Dr. Sheila's advice: The key is how and when you
tell her [ Mrs. Fowler ]. It is important here to stress to your friend your concern
for her welfare and happiness. Invite your friend out for coffee, tea,
or a stroll in the park. Tell her there is something very important you
want to talk to her about. Let her know how much you care about her and
how important she is to you. Then tell her that you have "noticed"
something. Tell her that you "noticed" that her husband [ Mr. Fowler ] doesn't treat
her very well and that concerns you. Ask her if she agrees with your
assessment. Give examples, if possible.
Be sure to NOT
husband bash. Don't call him names, etc. Just stick to your concern for
her. Decide in advance what support you can provide her and then offer
it. It maybe that you give her a book to read ("The Emotionally Abused
Wife" by Beverly Engel is particularly good) or the phone number of a good psychologist. You might offer to go with her to the
first appointment. Make sure your friend knows how serious this is and
how serious you are and that you are there for her.
There is a caveat I must offer here: Sometime the truth hurts and your friend may not welcome your comments or believe them. That's okay. You were a good friend sharing your concern with her. If she can't hear it now, maybe she'll be able to hear it later.
It looks like everyone's upset with the way the Wife Swap show went for San Francisco venture capitalist and his wife Renee Stephens and his temporary TV wife Gayla Long. The reviews are in. Fowler is "the most boorish and abusive of husbands ever to host a swapped wife," says Reality Roll Call. "Phenonemally cruel," says Gawker. "Stephen Fowler is everything wrong with the elitist eurotrash transplants in this country," (Fowler is British) says Fixn' To. Anybody else have something to say? "Pompous treehugger ass," says ecorazzi. Alright then. "Supreme douchebag," says Peter Staack's Ramblings. (Video from the show that had been everywhere is being pulled down like the Berlin Wall but seems to be still online here at GlossLip). Gayla is an average, nice Midwestern American, and Videogum reports Fowler spent much of the show verbally abusing his assigned "redneck" "wife." He called her fat and stupid and said 'I make more money in a week than you do in a year,' and was "basically the biggest douchebag ever to appear on reality TV" so "now Americans have joined together to collectively hate him."
As Rabbi Philospher itemizes: "In the course of the TV show he offended military personnel, mid-westerners, people with weight problems, people without college diplomas and the vast majority of Americans in general." There's been a Missouri-sized backlash from Midwesterners. In the words of a commenter at Gold Plated Witch on Wheels: "There is this superiority complex which liberals in general seem to have in regards to the 'midwestern simple redneck' (to use assbite Fowler's terms). This particular man only verbalized it on national TV " British blog Militant Ginger backlashes the backlash: "Just like Fowler had labelled Gayla a 'redneck' and attacked her for traits like her weight or her patriotism, many of the people reacting to Fowler attacked him for his nationality."
Then came a Stephen Fowler Sucks blog. A blogger posted Fowler's home address online and he had to threaten to sue the site. His real wife Renee apologized on her own blog, Inside Out Weight Loss. And he added his own mea cupla at the same site. And he resigned from the boards of two environmental nonprofits, Gawker reports. Of course the whole premise of Wife Swap is to exploit our wonderful differences -- the differenter the better. And the whole goal for the ABC network is to get people talking about the show. So maybe not everyone's upset about how it went.
"Tree...Hugger," says his shirt as he brutally berates his temporary wife.
"Sustainability!" his shirt exclaims as he kicks Mrs. Long out of his house.
"Go Solar," his shirt cries as his swapped-out helpmate weeps.
one of the letters that were sent to me:
Dear Mr. Fowler:
I will start this letter by
first stating that I rarely watch “reality” television. I
much prefer to watch what I consider, at least in my opinion, more worthwhile
programs. I would have never heard of you had it not been for
a headline on Yahoo, claiming that you were the worst husband ever.
Out of curiosity I clicked the link and then read of your behavior on
‘Wife Swap.’ As stated previously, I do not watch reality
television so therefore I have never viewed a single episode of ‘Wife
Swap’ but after reading about your rude and hateful behavior towards
Gayla, I made it a point to watch this particular episode.
It is here that I would like
to tell you that I’m a Missouri resident. I also will tell you
that I’m educated. I have two Bachelors degrees, one Masters
degree, and am currently working on a Ph.D. I have a BMI of 20
and I take good care of my body. I also endorse environmental
awareness and I live as ‘green’ as I can. I also take an interest
in other cultures and make it a point to stay current on global issues.
In short, I am everything a Missouri resident, a Midwesterner, should
not be according to your highly prejudiced, myopic viewpoint.
I took what I saw on ‘Wife
Swap’ with an ample grain of salt as “reality” as portrayed on
reality television may be a rather dubious representation of real life.
With that said, I was nonetheless horrified and appalled at what I can
only describe as vicious, callous, spiteful, arrogant, hateful, if not
downright pathological behavior on your part. In fact, I am very
confused as to why anyone with your so called intelligence and education
can act, and treat others, like you did.
