money you have for yourself and those you love, Gain the freedom to make your own choices." I am horrified to imagine just how unhealthy my relationship with money must be, and I wouldn't know how to make more out of the money I have (unless you mean folding it into those neat little paper cranes). As for having the freedom to make my own choices, I already have that. My wife said I did, anyway.
Finally, the what really sticks with me about Suze are two images from her most recent foray onto public television. The first was the group of women packed into the theater, hanging on her every word and taking notes. Wouldn't it have been nice if someone could have mentioned to these nice ladies that the whole show would be available on broadcast (in high definition in most markets) and they would have the freedom to make the choice of writing down salient points a their leisure? The other moment came when the PBS broadcast broke for one of their non-commercial plead-a-thons. Suze was there, all wild-eyed and ready to go, as a phalanx of telephone operators, all of whom were women, were standing by to take your pledge to keep quality programming like "Women and Money" on the air. I thought about the women staring off into the middle distance as they accepted credit card numbers from strangers who were hoping to make a better relationship with their money, or at least their public television station.
I guess it could be worse. It's not Doctor Laura.

1 comment:

Robin said...

I'm trying to figure out who gave Suze Orman and Wayne Dyer airtime on PBS in the first place. They often show up in my TV Guide as "Members' Choice," so I try to guess which members are selecting self-help seminars over American history or dolphin footage or a symphony. Isn't public television supposed to have some kind of standards beyond what our richest neighbors say they want to see?