Bleats

Jess From The Bachelorette Is All Of Australia's Toxic Masculinity Squeezed Into One Human

This is not okay.

If you decided to surrender to the calls of reality TV and started watching the new season of The Bachelorette this week, you’ll be suitably shook after last night’s episode.

ICYMI – or had better things to do with your Thursday night – Angie sent Noosa councillor Jess Glasgow home after he was ratted out for making sexually inappropriate comments and gestures to, and about, various women on set.

Credit: Network Ten

It all kicks off during a farm animal photoshoot challenge, where Jess played the role of ‘horse butt’ and suitably freaked everyone out by lashing his tongue at Angie’s nether regions as they attempted to pose for photos.

Credit: Network Ten

Other contestants are (understandably) suss about Jess’s behaviour and Carlin takes it upon himself to speak out. He says, “it’s my responsibility as a man to stand up for inappropriate behaviour,” locates Angie and reveals all – including the sexual comments he’d been making to cast and crew. 

After word spreads and the rest of the Bachie mansion are aware of Jess’s problematic behaviour, they let him know and he responds, “bring it on, b*tch.” Wow.

Angie gives Jess a mouthful and lets him know that “I will never allow a man to come in and f*ck with my sisterhood. I’d rather be single for the rest of my life.”

Needless to say, Jess is kicked out of the mansion and off the show to “find the love of my life in a dirty dingy nightclub” in Noosa.

Last night’s Bachelorette drama had tongues wagging but it also magnified the kind of toxic masculinity that is still deeply ingrained in Aussie culture. It was empowering to see Angie show Jess the door and stand up for not only herself, but the rest of the cast and crew, but it’s a shame that he thought his behaviour was okay.

When Jess gets called out by the other contestants for calling Angie a “b*tch” he says, “Wow, these guys can’t take a joke. Lucky for me, Angie wants a guy that likes to have a laugh – that’s pretty obvious.” That’s what feels like the deeper wound here – the fact that making lewd comments and gestures towards women is seen as a “joke” to men like Jess. 

If this sort of behaviour is tolerated, or not taken seriously, it becomes acceptable and then the wound becomes even deeper. 

It’s not all doom, gloom and dodgy behaviour. Seeing contestants like Carlin, Timm, Scot and Matt stand up to Jess and let him know that his language and actions are completely unacceptable gives us hope. 

Since the episode aired, the Mayor of Noosa labelled Jess’s behaviour “misogynistic.” Speaking to Nova’s Fitzy and Wippa, he said “I told [Jess] my recommendation was that he resign from his position as councillor on Noosa council.” 

Jess apologised in an interview with Fitzy and Wippa and said “I never ever meant to have those words come out that way.” Here’s hoping it’s a lesson learned for the Noosa councillor, and the rest of the guys who think this way of acting is A-OK.

Racism And Sexism Is Mindy Kaling Having To 'Prove' Her Contribution To The Office

“I had to get letters from all the other male, white producers..."

If you thought the deep-rooted racism and sexism in Hollywood had eased up in recent years, wait until you hear Mindy Kaling’s story.

During a recent interview with Elle, Kaling spoke about playing the role of Molly in Late Night, a “diversity hire” who has to prove her worth amongst a mostly white, male staff room. 

Kaling told Elle that that experience is “so universal,” and something she experienced in real life during her time on The Office. According to the actress, when the TV show was nominated for an Emmy, she was told there were “too many producers” and she would be cut from the list.

In order to receive recognition for her efforts on the show “they made me, not any of the other producers, fill out a form and write an essay about all my contributions as a writer and a producer,” she said. “I had to get letters from all the other male, white producers saying that I had contributed, when my actual record stood for itself.”

While Kaling’s name was eventually added to the list, it was just one of the many times she’s experienced racism and sexism during her time in the film and TV industry. “It really doesn’t matter how much money I have,” she said. “I’m treated badly with enough regularity that it keeps me humble.”

Instead of being angry or bitter about it, Kaling said she’s “grateful” for it. “I do think it keeps me feeling like an outsider, which is helpful as a writer.”

It’s a sad state of affairs that even in this day and age an accomplished writer, producer, comedian and actress like Mindy Kaling has to fight so hard to prove her worth in an industry full of power white, male counterparts.

We can only hope by speaking out about the inequality and injustice, positive change will follow. Kaling deserves all the respect for speaking her truth.

When Are We Going To Stop Shaming Unmarried Celebrity Women?

It's time we ditch the 'Poor Jen' narrative.

It’s 2019, which means it’s about time we stop making unmarried celebrity women feel guilty for not settling down to tie the knot and have kids.

Case in point: Jennifer Aniston’s recent interview with Howard Stern.

During their chat, and like many other journos and interviewers have done before, Stern asked Aniston about her love life. “I’m very busy,” she told the shock jock. “For now. I’m promoting [The Morning Show]. I’m prepping for next season.”

Instead of taking Aniston’s hint that she’d like the conversation to move away from her private life, Stern offered to set her up with someone. “Hey, listen, I just don’t like being set up,” she told him. “I don’t like it. I hate it.”

While Stern most probably didn’t mean to offend or pry, his questions are like a broken record that Jennifer Aniston has been forced to listen to since her split from Brad Pitt 14 years ago. 

Actress Jennifer Aniston and actor Brad Pitt attend the ‘Spy Game’ Westwood Premiere on November 19, 2001 at Mann National Theatre in Westwood, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

In fact, there has been so much concern for Aniston’s love life over the years that the phenomenon even has a name: the ‘Poor Jen’ narrative. It’s a narrative I not only want to remove myself from (thanks Taylor Swift) but the world needs to ditch altogether.

Jennifer Aniston isn’t the only female celebrity to follow the same “unlucky in love” story in the tabloids. Kylie Minogue, Sandra Bullock, Courtney Cox, Sheryl Crow, Renee Zellweger, Padma Lakshmi and more are consistently interrogated for their lack of marriage. 

Cameron Diaz faced the same scrutiny after her ‘failed’ relationships with Alex Rodriguez, Justin Timberlake and Jared Leto. However, in 2015 she settled down with Benji Madden and suddenly, the glossy mags spared her their critique. 

So, why is it that fans, the media, and society in general continue to shame these women for being happily unmarried? Maybe humans struggle with recognising that the role someone portrays on-screen doesn’t have to correlate with their real life off-screen. Or maybe, the idea that marriage and children equals happiness is so ingrained in our culture that we can’t possibly let the people we admire off the hook. 

Following her 2017 split from ex-husband Justin Theroux, Aniston told InStyle, “The misconceptions are ‘Jen can’t keep a man,’ and ‘Jen refuses to have a baby because she’s selfish and committed to her career.’ Or that I’m sad and heartbroken.”

 “When a couple breaks up in Hollywood, it’s the woman who is scorned. The woman is left sad and alone. She’s the failure. Eff that. When was the last time you read about a divorced, childless man referred to as a spinster?”

“Maybe my purpose on this planet isn’t to procreate. Maybe I have other things I’m supposed to do?” she added.

Jen has a point. Why doesn’t society apply the same pressure to single celebrity men as they do to women? (Leonardo DiCaprio, hello!?) Perhaps it’s time we do away with the sexist rhetoric and realise that happiness comes in all shapes and sizes in 2019, whether you’re happily married or happily single. Live and let live.

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