WARNING: LOTS OF SWEARS AND TEARS
I have 2 kids, I used to be a nanny, I was a raised in a small town with over 100 cousins and I have never seen either boys or girls behave like that.
I was tempted to just post these pics.
Instead, let’s dig a little deeper.
Sam v Mick
On the one hand, Sam and Mick did the same thing: talked to the group of men about their “sex lives”. For teens watching – who are not known for nuance – they may equate the two, but you must challenge this.
Mick should not have told the guys he and Jessika had sex. He did not have Jessika’s permission and she did not want this shared. However, his intention – and intention IS important – was not to demean her. Wrong, but forgivable.
TOXIC MASCULINITY EXHIBIT A & B
On the other hand, not only should Sam not have talked to the guys about Elizabeth’s advances, he should never open his mouth again. His intention was 100% to humiliate and degrade Elizabeth. He has moved his gaslighting of HER into full-blown gaslighting of the GROUP – presumably so that when his behaviour with Ines is discovered, he gets a sympathetic ear or, he just always does that.
It is impossible to tell if any of the men stood up to Sam when he was humiliating Elizabeth. I hope that the likes of Cam and Dino stood up for Elizabeth, but I am guessing they didn’t or it would have been shown for drama. This makes me genuinely sad.
Bronson was clearly uncomfortable and said so on camera, which is something. Let’s take a moment to reflect on the fact that Ines called Bronson “filth” for being a former stripper when in fact, he showed the most respect and decency of the group while “her man” carried on like an abusive sociopath.
Teachable Moment: silence is a form of resistance, but actually saying “I don’t like that” would have been better.
Imagine how poor Elizabeth must now be feeling knowing that no-one “had her back” (as they love saying on this show).
Note also, that Dino could have done with some bystander support too when Sam started bullying him into having sex with Melissa! I shouldn’t be shocked, but I was so upset to see most of the other men joining in the pressure for Dino to “slam Mel” like she “wants to be slammed”. At one point, I think a couple of them chanted – I don’t know, by then I was vomiting in the corner of the lounge room.
And of course, over at Ches Laydee some of the “girls” also had the maturity to suggest that Dino’s “take it one day at time” approach must mean he’s not attracted to Melissa and/or is not a normal man.
By now, I am crying.
All I can say is: DINO DOES NOT HAVE TO JUSTIFY NOT HAVING SEX.
It does not mean he isn’t attracted to her, nor does it mean he’s not “real”.
And, Dino wants to rub my feet while we talk about his feelings, I consent fully.
Teachable moment: tell your boys AND girls, that the idea of men as nothing more than dogs on a leash waiting to dry hump the nearest apple pie is a demeaning and toxic stereotype.
They will know what a stereotype is if they have done social studies.
The “girls’ night” was obviously ridiculous.
I can’t even be bothered deconstructing it other than to say most abusers strike before the are struck.
This is why Ines attacked Elizabeth as soon as she came in and repeated the trick later in the conversation. She also used the legitimate language of The Victim – you’re rude, don’t speak to me like that, don’t stand there – to confuse Elizabeth. And it worked. Elizabeth apologised. What a stunning act of misdirection.
For once, Cyrell’s armour worked – as Ines said, it’s hard to lie to Cyrell and I would add, even harder to get away with it.
I swear to Jebus Xmas if those experts don’t call Sam, Mike and Ines on their abuse tonight and rush Elizabeth, Bronson and Heidi to a healing spa, I’ll shit a brick.
Again, absolutely inexcusable behaviour from the producers - and DO NOT START WATCHING MAFS - but if you or your kids are, unfortunately it really does provide an insight into how damaging toxic gender roles and disrespectful relationships are, and how inextricable they are.
PS HEIDI: TRUST YOUR FEELINGS, HE’S FUCKED.