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.
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.
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.