Wednesday, July 16, 2014

BB16: BB Misogyny

It seems that I blog about this topic every single season - there is an element of misogyny in the way women are cast, seen and treated on BB. This topic has come screaming into the forefront because of not only the way Caleb has been treating Amber, but by the way the others encourage his psychotic delusion. I can say that because I have a degree in psychology.

It's so bad that even CBS is using it on the show tonight.

Caleb has devised a fictitious romance with Amber in his head causing him to stalk her around the house, call her his "queen", talk incessantly about her, get riled up when she doesn't act/talk the way he wants, get jealous if she talks to anyone else, especially Cody, treat her like she can't take care of herself, talk down to her and make these idiotic moves like volunteering to go on the block despite her protests, only to be further enraged that she doesn't prostrate herself in front of him, and finally is gunning for her because she's trying to distance herself from this psychotic behaviour.

He's made statements to many that he wants to cuddle with her (against her will), that he wants to date her, that he wants to be the first two in jury. He's pressured her with subtle threats. He's talked about her so much that every person in the house has turned his/her back to her - wanting her out. All this without her knowledge. All this despite the fact she's said "no" repeatedly in myriads of ways.

When Amber finally figured out that Caleb has gone too far, she tried to talk to people like Jacosta who then went to cuddle poor broken-hearted Caleb and to Cody who doesn't have the balls to defend her to his boys who think Amber is a user and a tease, a notion that is, disturbingly, shared by others outside the house. The girls are no help either. Rather than rally around one of their own and commiserate in her predicament, they say they do not trust her; they bash her; they want her out. Who are these people?

Caleb staring at Amber with Cody on the hammock last night, getting increasingly irate.
While those of us who are witnessing this scenario that reads like a script from a psycho-thriller are horrified, the house guests are enabling and encouraging Caleb's delusions. Many have figured out that he's not all there but have not seen that what he's doing is detrimental to Amber's game and character. They don't care, as long as it doesn't affect their game. People like Hayden, Devin and Zach, who have a hate-on for Amber not only listen to Caleb but fuel his fire. People like Derrick, who is a cop, encourage using the "Amber situation" to benefit their game.

Amber is in a no-win situation. She speaks up. She is a cruel bitch who's hurt the kind-hearted and self-sacrificing Caleb. If she doesn't speak up, she's teasing him and deserves what she gets. This is sparking outrage in some sectors of the viewers, wishing someone, anyone, will take Amber's side in the house. Yet there are others who excuse Caleb's deranged behaviour. blaming Amber. This culture of blaming the victim, of assigning responsibility to the woman just because she's a woman must stop. In the real world, Amber would have recourse, in the BB house, she is trapped with this lunatic who threatens her game.

Devin, who is equally condescending and disrespectful has been called out, but Caleb hasn't. He gets sympathy and hugs.  His victim is shunned and disregarded.  She has not been allowed to play her own game and now that she wants to, she will be targeted. It seems impossible that the women will wake up, unite and take out some of these men, starting with Caleb.

I have wished for years that women would form an alliance like the men have successfully in BB. Other than Rachel and Jordan in BB13, there has not been an enduring all-woman alliance in Big Brother. There are several reasons for that, but primarily it starts the casting which uses social, gender and physical stereotypes to fuel its formula.

This season, Joey tried to, very awkwardly, form a woman's alliance but was evicted first for it. The men, especially Devin and Caleb, (shocker!) scoffed at her audacity to want to do so. Nicole and Christine formed an alliance but they had to bring in Hayden and since then they have expressed doubts about each other.

The situation in the house brings to light how some men view women, how women view each other, how society perpetuates these detrimental notions and how women need to end this catty bullshit and take control of themselves and their destiny.

Stay tuned! :)