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On "Survivor" and Sexism
November 6, 2013 9:45 AM   Subscribe

Does the long-running reality TV program Survivor have a sexism problem? A few weeks back (Mefi's Own) Linda Holmes published "The Tribe Has Broken: How Sexism is Silently Killing 'Survivor'" in response to a controversial episode where a male contestant was soundly ridiculed by host Jeff Probst for following a suggestion made by his wife ("Does she tell you what to do all the time?"), while a female contestant who followed a much more direct command from her husband did not receive similar teasing. Over the weekend, Holmes joined former Survivor contestants Rob Cesternino and Stephen Fishbach on Cesternino's Robhasapodcast show for a lively discussion of this topic (runs just over an hour).
posted by The Gooch (90 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
i'm a couple episodes behind, but i'll be glad to return to this thread when i'm all caught up!
posted by nadawi at 9:51 AM on November 6, 2013


I am mortified to learn that Survivor is so imbued with those less than pleasant attributes of human behavior.
posted by ocschwar at 9:52 AM on November 6, 2013 [11 favorites]


Survivor is still a thing at all? That's worth a podcast episode.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 9:57 AM on November 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm kind of thinking you have to have watched the dynamic with regard to this particular player - Brad Culpepper. The bro-iest of the Bros. There have been few players I've gotten physically pissed about over the years and this guy is one of them. I saw this particular incident as a ribbing by Jeff to both of them. He's making fun of them for playing the part of sexist tropes.
posted by Big_B at 10:00 AM on November 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Terrible show starring terrible people behaving terribly features terrible politics. And this is a surprise how?
posted by entropicamericana at 10:02 AM on November 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


The rest of this article is just as bad. Lots of stuff taken out of context and just doing their best to be offended.

But I cannot deny that having to sit through all this preening by bullies is beginning take a toll on my enjoyment, especially when I feel like the show and the host are on their side.

Newsflash: There are lots of bullies out there. And I love watching Jeff take the piss out of them.
posted by Big_B at 10:02 AM on November 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Probst is just terrible, I truly wish Survivor had a different host.

About 5 minutes into the podcast and I've only just figured out that Linda Holmes is Miss Alli of TWOP. OMG, biggest fan crush ever.
posted by jamaro at 10:03 AM on November 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


He's making fun of them for playing the part of sexist tropes.

Ironic sexism is awfully hard to make out among all that actual sexism. I stopped watching Survivor -- a show I loved in the early seasons -- because of just the "wallpaper sexism" that Holmes refers to.
posted by Etrigan at 10:06 AM on November 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


> "Linda Holmes is Miss Alli of TWOP."

REALLY??!! I'll join in that fan crush with you ...
posted by kyrademon at 10:08 AM on November 6, 2013


Asking "is Survivor sexist?" is sort of like asking "is this pie made from human feces lacking in essential nutrients?" Because, well, yeah—it probably is, but there was already such an obvious and excellent reason not to eat it that asking about its nutritional content is just weird.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 10:11 AM on November 6, 2013 [21 favorites]


Over the weekend, Holmes joined former Survivor contestants Rob Cesternino and Stephen Fishbach on Cesternino's Robhasapodcast show for a lively discussion of this topic (runs just over an hour).

"Is there sexism on Survivor? To find out, we asked three men..."
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:12 AM on November 6, 2013 [27 favorites]


The wife and I are big Survivor fans and this article sounds pretty biased and kilter. Pick another season and you'll see the women blantly mocking the men for being so easy to manipulate.

Sexism exists in the game dynamics, no doubt. It's fascinating how the tribes want to break alliances down along gender lines, just because. But that goes both ways and the big sting alpha males almost always get tripped up by men and/or women for being so alpha stupid.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:14 AM on November 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


Over the weekend, Holmes joined former Survivor contestants Rob Cesternino and Stephen Fishbach on Cesternino's Robhasapodcast show for a lively discussion of this topic (runs just over an hour).

—"Is there sexism on Survivor? To find out, we asked three men..."


