Friday, May 19, 2006

He's watching you...

Channel 4 briefly earned some brownie points yesterday as Jez disclaimed any interest in pornographic magazines saying they are degrading to women – who says Hollyoaks doesn’t support the feminist cause!

However the channel soon let itself down with the latest influx of Big Brother contestants, and in particular Mikey who introduced himself as hating feminists. He doesn’t understand why they demand equal pay and furthermore dislikes ugly people. All in all a bit of a prat, but the most worrying extract from his interviews was the suggestion that if he found a girlfriend he wanted to settle down with he would manipulate her into becoming a housewife without her even realising it. Sorry if I’ve misquoted slightly I only had half an eye on the telly, but what is all that about? Lots of people claim anti-feminist politics and generally quite effectively undermine their arguments through their own stupidity, but the impression that I get here is that he is advocating emotional and verbal domestic abuse. Slightly less insidious but still worrying was the ‘sexual terrorist’ Richard who suggested that he would be pouncing on the other men in the house as they desperately fled his advances. Oh and, bless him, he also has a phobia of pregnant women.

I have to admit I do watch Big Brother. I gave up half way through the last series because it became just too sinister to bear, but in general the aspects of this programme that disgust me are, in equal measure, the things that attract my interest as a viewer*. However over the years the contestants have become increasingly extreme to the point where this year domestic abuse and implied rape are accepted as normal things. Perhaps not normal in society, but normal in the microcosm that is Big Brother. I’m going to keep watching for the moment, if for no other reason than relief from the boredom of revision, but first impressions are less favourable than any previous year.

Check out gendergeek for some initial comments.

* when I find the courage I think an analysis of my dubious television choices will appear as a post, but somehow I don’t think I will come out of it very well.


At 1:16 am, Blogger witchy-woo said...

Oh please keep watching and commenting la som. I totally gave up three years ago (when my daughter stayed up all night to watch people sleeping) but, it seems to me that, if they've got an affirmed anti-feminist in the house then feminism isn't as dead as the 'meeja' would have us believe.

Domestic abuse and rape are 'normal'? I want to know what happens but I can't bring myself to watch...can you? And, if you can, can you tell me?

At 11:44 am, Blogger la somnambule said...

Hehe, unfortunately my principles all collapse when I choose what to watch on telly so I am sure at least for the first few weeks I'll be watching and will keep you informed. However if it gets as manipulative and repellant as last year I may be forced to give up again. Unfortunately they seem to aim it at people like me who are always doing revision and exams at this time of year and need some brainless relief. Ah where has my willpower gone??

At 7:50 pm, Blogger Michelle said...

I've managed to refrain from watching BB so far this year. What really irks me about this programme is their selection of the female contestants. They only seem to cast the big-breasted, attention-seeking, Miss World-a-likes. Nothing wrong with a couple of women like that in the house, but why not select a couple of women who aren't like this- hell, why not select a feminist?

At 7:52 am, Blogger la somnambule said...

Well they did try it a couple of years ago in celebrity big brother - although I'll leave it to you to come to a conclusion about how well Germaine Greer (and feminism) came out of that one!

However there is one woman who is coming across quite well in the first few days. Dawn (a 38 year old vegetarian - from Birmingham) has been consistently speaking out against the bullying that has begun already. She has been calm and rational and unbiased which is ununsual for BB. The bullying is the aspect of the programme that most infuriates me and it is rare that anyone ever admits that it is bullying or speaks out against it so perhaps Dawn is one to watch...


Post a Comment

<< Home