It is therefore my opinion
that you, sir, are a fraud. It is my contention that you learned
very little during your education. If you had, you would have
discovered how interconnected we are with others as a species.
You would have noted from your history lessons how elitists have abused
the individuals they considered beneath them, as well as how kindly
history now remembers those elitists. You might have gained some
perspective on how utterly insignificant we are when compared to the
vastness of the universe. You also might have learned humility
and gratitude when you reflected on how very unlikely it is that we
are even here. Finally, if you would have been paying attention
at University, you would have felt a sense of responsibility to serve
humankind as well as the environment.
The individuals you scorn have
as much right to dignity as you, yet you completely demoralised that
woman as well as the rest of the people captured by your wide brush
strokes of generalisation. You apparently believe that people
who do not live up to your standards are subhuman. That attitude,
sir, is a very dangerous one to have as we have seen what happens when
one group of people dehumanise another group.
I am further saddened to see
you teach your children the same bigoted ideals. You are preparing
them to carry on your legacy of arrogance and pompousness. This
is doing a disservice to them as they will be handicapped in socialisation
skills with their fellow humans as well as healthy emotional development.
I hope that these apples will fall far, far from your tree.
I care not that you insulted
my country as becoming an American was simply an accident of my birth.
I care not that you insulted my entire state as becoming a resident
of Missouri was again, simply an accident of birth. My skin is
thick enough to dismiss your venom as the ideals of a bigot.
I do not forgive you your horrendous
behavior or your equally sickening morality.
“I think the worst thing that James (his son) could do is to tell me that he wants to move to Missouri. What is wrong with the United States — people in the middle of the country frankly (laughs) are just like you. It’s amazing - uneducated, simple and without a clue about what’s going on in the world. You’re undereducated; over opinionated and you’re overweight. It’s not a good combination Gayla. (In response to Gayla criticizing Stephen and questioning how much time he actually spends with his children. Gayla was also implying that the they push their children too hard and it’s more about the parents than the kids. Gayla’s direct question was what would Stephen do if James told him he does not want to go to college.)
“Yeah, [tomorrow is] rule change. That means starting tomorrow we have the pleasure of pretending we live in some Podunk town in Missouri. That will be interesting, won’t it?” (At the dinner table in front of the kids, in response to Juliette’s question if Gayla is doing the rule change the next day)
Gayla says, “You keep degrading me in front of your kids.” Stephen laughs and says, “That’s easy.” Gayla says, “You think you’re so much better than me”? Stephen says, “I probably earn more in one week than you do in a year.” He walks upstairs and point his finger at Gayla and says “You’re not invited up to the office.”
“You read that so well. Congratulations. I didn’t know that you could read.” (At the rule change ceremony.)
“Agenda? That’s a big word for you. Clearly your two languages appear to be bad English, and redneck.” (At the rule change ceremony.)
“She’s a very rude lady, isn’t she? But that’s okay, she just doesn’t have an education.” (Stephen says this to the kids during the rules change ceremony after Gayla had told him to “shut the hell up” in response to the quote above.)
“Unlike most Americans, I chose to become a citizen and I did this because I wanted more of a voice on helping influence the direction of this country because I really care about it.” (In response to refusing to follow one of Gayla’s rules - singing the national anthem.Stephen felt that this rule was designed to humiliate.)
“Look you dumb redneck, I’ve already told you once.” (In response to Gayla asking him if he would bring the kids gokarting again. Gayla had already asked Stephen this question several times and Stephen had ignored it – at least that’s what we saw on camera.)
I’ll tell you my net take on this [paintballing] – fascistic, militaristic . . For a lower class family like yourselves that has young boys, perhaps with aspirations to join the army, if that’s the extent of your ambition as a young man in your family I can see how this is a perfect fit. We need folks like your family to feed it, so you’re a perfect fit.”
Stephen Fowler says: I’ve said that you’re underachieving, under educated, over opinionated and overweight.” “Have a nice life. Don’t send any kids after me with a shotgun. Alan asks what Stephen means by his comment and Stephen says, “That’s just a final insult.”
The fact that Mr. Stephen Fowler says words like this to a national TV audience shows me that he is truly above what he thinks is the riff-raff of America. It's the same attitude that all those bankers, investment fonds managers, CEOs, and other wallstreet types have when they first destroyed the nation's economy and then wasted our tax money in the form of bailouts. The difference between those guys and Mr. Stephen Fowler is that he is so aloof that he speaks out what many think.
It is amazing to see how much internet traffic this episode of wife swap generated. Mr. Stephen Fowler made the top 50 google search words on Saturday. Websites affiliated with him had to be shut down or altered. People are emailing and calling companies that have Mr. Stephen Fowler listed in their webpages. And his wife's business (Mind for Body in San Francisco) and one of his employers (pacific environment) is getting rave reviews on google maps from people all over the country.
For your information here are a few other websites where people are venting their anger. ABC is heavily censoring their forum.
and of course craigslist in San Francisco : http://sfbay.craigslist.org/search/rnr?query=fowler
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