Military widows are working hard enough to get their lives back on track without suffering reality TV producers chasing them down. This week the spouse blog community is in an uproar about the reality TV show that is stalking military widows in order to find one that will agree to a show about finding new love. According to blogger Jaci Greggs (meandmysoldierman.com) this is not going over well at all:
The overwhelming response from the milspouse blogging community has not been favorable, to put it mildly. We’re at once a diverse group and a uniform one…. And fiercely protective of our own. And when one of our spouses becomes a Gold Star spouse, we all hurt. And when we feel like they’re being exploited or harassed, we circle the wagons.
One way the wagons are being circled is through a twitter campaign #istandwithmilwidows which was started to raise awareness that the military community does not approve of the harassment of military widows in any form.
Another campaign is being directed against the Magical Elves casting company. Erika, a National Guard spouse writing as Chambanachik, was contacted to appear on the show even though she is not, in fact, a widow. Erika states, “Don’t mess with these girls- my girls.” She proposes an email to be sent to the casting company at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Her proposed letter reads:
Hi Karla, I belong to a huge group of military spouse bloggers, some of whom are widows. (I assume you’re targeting military widows from the amount of emails that have been going around.) I understand that you have a job to do, but I ask that you stop sending all the emails. You obviously don’t have the sympathy and tact to understand that something as outrageous as a widow’s dating show is highly offensive on so many levels. I cannot imagine one of my widow friends having to deal with one of these emails, and I’m being told they have been sent more than one. We’re a tight-knit group of bloggers, and when one of us hurts, we all hurt. Please look for stories elsewhere if it’s truly a show that needs to be done (I think not), but stop this outrageous harassment of military widows in particular, or I will be forced to bring this to the attention of the media.
This issue has my attention. Military widows — as well as wounded warrior wives and couples experiencing marital difficulties due to the effects of war — are not entertainment. This is real life that requires the attention of real people. Television needs to step away and reflect on why so many of you are so interested in what so many of us do every day.