The Misogyny of Celebrity Big Brother

Big Brother Celebrity Hijack logo

Big Brother Celebrity Hijack logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The current series of Celebrity Big Brother has made good viewing so far, although it is, as always, riddled with sexism.

Regular viewers will know that female housemates tend to be the shows most hated figures and this year Jasmine Lennard, Danica Thrall, Samantha Brick and Julie Goodyear have been fodder for the haters. Women are nearly always first out. In all thirteen series of Big Brother, (although not CBB), a female housemate has been the first to be evicted by public vote and male housemates traditionally do much better than females. This year’s CBB hasn’t bucked the trend rather it has exemplified it; five of the seven women who entered the house have been evicted so far, and the sixth looks likely to be a woman too. All six male contestants remain.

The pattern is that the men nominate the women and the women nominate each other, but even when a man goes up, he is saved by the public vote. This years series has seen some particularly nasty tactics with two of the women being accused of leading the men on and so being nominated and voted out.

Female contestants always include a glamour model or two and often reach ‘celebrity’ status as a result of tabloid sex stories. For this reason, they are often disliked before they enter the house and have little chance to redeem themselves. This year, Rhian Sugden met the requirements perfectly, being a glamour model who was involved in a ‘sex text scandal’ with Vernon Kay. Going into the house, Rhian became the object of Team GB’s Ashley McKenzie‘s desire. She was accused of leading him on, then of being unfriendly once she backed off. In a case of really not being able to do anything right she was attacked both for not letting him lie in her bed with her, then later, for lying on the bed with him. Much of the disdain aimed at Rhian came from So Solid Crew’s MC Harvey. Harvey also called Danica Thrall ‘disgraceful’, saying she did not carry herself like someone who had a boyfriend. This from a man known more for cheating on his ex wife Alesha Dixon with the singer Javine Hylton, than for his music.

The double standards applied to male and female sexual behaviour are breathtaking and it’s not just the men who have been doing it. No-one would have expected that icon of feminism Samantha Brick to do anything other than praise all the men and be disdainful toward almost all the women, but other women in the house have joined in the attacks on their own gender. In fact the housemate with the most feminist sensibilities seems to be Julian Clary who has repeatedly pulled up Jersey Shore’s ‘The Situation’ for making sexist remarks. When Cheryl Fergison, (Eastender’s Heather Trott), was told by The Situation to take a look in the mirror and compare her body to Rhians, after she (Fergison) had commented on the exercise Rhian did, Cheryl refused to take offence. Instead she laughed it off and proceeded to vote for female housemates at the next nominations.

In last night’s show Julie Goodyear seemed bemused by the fact that she and Coleen were the last two women in the show and that no men have been evicted. ‘Still trying to get my head around that one,’ she said, with the air of someone who hadn’t previously campaigned against Rhian and Danica and taken at face value the men’s attitude that the two women were ‘players’. Obviously The Situation, who prides himself on the number of women he’s had up to his hotel room and Prince Lorenzo, a previous ‘The Bachelor’, would be unable to defend themselves against such glamorous and conniving women.

So far Goodyear has received few nominations, it seems housemates have been scared to nominate her on the basis of age and her being some sort of national institution. Now it would seem that she may be losing her influence and judging by the audience chants of ‘Get Julie Out’ during Friday’s eviction, Coleen Nolan will shortly be the only remaining woman in a CBB house in which the men get away with everything and the women nothing.

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About tricialo

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