My teenage daughter is entertaining thoughts of joining the CIA or FBI. No, not purely to lock up Ryan for life. It goes beyond that. Her interest is actually trending with other teenage girls I know.
And for this, I blame television.
It used to be you blamed television when your kids got fat or stupid. Hell, it was easier than looking inward. But here I am using TV as the scapegoat for why my little girl is aspiring to become a G-man. And here's why: Hot guys, kick-ass women... in that order.
Starting with shows like "Numb3rs," FBI agents were portrayed as very smart, good-looking, very likable, and able to return to their witty family and friends each night in time for dinner. The women were very smart, very attractive, respected and when necessary, very quick with a gun or a roundhouse kick to the face.
Then USA Network came up with shows like "White Collar." Teenage girls everywhere are now getting the misguided notion that within the bland walls of FBI buildings everywhere, hotties like "WC"'s Neal Caffrey character are running around. If that were true, well, damn -- even I'd want to join up!
USA Network also has "Covert Affairs." Piper Perabo stars as a young CIA agent who can speak about 5,000 languages, drive like Mario Andretti, and punch like Mike Tyson -- all while wearing Christian Laboutin pumps and sexy dinner dresses. It's like a mirror of my life.
I want stats on how many girls thought about joining the FBI and CIA before these shows hit the air. I mean, did "Charlie's Angels" inspire young women to join law enforcement -- or just get a new hair style?
There's something about these new shows that's getting young women to think it'd be cool to go mano-a-womano with terrorists, drug cartels and your average weapons runner. And that's why I blame television for this movement!!
This new crop of programs portrays women as brilliant, brave and in possession of wardrobes whose value far exceeds their government paycheck. And they come into regular contact with guys that look like candidates for the next Abercrombie & Fitch photo shoot.
But considering Cara doesn't even want to be in the room when Ryan and his XBox Live pals are engaged in a "Call of Duty" or "Halo" marathon (Cara: "These games are sick!"), I'm starting to wonder how much she's really thought this through....