Saturday, April 1, 2017

Real Housewives of Toronto and the Slut Shame

The slut shame. Forward thinking, liberated women do not engage in shaming the slutty behavior and sexual proclivities of other women. Luckily for the fame whores of The Real Housewives of Toronto, however, Lark Productions is not a liberated woman. 

It might be a pimp though, and one that evidently believes it's still socially acceptable for pimps to slut shame. But there's no human trafficking here. This is high-class society. We're keeping things sophisticated. These women are prostituting their dignity willingly and it didn't even cost that much, either. Classy.

The script editors (with the approval of their programming executives) attempt to keep the slut shaming subtle, much like the fat shaming, but again are not especially successful at being inconspicuous.


Just you wait until the sun sets and the alcohol flows, this bikini is toast.

Episode four of The Real Housewives of Toronto opens with Roxy, Grego, Jana and Joan in bikinis, which in and of itself is an innocent enough scenario at a lake in the summer. But it's the lingering shots on Jana's crotch and Grego's ass – the telling Roxy to "stay on her knees" and the closeups of Joan's moneymakers, as she poses like she's warming up for a Hustler photo-shoot that give away the show's true intention.



Joan is sooo hungover after last night's "festivities". Skinny dipping and sex tents is hot and all, but nothing gets Joan in the mood like getting wasted so she can go down on Donald without gagging. Jana's like, "I know! Me too! My Muskoka guy was such a turn on after 33 shots of vodka!"
The producers flirt with the viewer's already illicitly conditioned mind to present sexual objectification as something that is, in Roxy's word, "fun", but also something that is "welcomed" and even desired by any human being who happens to be born with a uterus.


Jana, dishing out advice with that creepy perma-grin of hers, to Roxy:
"You know what? You can just go on your knees, if you want, that works too". 

This is the sort of thing that is causing great confusion in today's society. It is why 10-year-old girls comfortably dressed in leggings on a plane, living their lives, maneuvering the world, learning, having adventures and achieving their goals can be made into a public spectacle, and elicit such corporate panic and moral outrage.

My dream for future generations is that one day a girl can just BE, without having to worry that her very existence is going to turn every male she passes into a rutting pig she has to be wary of, or that society is going to pillory her like Hester on a scaffold at midday for the mere act of exercising her free will.


Stevie lets us know his privilege is "earned"
which is why he can publicly display his man-boobs without shame.
Can we say "double standard"now please?
However, the realization of that dream is a ways off yet. In the meantime, we have to contend with the demeaning bullshit fed to us via television and other modalities, such as that portrayed on the Real Housewives of Toronto. Bullshit like a liposuctioned, silicone-implanted socialite married to a flabby plastic surgeon who concedes that they are privileged but that it's an "earned" privilege (unlike the unprivileged who have that shit handed to them on a silver platter). 


Couture fishing hooker.
We are presented with a depiction of life, particularly a female life, we are encouraged to want and envy, such as Ann showing up for a fishing trip dressed, in her words, like "a couture fishing hooker". Nothing like obscene wealth and degradation to stoke a girl's ambition.


Kara (in reference to Joan's orgy party the night before), "Did you see the sex tents? 
I heard the tents were set up for specific activities".
Ann (feigning innocence), "What do you mean sex tents? What specific activities?"
Kara (smarter than she at first appears), "It's called a SEX tent, ANN!" (duh).

Why is taking your fucking clothes off and referring to yourself as a "hooker" considered the pinnacle of female empowerment anyway? Never mind any of Ann's other supposedly impressive accomplishments, let's get a better look at those knockers. How do people who spout and portray this crap not see how completely illogical, absurd and dangerous it is? 

Stripping someone of her clothes and dignity and parading her in front of an audience is the opposite of empowerment. It seems like this should go without saying, but then the issue is confounded every other week by another celebrity doing a nude magazine spread, proclaiming it's because she's an empowered feminist. 




On the contrary, outside of art and political protest, there is nothing revolutionary OR empowering about naked women. Women have always been told, from Adam and Eve to Aristotle, Schopenhauer, Darwin, Nietzsche, Hugh Hefner and Donald Trump that they are "playthings" whose main worth is found in their sexual appeal to men. If you want our attention, take it off, otherwise get back in the kitchen. Your opinions are a joke.



