Though the Big Brother producers and British media may have once been justifiably harsh on those who’ve used offensive language on the reality TV show in the past, they seem to be inexplicably skirting over the issue when it comes to the incredibly sexist and homophobic comments made by the current ‘stars’ of the series. On three – one, two, LET’S ALL SLUT SHAAAAMMEEEEEEEEE!!!
I mean sure, I might not usually be the first to admit I watch Big Brother most evenings (it’s basically the equivalent to telling people you sometimes go on the DailyMail’s celebrity section when you need to give your brain a massive rest at work) but screw it. It’s raining, I’m cold, and sometimes a girl just wants to watch a C-list 90s popstar get it on with an actress who once punched Lindsay Lohan in the face. You know what they say , all’s fair in wintertime in England.
Anyway, suffice to say, a week or so in and I’m UNASHAMEDLY hooked. Which is why I may have got even more pissed off than those who don’t watch the show when I saw Saturday nights episode, which showed N’Dubz’s Dappy finally open his PR-deathtrap of a mouth to lay into Luisa for supporting sexual equality and challenging out-dated ideas regarding different expectations of men and women.
“I think you shouldn’t say that a man can sleep with 5 women and he’s cool, and a woman can sleep with five men and she’s a slut,” business owner and runner up of The Apprentice, Luisa Zissman, comments.
‘That’s true though!” Dappy exclaims, before bizarrely going on to argue that “this is 2013 babe” - which it’s not, you cretin- and backing up his original comments: “If a woman sleeps with 5 men in one night… she’s disgusting!”
Proceeding to follow her around the house, slut-shaming like a mother-freaking pro and demanding to know her ‘number’, Dappy shouts that Luisa’s daughter should be ashamed of her for what he judges to be her sexual promiscuity. Using her well-known liberated sexual attitude as a loaded weapon against her, Dappy resolutely went on the attack, labelling Luisa ‘loose’ and ‘stuck-up’ for standing up for herself.
But hey, why only stop at Dappy when we can go to other men; older, just as wise (?) media figures who have helped pass these kind of ideas down the sexist history, one boring and offensive joke at a time? That’s right folks, along with some Dappy time, the team at Channel 5 has also been kind enough to give us a daily dose of the sexist, homophobic and racist asshat that happens to be Jim Davidson!
After being axed from previous reality shows for other offensive comments (Jesus, money must be tight), Davidson has also predictably joined the tirade against Zissman, who herself argued in Monday’s episode that Davidson disliked her purely because he was frightened of powerful, strong-minded and independent women who can hold their own.
What I just don’t get is this – flippant and horribly racist comments that have been made by contestants on shows like this are quite-rightly universally attacked by the world’s media, whereas constant misogyny is labelled and treated as a mere ‘difference of opinion’ between two contestants by producers (see the YouTube description of the argument). Where is the backlash against Dappy? Where is his comeuppance? All people give a shit about is watching him humanised in a damn nappy.
(Though the whole ‘Dappy is Happy in a Nappy’ thing was pretty inspired, slow-clap to y’all in the creative department, Channel 5!)
As well as that, when Evander Holyfield (the one missing a chunk of his ear that was spat out during a fight with Mike Tyson, making him cool amongst roughly 92% of the world) commented early on in the show that being a homosexual was something one could ‘choose’, he got a mere slap on the wrist.
Holyfield told bisexual Luisa: “If you were born and your leg was turned this way – what would you do? You go to the doctor and get it fixed back, right?” Before going on to say “It is a choice… Come on, how can you not say you ain’t gay unless you’re sleeping with the opposite sex?”
I meaaaaaaaaan. Sure. Right. Yeah. NO. How was Holyfield not criticised more for these incredibly casual and flippant comments, which slipped out in what appeared to be a very comfortable fashion? A few articles were written about the comments, and producers warned him about his language, which he has now apologised for, but by christ, the man left the house to an overwhelmingly positive chorus of cheers from the British public, who liked him again because he grooved to a Will Smith song a couple of days after his homophobic slurs.
But whatever, his comments still make him an asshole homophobe who is now for some reason adored by the British public.
What Big Brother and the media’s resounding lack of criticism about these male contestants comments are basically trying to teach the British public is that one form of bigotry is less important than another. Oh, and that women are sluts. Duh!
What sucks (to a lesser extent than worldwide sexism) is that Luisa probably will be voted out of the house before Davidson, purely because she is loud, argumentative and ultimately can rub people up the wrong way, whatever their gender.
One day I hope we can learn to embrace, rather than get annoyed by, strong, powerful and open-minded women who couldn’t give a shit what people think of them, and didn’t champion homophobes, sexists and grumpy men instead.