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Feminism and Reality TV

June 20, 2017

Me, when I hear about a new season of my favourite reality TV show...

 

Admittedly, I am a reality TV junkie, and I battle a love/hate relationship with how it makes me feel. Television shows like Big Brother, Made In Chelsea and Love Island (a tiny selection of the truly vast number that are currently broadcast) give millions of viewers an opportunity to see real life people and their real life opinions first hand. Amazing, right? There’s nothing quite like a nation clubbing together and backing  someone they’ve never met – all because their housemate of three weeks threw a cold chip at them/used their shampoo/called them a slag behind their

back.

 

 

Television is a powerful tool, and is where so many of us learn so much (Carrie Bradshaw taught me everything I know). Sometimes, we are treated to a refreshing and open minded approach to a subject; like this year's Love Island contestant Camilla and her stance and consequent argument with partner Johnny regarding Feminism. She’s right; EVERYONE should be a feminist. Poor old Camilla got a whole host of bad press – saying she was wrong to be so brash in her reaction to Johnny’s blatant ignorance. But should she have taken a step back and chosen not to question his statement – we would be back at square one, with the true meaning of feminism completely ambiguous. It’s 2017 and I STILL have to explain to people in every walk of life that, actually, feminism isn’t about hating men, burning your bras and never shaving your armpits. It is the believe that all people should be equal; socially, politically, romantically and economically. It is the radical notion that women are people.

 

 

If you've only just hooked your life up to an aerial, the main thrill and 'controversy' of these television shows is watching drama unfold in front of your eyes and, inevitably, romance. We Brits love a cheeky romance - even more so when it's between real people and you can watch absolutely EVERYTHING. 

 

Being openly sexual on television does not make you promiscuous. Sure, you’re making love in front of a million families sat on their sofa with a TV dinner; but if you’d do it in the real world, why pretend to be something you’re not? Any true Love Island fan will remember last year’s season when, in the wake of her performing oral sex on a potential love interest, Miss Great Britain, Zara Holland, was stripped of her title. For having sex. On TV. Something that, in truth, is more natural than a beauty pageant anyway. Who says that a woman can’t be sexual AND educated, successful and respectable?

 

 

So, I’m bored of seeing Social Media warriors claiming the men honestly discussing their ‘number’ are disgusting. If the situation were flipped on its head and women were discussing their open sexuality and empowerment; I’d be standing (in the hope that others would join me) in solidarity and support. It has come to my attention that some are so wrapped up in the idea of modern feminism, that they forget the true meaning. If women should (and they damn well should) be free to empower themselves sexually and openly discuss the perfectly natural act of shagging; then so should men. We should all, regardless of our gender and providing we aren’t causing harm to ourselves or others, be able to do as we like.

 

 

Saying that, I am growing tired of (mostly) women and girls, both on television and not, defending their actions and accusations by claiming they aren’t ‘that’ kind of girl. Forgive me for being so inquisitive, but what exactly is THAT type of girl? Someone who has sex? We all do it, we just don’t all shout about it in public. Sexual freedom and confidence empowers some, and keeping themselves private empowers other – it’s up to you to say one is right and one is wrong, and definitely not your place to mock them for it. Claiming one type of woman is more upstanding in society and class than another is essentially polite slut shaming – except it’s not polite, it’s rude and annoying.

 

Y’all can do what the fuck you want. Anyone’s opinions who criticize that aren’t worthy of your precious time.

 

 

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