Thursday, July 15, 2010

Scandal When We Want It

Just made the mistake of leaving Come Dine With Me running on the TV. In case you've been lucky enough to miss it it's a show where each contestant throws a dinner party for the others and they score each other. One of the contestants was a Sri Lankan woman who made a traditional spicy meal. One of the other guests, a white working class guy, decided uninvited to go through the woman's drawers and found some decorative bangles which he promptly put on and came down to the dining room in. There's a good chance they have religious or family significance, and I would be really infuriated at the intrusion on my privacy, but the hostess, no doubt hoping to score well, graciously laughed along. Five minutes later this guy was a bit drunk and as dessert was being served he shouted "How about a kebab love?". He also described her several times as Indian.

Now personally although I think his behaviour is deeply inappropriate, I actually think that one of the most interesting things about reality TV is that it exposes how widespread attitudes like this are.

But more importantly, is this behaviour any better than that which led to Jade Goody being vilified on national TV? No, not really. So it seems we our media does react to racist behaviour but only when it suits them.

I see the trailer for the remainder of the series shows the same guy telling women contestants that he "does love a good pair!" and asking them "where are the melons?" and rather than questioning whether these are appropriate or could be seen as sexist - they are the "highlights" picked out to be shown in the trailer. No doubt the media will be suitably up in arms. Not.



Because the individual is male and white this means his misogynistic and racist comments to women will not be judged as 'misogynistic and racist.'

Remember racism and men-hating comments are the only ones which are insulting because only men are human. Women of whatever ethnicity, colour or culture are deemed to be suitable targets for men to ridicle and attempt to humilate.

This is called 'ironic' or post-feminism but I'll be a post-feminist when we finally reach the stage where so-called 'celebrity' men do not routinely engage in ridiculing women because it is easy and intelligence is not required.

Jilly said...

Of course if the women concerned reacted to these crass comments and behaviour they'd be branded as shrill feminist harpies who couldn't take a joke. The worst crime you can commit these days it seems is not to have a sense of humour.

Your post reminded me why I don't watch TV any more.