to think that "The Undateables" is voyeuristic and wrong?

(215 Posts)
Bogeyface Tue 22-Jan-13 00:39:19

I have only watched part of one show as H put it on, I watched some of it and left the room in disgust. Am posting this as a trailer just reminded me.

Last week a young man with ASD was on there, and because he didnt understand how to behave or what to do when connecting with other people, his mum had texted him some tips. He memorised them and then did his best. It was horrible. He got it very wrong at times, and my heart went out to him because he was trying so hard. He was on a date with a young lady with learning issues and they were struggling to relate to each other.

Now dont get me wrong, I think that any programme that highlights the difficulties that anyone with (forgive me) "difficulities" faces is a good thing, but this wasnt presented like that. It was, to me at least, presented as "lets laugh at the thickos"

I have a son with cerebal palsy who I thought for years would never have an adult relationshp, so I accept that I may be very biased, but it just feels very wrong to me. Not the concept so much as the presentation.

PS DS is about to move in with his NT GF, who is wonderful and adores him but she doesnt take excuses and has taken him from a "I cant help it, I am disabled" teen into a "I am disabled, but thats your problem not mine" adult smile

TheSmallClanger Sun 12-Jan-14 16:48:27

I watched this for the first time this week. The only nagging doubt I had was about Daniel, and whether any pressure was put on he or the girl he saw (sorry, can't remember her name).

Mary was fab, wasn't she?

nkf Sun 12-Jan-14 15:54:30

I think people often have no idea of the effect being on a TV show will have on their lives. Or what a TV crew can do when they film or the editor can do later. How even the choice of music or the style of the credits can affect how you are presented. Not understanding that has nothing to do with disability or intelligence. As far as I'm aware, none of the participiants of the Undateables have complained about their treatment whereas I understand some of the people on Benefits St have.

As to whether it's voyeuristic or exploitative, I think you can watch it with those sentiments in mind or you can see something else. I don't think it was made to be exploitative. It seems calm and thoughtful and respectful to me. But how it's viewed with vary from person to person.

pigletmania Sun 12-Jan-14 15:40:31

Owlady I wasent specifically aiming at you just the general gist of some of the posts. The participants of the programme in question seem able to giv their informed consent, I am sure Daniels parentsvwould have talked him through everything before he agreed

Owllady Sun 12-Jan-14 14:58:05

Think delusion might be the wrong word! I am in a very noisy room. I mean i expect it to happen, it would be no surprise
With one of HER peers
Ie. Someone she is equal with/to

Owllady Sun 12-Jan-14 14:56:10

Sorry if i have come accross as treating the contestants like children, i didnt mean to. I tend to though because it could be my child you know, i didnt mean it patronising
My dd has sld amongst other things, i am not under any delusions that she may have sex with one of her peers and enjoy it

pigletmania Sun 12-Jan-14 12:59:08

Gosh I know spero some people infantalise disability and are aghast that they have sex! Yes actually, and they date, shock horror, and even worse they want to be in a tv programme about it! Would those people say that programmes such as Dinner Date or others like it, are exploiting and voyeuristic! Yes channel 4 do make some car crash tv, but they ave also made informative and interesting programmes too.

Spero Sun 12-Jan-14 12:03:24

I have had this argument quite a few times on this forum but I am always struck by the refusal of some abled bodied people to want to even consider the issue of disabled people and sexuality.

For e.g. if I had a pound every time an abled bodied person had expressed surprise when I said it is harder to find a relationship when you are physically disabled, I would have nearly £30.

If however I had a pound for every time an abled bodied person had expressed disgust at my disability, in person and on line, I would probably have been able to buy my current house outright.

MrsMiniver Sun 12-Jan-14 10:43:03

I watched it with DD (14) and we were both touched by its humanity and it didn't come across as exploitative at all. It presented the protagonists as warm and lovely people, which isn't the case with most reality TV shows is it? I felt nothing but respect for them and learnt something along the way. Not sure about the title either, but that's a minor point.

pigletmania Sun 12-Jan-14 10:22:29

Exactly spero, it does sound like mostly the problem lies with other non disabled people, not having contact with people who do have disabilities. It's almost putting them in a childlike pigeonhole, they are need to be protected and hidden. Yes there are those who have disabilities who do need to be protected, and who aren't not have the capacity to understand and give consent to being on tv, no they probably would not be in the show. So far all the people in the show seem like they have the capacity to understand and give consent

Spero Sun 12-Jan-14 09:50:14

I agree with piglet mania, and I see that i did in 2013 as well!

Sad that disabled people wanting to find love is seen by some people as 'disgusting' and a 'freak show'.

Yes, Channel 4 may well be playing on that angle; I note with sadness how they fucked up Wife Swap over the years. But these people have agreed and consented to be on the show. They want to share their stories.

I really wonder why some able bodied people feel such deep unease about this. It is probably because most of them have no daily contact with disabled peopled. I am probably the only disabled person most of my abled bodied friends know, apart from elderly relatives who are disabled by age related conditions.