You know Linda Holmes is a woman, right?
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:23 AM on November 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


Heh. Note this from the comments on the NPR piece:

Adam Bonin:
"I'm trying to remember where it was that I read that going into the first season, the producers had predicted Joel Klug, the dumb health club owner, was the archetype for their expected winners.

Do you think he'd have been crazy about Cochran winning but-for his occasional immunity wins? Played a perfect social game."

Joel Klug:
"1. I was a consultant at the time not an owner.
2. The producer picked Sean to win before production.
3. I'm not dumb;)

But thanks for noticing"
posted by zarq at 10:26 AM on November 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


I still think when Probst leaves the last tribal council with the vote jar, they should show a little mini-movie montage of him crossing deserts with it, parasailing, hacking through jungles with it under his arm, chasing down a kid who steals it from him in a marketplace, etc., then he shows up live on the stage with it at the final episode.
posted by bleep-blop at 10:26 AM on November 6, 2013 [15 favorites]


The fact that MeFites watch "reality" TV at all reduces my already-jaded hope for humanity.
posted by Zenabi at 10:34 AM on November 6, 2013


Ah there it is.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:35 AM on November 6, 2013 [25 favorites]


Nah. Just show a timelapse of it sitting on a desk somewhere for the months between the wrap up in the field and the live finale, with all the editing etc happening in the background. With the Benny Hill theme playing.
posted by Big_B at 10:36 AM on November 6, 2013


That's an awesome takedown of a show I don't ever really watch because I always find the people on it too obnoxious and the challenges too contrived.

But I have been known to watch the Real World/Road Rules challenges, where the people are even more loathsome and the challenges are even dumber, so it's not like I have the cover of good taste.
posted by klangklangston at 10:37 AM on November 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Is there sexism on Survivor? To find out, we asked three men..."

Indeed. Thats how things are done.
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:41 AM on November 6, 2013


Were we expecting Survivor to be a shining beacon of social progress? An example for the rest of the world to follow?
posted by rocket88 at 10:57 AM on November 6, 2013


The fact that MeFites watch "reality" TV at all reduces my already-jaded hope for humanity.

There might be someone close and dear to you, perhaps under the same roof, who watches "reality" TV....[insert dark ominous laughter]...

I haven't watched the show for a few seasons, but incidentally the last one I watched was one which pitted men against women, and the women kicked butt. Probst is a host who loves to rib the contestants and I've never really picked up a sexist vibe from the show, myself.

Incidentally, it was a pretty great vehicle which allowed a very dynamic, but very sexist male player reach the pinnacle of the show, only to lose to a woman whom he had considered his "puppet" the entire time. Talk about ripe revenge.
posted by Atreides at 11:00 AM on November 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


That's an awesome takedown of a show I don't ever really watch because I always find the people on it too obnoxious and the challenges too contrived.

Nah, it's a shit takedown that's depends on viewing the show through a very narrow slot in order to reach its conclusions. For instance:
"Far more men than women have been treated as "leaders," and host Jeff Probst has never been even one-tenth as interested in women contestants as he is in the men. He's essentially come right out and said so, that the women just tend not to be as interesting on the whole as the men."
Notice how leaders is in quotes. That's because in the context of the game, leaders are seen as potential targets who have to balance goal of leading while not appearing too strong to be a threat further down the line. Those who do take that leadership role are almost always alpha types who just have to be in charge and take center stage. It's so obvious on the game that the smart people, male and female, figure out that is and then manipulate them into the role they secretly crave, in order to direct team animosity at that person. This isn't sexism, that's game play in manipulating the perception of certain roles.

The link in the quote goes to an article and short interview with Jeff Probst, the host of survivor. The article talks about how Survivor supposedly only brings back men to be returning players. But it conveniently ignores seasons where numerous women were returning players because...well, I don't know why.

Survivor has returning players in several ways. Sometimes, it's the theme of an entire season, such a previous players vs new players or favorite players vs new players. Other times, they just bring back two players for a single season and place them with sixteen new players. It's the latter that that article focuses on, for unknown reasons.