Today this dogma (and it is dogma) may not always be as overt as it once was, but the belief that a woman is only as good as the size of her measurements, the bounce of her chest, the sway of her hips, or the production quality of her fake orgasm is as pervasive as it ever was, perhaps more so.

This is why the accomplishments of women as remarkable as Jana or Ann, for instance, are overlooked in exchange for salacious closeups of their lady parts, or sound bites indicating a propensity towards promiscuity and cavorting in the buff. It's why the moral integrity of Kara and her distaste for "sex tents" is maligned as "prudish", and why Joan's sociability is portrayed as slutty drunkenness with a disregard for panties.


Joan, terrified, having never read a book in her whole entire life, nervously asks, "I can check this out, right?" Kara, proving she does read and is not an idiot after all, confirms Joan can indeed check the book out. The words: "I am woman, hear me roar!" reverberate across the land.

It's why Roxy comes across as trivial, obsessed with her stupid birthday as if she's an over-indulged, sullen 8-year-old child, and why Joan, in one of her signature revealing nightgown-style dresses, is depicted as not knowing how a library works.


I don't know if the objectification of women will ever be relegated to the bin of humanity's foolish past, but in the interim, as we await the manifestation of that far-fetched fantasy, can we please see some decent looking men on these "reality" shows? Ann's Stephen is amusing and all, but he's no Brad Pitt or Chris Hemsworth, or whatever strikes your female fancy. Forget slut shaming, give us women something to look at...for fuck's sake.

Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 1: Dumb, Plastic and Sleazy
Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 2: Boring Housewives and Ugly Husbands
Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 3: The Polished Real Housewives of Toronto
Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 4: The Slut Shame
Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 5: Amazing Reality TV Stars
Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 6: Infomercials and Friends in High Places
Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 7: Social Suicide: Game of Thrones to the Rescue

7 comments:

  1. Life is too short to be this negative. This show is meant to be enjoyed, lightly, with some suspension of disbelief. If you hate it so much why do you watch it, every week? Seriously, I pity you. Please deal with your problems and go out enjoy your limited time on earth.

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    1. Ouch, Matt is triggered. I'm sorry to have caused you such anguish. I am also sorry a realistic interpretation of reality is so distasteful to you. I have my own nuanced reasons for watching this show, which from the tone of your angry little outburst I doubt you're mentally capable of grasping, so I won't bother taxing your conditioned mind with burdensome explanations.

      Go ahead and pity me if you must, if it makes you feel superior. That's what people like me are here for. But as you bask in the glory of your smug sympathies, perhaps a basic definition of satire is in order:

      Satire: The use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics, popular culture (including reality TV involving "housewives") and other topical issues.

      Thanks for commenting, Matt Earle. Now go off and enjoy your indulgences. I'll stay here with my "problems" in case you ever want to check in again.

      May the force be with you in your noble cause to defend the honour of poorly rehearsed reality TV actresses. It’s an excellent way for YOU to spend YOUR "unlimited time on earth".

      Godspeed.

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  2. Matt is so honorable defending skimpily clad women and his preferred version of reality. Perhaps if I practice some of his "suspension of disbelief" I might even buy that he only feels pity for the writer and is kind enough to pass on his original advice to enjoy her problematic and negative short life.

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    1. In his defense, I do have problems, Mars. Maybe if my negative life isn't as ominously short as predicted I can one day hitch a ride with SpaceX to your planet. Things aren't really working out on this one. But tell me, what's the deal with the Martians? Good-looking or no? I should come prepared.

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  3. The cast should be thanking Lala. She is the only one adding some interesting controversy to this otherwise boring show. But you're a good brother, Matthew. Sticking up for your sister like that...

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  4. Kara Alloway is a judgmental, condescending, insulting b****. Kara's moral integrity? When she's motivated by revenge to take her hung-over drinking pals on the water specifically to get them sick to vomiting? When she lies repeatedly? When all her comments are so nasty and vindictive? WHAT moral integrity am I missing? She may boast of being Christian, but she acts pure Pharisee.

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    1. That was my point. These shows twist reality and aren't any more a representation of factual truth (although I still think you can extrapolate other forms of truth or "truisms" from them) than soap operas or infomercials. People shouldn't be so easily manipulated. Kara, while on the surface of it you might be accurate in your opinion, at least is brave enough to play the villainess and bring something mildly interesting to the table. The rest of them are so fake they might as well be sexbots, and I'm sorry but I don't see ANY moral integrity in that.

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