PeriodFeatures Sat 11-Jan-14 23:05:44

It's real feel-good telly. I love it. It's like dinnerdate without the bullshit. There is something refreshing about people's vulnerabilities being out in the open. It's honest and real.

ILots of people struggle to relate to each other. There was that dating programme where viewers could phone in and date people whilst being filmed at that pop-up restaurant? That could be said to be voyeristic too. I think that when disability and vulnerability make us uncomfortable, it is our problem. It isn't exploitative unless individuals are being exploited. I don't think they are.

pigletmania Sat 11-Jan-14 21:50:32

That's awful sunshine. The recent show seemed very positive, you cannt control viewers reactions when watching the programme, some will take te pissas they are nasty indvdas, bt most will be positive.

CCTVmum Sat 11-Jan-14 20:58:20

I was shocked the female athlete was on their as she is so attractive and fab personality! I would not call her undateable?

I though Daniel did better than most NT men do on first dates! It was lovely to see his eyes light up when he saw his date! Although I understand these dating sites have to be monitored or policed more due to vuln persons but I think all dating sites need excellant policing!

I feel happy their is a well managed site like this for my DS when older rather than risk taking POF or DD etc

It is good it has raised the issue that everyone has needs and wants and everyone is entitled to have their needs and wishes met.

ForalltheSaints Sat 11-Jan-14 20:39:45

I have not watched it, as I wonder to what extent you can consider the participants can consent to appearing in the way most of us could.

nkf Sat 11-Jan-14 20:25:26

I think they have chosen a lovely bunch of people. I think some viewers probably are horrible and sneery when they watch it. I don't know anyone who is, but I'm cynical enough to believe some people might regard it as a freak show. The people on there are usually very thoughtful and optimistic. I don't like the show much but then I don't really like that sort of show.

sunshinemmum Sat 11-Jan-14 17:18:37

That is comforting, I still wouldn't watch, as we have been targeted in pretty awful ways over the years, with regard to disability hatred, but hopefully these people will get adequate support after the series airs.

stillenacht Sat 11-Jan-14 15:54:59

Have just watched the first episode on 4OD and absolutely loved Daniel. My son has low functioning autism but is beginning to speak and I hope one day he will function at the same level as Daniel. Watched it in tears of hope smile

pigletmania Sat 11-Jan-14 15:39:58

Yes it is sunshine, so far this recent series has been sensitively and thoughtfully made. Obviously the contestants do, and it is there decision to take part in the programme

sunshinemmum Sat 11-Jan-14 14:54:47

'It's designed to be thought provoking and elicit discussion.'

Is it is it really? I switched off what I saw of the first show, because I felt that it was exploitative. Yes of course people with disabilities have every right to date, but I know that my son who has autism would not understand the wider exposure and public scrutiny that taking part in a fly in the wall style documentary, would have for him socially.

pigletmania Sat 11-Jan-14 14:20:48

Take part I meant

pigletmania Sat 11-Jan-14 14:20:09

I have just read through some of the posts on here, the prejudice and stereotypes within those posts astounds me. These individuals were able to give their consent and wanted to rake oars in a programme about dating when you gave a disability. They are not children to be hidden away and 'protected' from the big bad world, how patronising! Apparently they chose the title, which the un is dropped to read 'date able'. It's designed to be thought provoking and elicit discussion. If you found their behaviour uncomfortable to see, and should not be shown on TV, that's your problem nit theirs, they are entitled as anybody else to date and wasn't to make a programme about it!

perlona Sat 11-Jan-14 12:39:06

I like the show. The name starts as the 'undateables' before dropping the 'un', it wasn't declaring them 'undateable' but that they saw themselves that way due to facing a lot of prejudice and were now allowing themselves to be 'dateable' by putting themselves out there.

I thought the show was filmed sensitively but honestly as well. I really think that the type of sick fucks who would mock any person on the show for their differences will also be mocking every disabled person who crosses their paths in public. Rather than hiding disabled people to 'protect' them from ignorant shits, deal with the ignorant shits. They're the problem.

If people were responding to a show about racial or religious minorities with offensive hate speech, the police would be investigating, society does not tolerate racism, it should be equally intolerant of disablism.

BrawToken Sat 11-Jan-14 12:09:01

'Capacity' is the most infuriating and over used word I hear these days herethereandeverywhere! That and 'appropriate'. I would rather assume someone is able to make choices and be proved wrong (obviously there are some exceptions) and that if someone thinks they are being 'appropriate' (again with some obvious exceptions) then so be it. And I don't give a shit if the scowling old lady (it's always an older lady!) on the bus disagrees!

checkmates Sat 11-Jan-14 12:06:49

I have watched the programme in the past Not entirely comfortable But will give it another go

herethereandeverywhere Sat 11-Jan-14 11:57:50

Well said Braw Token, particular your first post.

I'm a bit hmm at some posters upthread who have assumed that the people featured cannot give their consent to be on the programme nor understand its implications - THAT is a huge assumption and prejudice.

Also the implication that TV programmes about disabled people should only be about how difficult it is to live with and care for them bothers me. I don't deny these difficulties exist but this programme goes some way to address the fact that people with LD and disabilities are just 'one of us'.

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