Probst's interview is interesting, as what he hypothesizes is that the men make better returning players for drama reasons, where women may just be too calm and rational for driving tv ratings. It's sexism of sorts, but hardly what the article implies.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:01 AM on November 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


> "Were we expecting Survivor to be a shining beacon of social progress? An example for the rest of the world to follow?"

Sure, why not? Why ignore the problem just because it's a pervasive one?
posted by kyrademon at 11:02 AM on November 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Probst's interview is interesting, as what he hypothesizes is that the men make better returning players for drama reasons, where women may just be too calm and rational for driving tv ratings. It's sexism of sorts, but hardly what the article implies.

"No, I'm sorry, you said your house was infested with bedbugs, but these are lice. Totally different order. Clearly, this isn't the problem you said it was."
posted by Etrigan at 11:04 AM on November 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


I remember the first season with Richard Hatch who was *GASP* gay and this season we have Caleb, Colton's boyfriend, and it's just not a deal (at least not in the edit).

Probst has been called out on several recap sites and message boards for his misogyny.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 11:08 AM on November 6, 2013


The fact that MeFites watch "reality" TV at all reduces my already-jaded hope for humanity.


Metafitler can be pretty awesome, but using it's members as barometer as your already-jaded hope for humanity probably isn't going to do anyone much good.

?Clearly, this isn't the problem you said it was."

Pretty much, yes. There's a ton that could be said about sexism in regards to Survivor. This article barely scratches the surface of it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:09 AM on November 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


The fact that MeFites watch "reality" TV at all reduces my already-jaded hope for humanity.

I'd rather have lunch with Kanye West going on about his genius in a roomful of Kardashians than snob about who watches what on TV.

You're not better than me.
posted by discopolo at 11:11 AM on November 6, 2013 [8 favorites]


?Clearly, this isn't the problem you said it was."

Pretty much, yes. There's a ton that could be said about sexism in regards to Survivor. This article barely scratches the surface of it.


And yet, you dismiss it as "a shit takedown". It's not often that someone agrees that something is a problem but attacks someone who brings up a symptom of it quite so specifically.
posted by Etrigan at 11:16 AM on November 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


But I have been known to watch the Real World/Road Rules challenges, where the people are even more loathsome and the challenges are even dumber, so it's not like I have the cover of good taste.

I used to watch those too. My favorite one ever - apropos of sexist tropes in "reality competitions" - was the first season where it was a boys team vs. girls team. The boys made a pact at the start that each time they had to vote someone off they would simply go with the guy who had the lowest points total, fair and square. As a result their team spent the whole series with no drama, no fights, no hurt feelings, just solid teamwork. Meanwhile the girls, with no such pact, became a sad nest of fighting, backstabbing, gossip, etc. - pretty much every Mean Girl stereotype you can name.

The producers must've been pissed at the boys' successful evasion of the show's formula, as every subsequent season I've checked in on, the rules of the season were devised in ways to disallow simple "lowest points" eliminations.
posted by dnash at 11:17 AM on November 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am not a man.

And honestly, I thought it was kind of cool that two guys wanted to sit around and talk about gender roles for an hour. I mean, it would be one thing if it was a panel of eight guys, but I felt like their interest was really genuine. Cesternino had a lot more to say about it than maybe I even anticipated (he brought up the thing with Dawn getting slammed by the internet, which I hadn't even thought about leading up to that conversation). And Fishbach is just a smart dude who's spent a lot of time thinking about Survivor. Honestly, the way different kinds of guys are treated (adequately "macho" dudes versus other dudes) is almost as deeply bent as the way men and women are treated.

As for the surface-scratching thing, sure. Of course women contestants would have different things to complain about than women viewers; why wouldn't that be the case? I wouldn't expect to be able to nail in a single podcast every important gender issue that's arisen in, what, 300 hours of television? When the show has cast maybe 250 people?

I don't know. I really thought the podcast was fun; that's just deeply intense nerdery that I enjoy a lot.

