Law would force people to watch Teen Mom, Bethenny before buying contraception

This satirical, fictional story is part of the April 1, 2012, edition of reality blurred. Happy April Fool’s Day.

People who want to buy contraception, including condoms, lubricant, and birth control pills, will be required to watch 24 continuous hours of shows such as 16 and Pregnant, Teen Mom, and Bethenny Ever After first, according to a new law proposed by members of Congress and state legislatures who cauterized their own genitalia.

“We realized that not paying for contraception wasn’t enough to stop behavior that makes us want to masturbate. Plus, focusing on violating a woman’s body with forced examinations after pregnancy meant we’d ignored her mind, and that’s dangerous, because you don’t want to let women think,” said one legislator. He sponsored an amendment to allow substitutions of 19 and Counting because it “really shows us why contraception is unnecessary. Condoms just get in the way of your own TLC reality show.”

Because the legislation was crafted by people whose concept of gender roles was developed by revisionist 1950s sitcoms and reinforced by Survivor, its initial draft didn’t include a provision for men who want to buy contraception, assuming instead that they’ll be too caught up in watching marathons of Pawn Stars or Storage Wars, which are always on and impossible to turn off. It was amended to say that men who make it to stores to buy contraception will be shown clips of Andy Cohen’s Bravo series Watch What Happens Live, which is proven to eliminate the desire to have sex, with the unfortunate side effect of the viewer also losing all desire to watch television.

Similar proposals are also being developed, such as requiring people to watch The Biggest Loser before buying food, The Bachelor before dating, Hoarders before going to thrift stores, and The Amazing Race before entering airport security. “Any barriers we can create to legal activities that also gives money to businesses sounds good to us,” another elected official said.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.