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‘Married At First Sight’ comes under fire for platforming toxic masculinity

On Married At First Sight this week, audiences see a bunch of shallow blokes mistaking rudeness for honesty.

The series of unfortunately shitty events that have unfolded on Married At First Sight this week show that honesty is only the best policy if you’re not a dickhead.

For some reason (*cough* ratings), the “experts” have decided to get the contestants to rank the other brides and grooms in order of attractiveness and, to absolutely no-one’s surprise, it did not end well.

Bryce and Melissa on MAFS

What has gone down so far

We are spoiled for choice this year in terms of straight white men behaving badly and first cab off the rank is Cameron. After a night of intimacy (insert expert Trish’s kiwi accent), his wife Samantha explained at the dinner party that:

“The next day the honesty box came out, and basically it was, he has no emotional connection with me, no attraction, and he likes more physical girls, more active girls.” The fumes of this masculinity are so toxic that I’m feeling light-headed.

Bryce continued to compete for this year’s title of most hated groom when he ranked his wife Melissa fourth most attractive out of the nine women. This was a week after he lovingly told Melissa that his first impression of her was: “she’s not my usual type but she’s not ugly,” which drove her to tears. Yet, the whole ordeal resulted in Melissa apologising to him and revealing the heartbreaking line, “I didn’t know any better.”

 

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Next on the list of gaslighting grooms who make themselves the victims is Sam. You know, the one with the Slim Shady dye-job and the even shadier pieces to camera. Sam, like Bryce, also ranked his wife Coco fourth. And they say chivalry is dead!

Yet, when Coco exhibited the same brand of honesty by ranking Sam in the bottom four grooms, he had a fat whinge. This is from the man who expected his wife to empathise with him when he said on their honeymoon: “Not everyone has big boobs, so it’s very frustrating.” Cringe.

Sam has spent the entire season criticising Coco’s looks and personality so it was refreshing (and fair) when she clapped back at her rude hubby. Unlike Melissa, who is not one to fan the flames of Bryce’s fiery red hair, as Channel 9 teased before the ad break, Coco, “pops.” 

“This is it. You’re allowed to literally rip on me for the past two weeks. I have not said one thing negatively about you. I have never, I have never ripped about your personality. I have never ripped about the things you say to me. I have never, ever, said anything about your physical appearance,” Coco argued.

“You can’t rip on every essence of everything that I am, and the one day I put you in a line-up. Don’t say that you think I was taking a cheap shot.”

You go MAFS Coco.

It is no wonder that our beloved expert Dr. Trisha Stratford left the show, telling The Wash that the show made her “feel sick in her gut” and she “couldn’t compromise her professional and personal standards” anymore. John Aiken on the other hand is living his best life opening pandora’s honesty box.

 

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MAFS is a far cry from a feminist show but from former rivals Coco and Samantha forming a John Tucker Must Die-esque alliance at the dinner party, to Coco calling out Sam’s rude ‘tude, there are a handful of girl-power moments that have us yelling ‘YAS QUEEN’ at the telly.

We can’t stop watching now, we’re in too deep.

The backlash

As Clementine Ford’s daily Instagram re-caps will tell you, this year’s Married At First Sight outdid itself in terms of ingrained misogyny. This season (like many others before it), the “experts” consciously paired female contestants, who have been open about their experiences with emotional abuse, self-esteem, and bullying, with male contestants, who are well-known to have perpetrated said trauma against partners.

In fact, there is not a single female contestant who is not currently working through pain inflicted by toxic masculinity. To add salt to the wound, show runners have continued to platform and enable these warped ideals without any intervention, all for the sake of content.

Enter feminist author and unapologetic queen Clementine Ford, as well as the rest of the internet. More than ever, the show has been held accountable by viewers calling out the show’s morals.

“I feel like each season of #MAFSAU the toxic behaviours increase and are encouraged,” one Twitter user wrote. “this whole toxic narrative of ‘what if I’m not what he ordered’ needs to get in the bin. truly,” another added.

Producers are yet to comment on the backlash.

 

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