As for the stuff about watching reality television at all, it's not my experience that reality-show viewers are appreciably more or less intelligent than people who watch anything else, except in the ever-hopeful minds of people who don't watch reality television.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 11:31 AM on November 6, 2013 [34 favorites]


It's not often that someone agrees that something is a problem but attacks someone who brings up a symptom of it quite so specifically.

i dunno - saying that there are issues to discuss but that this article does a bad job of it for reasons is a pretty typical response, especially if someone feels the article glosses over things.
posted by nadawi at 11:34 AM on November 6, 2013


The fact that MeFites watch "reality" TV at all reduces my already-jaded hope for humanity.

Wait. You mean the relationship questions asked by mefites didn't get your spidey senses all a tingling?
posted by hal_c_on at 11:36 AM on November 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


The fact that MeFites watch "reality" TV at all reduces my already-jaded hope for humanity.

MeFites are interested in everything. Not every individual MeFite, of course. But collectively, I don't think there's a subject in heaven or earth or dreamt of in someone's philosophy that doesn't interest MetaFilter.

This increases my otherwise-quite-limited hope for humanity.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:39 AM on November 6, 2013 [8 favorites]


And yet, you dismiss it as "a shit takedown". It's not often that someone agrees that something is a problem but attacks someone who brings up a symptom of it quite so specifically.

I didn't say it was a problem, merely noted that article was clearly slated in a particular way i.e. male sexism towards women is a major problem on Survivor.

As a long time fan of the show, I don't see that problem, while cheerfully admitting there's a lot fluidity in the class, race, gender dynamics appear on the show. It's biggest problem is that it doesn't have a completely accurate formula for creating a solid season of interesting tv watching. Sometimes the players are incredibly boring or repeatedly behave stupidly. That's because predicting how individual react under the stress of the game isn't black and white. So a seemingly great player, might just clam up under the stress and fade into the background. Or just freak out, piss everyone off and quickly get voted out

The most fascinating part of Survivor is how many players buy into the sexist roles, even after it's been shown for over a decade that doing so is dangerous in terms of game play. There's always, always a group of young, buff guys who think they're God's gift to the game and will just completely crush the competition. Yet that rarely happens for any length of time, as the young studs aren't as smart as they think or they're a masterful player of the social game who runs circles around the "we will win challenges and triumph forever" scheme.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:40 AM on November 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


But I have been known to watch the Real World/Road Rules challenges...

Oh, I remember that show! But I thought it was called Lunk Heads in Bunk Beds.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:55 AM on November 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


Brandon, you're talking more about the game (players and their interaction), but Linda was talking more about the show (Probst and the choices the producers make), and even when she talks about player interactions, she points out that these are casting problems, and thus at least somewhat within the control of the show part of the equation.
posted by Etrigan at 11:59 AM on November 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


This series would be better with actual bloodsport in which the women lurk in the dark of the night and drive the terrified men into pit traps and devour them.
posted by elizardbits at 12:02 PM on November 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


She has a really good point about Probst (who has said on multiple occasions that men Survivors are more interesting than women), but the rest of it is editing. The situations described in her blog did not happen the way that they were portrayed. So yes to editing and Probst, no to the game being sexist.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:04 PM on November 6, 2013


the women just tend not to be as interesting on the whole as the men

For "interesting" substitute "big ole jerks" and you get the true meaning.

There have been some slimy women on the show, but for complete unadulterated douchecanoes, its the guys hands down.
posted by Billiken at 12:09 PM on November 6, 2013


I still think when Probst leaves the last tribal council with the vote jar, they should show a little mini-movie montage of him crossing deserts with it, parasailing, hacking through jungles with it under his arm, chasing down a kid who steals it from him in a marketplace, etc., then he shows up live on the stage with it at the final episode.

In the Amazon season, they did have Probst jump on a jet-ski after final tribal council. The live finale opened with footage of him arriving in the waters of New York aboard the jet-ski.
posted by The Deej at 12:09 PM on November 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


For "interesting" substitute "big ole jerks" and you get the true meaning.

I disagree. In the last couple seasons, we've had Cochran, Jeff Kent, Malcolm Freberg, Vytas Baskauskas, Reynold Toepfer, Eddie Fox, etc. Lots of interesting, decent players who were not jerks, and who were beloved to Probst.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:12 PM on November 6, 2013


Brandon, you're talking more about the game (players and their interaction), but Linda was talking more about the show (Probst and the choices the producers make), and even when she talks about player interactions, she points out that these are casting problems, and thus at least somewhat within the control of the show part of the equation.

No, most of the article is a bout specific actions by specific players from a specific episode in a specific season, Blood vs. Water. Seriously, there's a list of ten items and seven of them are about this season, its players and some of their actions.

I think that's understandable because Brad Culpepper has so easily and readily fit in the role of sexist asshole. The guy is just a an unbelievable piece of work on the show, it's mind-boggling. When he asks another man whether he's been sexist, instead of the women, you literally replay the scene in your head, because you're sure that a real person wouldn't be so blatantly ignorant and sexist. But no, it really happened and your mouth drops to the floor.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:16 PM on November 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


yeah, the culpeppers are jerks and brad is king of that jerk mountain.
posted by nadawi at 12:20 PM on November 6, 2013


One of the things that makes me watch Survivor religiously is to see how the contestants react to the blatant bullshit of Jeff Probst, as well as the obvious manipulation of the producers. It's kind of like real life in that way: some decent people, some idiots, some psychos, some bullies, some sexists and racists, all struggling to get through this stupid game called Survivor life. It's a really good show despite because of these flaws.

Jeff Probst has always been a sexist asshole. He likes his women to be girls -- young and sexy but not helpless -- and his men to be the most dudely of dudes. Brad Culpepper is archetypical here, and five minutes into the first episode of the season you knew Probst was going to be calling him by his last name and admiring his football muscles. But dudely dudes typically fare poorly on Survivor. Probst rarely gets his way in this regard.

But Probst is not Survivor. The cast makes the show. When freakazoids like Brandon Hantz are ruining the game, it can be close to unwatchable. But right now, and in most of the previous seasons, smart, capable women run the show -- often by sitting back and keeping their own counsel while the dudely dudes preen and parade and talk themselves right out of the game. It's very satisfying to watch if you're on the women's (or less macho men's) side.
posted by Fnarf at 12:20 PM on November 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


The real problem with the show is racism, not sexism -- or rather, the two combined. Black women have always fared extremely poorly (like poor Francesca, voted off first in two seasons).
posted by Fnarf at 12:22 PM on November 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Fnarf, exceptions to that being Cirie Fields (three time player), Sabrina Thompson (2nd place) Vecepia Towery (winner), Alicia Callaway (two time player) and Crystal Cox (top 3 or 4)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:30 PM on November 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Seriously, there's a list of ten items and seven of them are about this season, its players and some of their actions.

Setting aside the point that Holmes (and others in this thread) make that what we're seeing at home is actively managed by the producers, so they get part of the blame on everything that we see, let's run the numbers:
1 -- Both the players and how Probst responded.
2 -- Probst.
3 -- Players.
4 -- Probst.
5 -- Producers.
6 -- Players.
7 -- Players (but this is a longstanding complaint about the show in general).
8 -- Players and Probst.
9 -- Players.
10 -- Players (with the note about casting).

I score it 7-5.5, and the last line of the post lines out the author's objection (emphasis added):
But I cannot deny that having to sit through all this preening by bullies is beginning take a toll on my enjoyment, especially when I feel like the show and the host are on their side.
posted by Etrigan at 12:30 PM on November 6, 2013


I think that's understandable because Brad Culpepper has so easily and readily fit in the role of sexist asshole. The guy is just a an unbelievable piece of work on the show, it's mind-boggling. When he asks another man whether he's been sexist, instead of the women, you literally replay the scene in your head, because you're sure that a real person wouldn't be so blatantly ignorant and sexist. But no, it really happened and your mouth drops to the floor.

It's the classic, "It's how I was edited" excuse, but Brad Culpepper did address this in his exit interview with Dan Fienberg at Hitfix:
"I wouldn't be happily married to Monica for 22 years if I were a sexist or a misogynist. I'm a very liberal Democrat. A lot of stuff that was said didn't eve make the air because it just made no sense. The people down on Redemption Island spent very little time with me and were taking everything very personal. What wasn't shown one time was when I went down there the very first time, I opened up the floor for everyone to talk and every single person on my tribe, to a person, said glowing things about me. Ciera was like, "He gives me hugs and kisses my head when I feel bad about how well I didn't perform in a Duel." They said "He cooks, he cleans, he does everything around. He never bossed us around." And that's when they did show me say to Candice, "That's what he said and he said and she said and she said and your husband said." They only showed the tail end of that. They didn't show actually what everyone said."
posted by The Gooch at 12:34 PM on November 6, 2013


well the idea that he can't be a sexist and have monica by his side seems to assume facts not in evidence - plenty of people who behave in sexist ways have wives and mothers and daughters. i've also known plenty of sexist liberals.

he seems to think everyone got that impression because the people on redemption island said some stuff, but he had no problem being the decider and ringleader, choosing when to dole out a crumb of gameplay to the women on his tribe and ignoring them in other gameplay conversations. it's not terribly surprising that a football player would have an easier time playing with a bunch of dudes, but it is going to appear a certain way and it's pretty easy to edit that storyline to fit. also he can say all he wants that someone when aggressively challenged by him said he never bossed anyone around, but editing or not, him bossing his tribe around was pretty easy to see.
posted by nadawi at 12:51 PM on November 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


The real problem with the show is racism, not sexism -- or rather, the two combined.

Regarding race, I think the show highlights and not always favorably, how different cultures can be between races, yet the dominant culture is always perceived as right or normal.

Setting aside the point that Holmes (and others in this thread) make that what we're seeing at home is actively managed by the producers, so they get part of the blame on everything that we see, let's run the numbers:

Not surprisingly, we're reaching different scores because I'm going based on what I saw from watching the show, while you seem to be scoring based on what Holmes wrote about the show, and I disagree with many of her interpretations. If I'm wrong and you have indeed watch this season, let me know. But we're probably still going to disagree!

For instance, let's look at number 2 on the list, which you seems to be saying is proof of Probst's and/or the show's sexism and I'm definitely saying is the sexist actions of the players or just a single player.

Here's the quote:
2. From Probst's intro looking back on last week's episode: "[One tribe]'s plan was to take out the weak." In fact, that tribe's men had a plan to take out the women. Weakness really didn't enter into it. The intro simply took it as a given that "taking out the women" and "taking out the weak" are the same thing. If that's the case, you might think it's a casting problem.
To me, it's pretty clear that Culpepper is running the show on his team's side and thinks the women are weak, so ergo they have to go. So Probst wasn't being sexist, but parroting what Culpepper was thinking.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:55 PM on November 6, 2013


To me, it's pretty clear that Culpepper is running the show on his team's side and thinks the women are weak, so ergo they have to go.

But that doesn't make sense in the context of what we saw. The first two girls they took out were the stronger ones, who were paired with men on the other tribe with whom the Tadhana men had either a problem with (Gervase) or wanted to bait for Redemption Island (Tyson.)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:05 PM on November 6, 2013


well, it's pretty sexist of culpepper and the other men on his tribe to just use the women as pawns against the men they have problems with. i do think that he thinks the women are weak and massaged his reality to make it so by voting out women with strength first. i get the impression that he likes his women to act strong but ultimately defer to him.
posted by nadawi at 1:07 PM on November 6, 2013


well, it's pretty sexist of culpepper and the other men on his tribe to just use the women as pawns against the men they have problems with

Point taken, however, I think there's a fine line between calling something inherently sexist and seeing an affinity group designating a part of their tribe as "other."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:10 PM on November 6, 2013


For instance, let's look at number 2 on the list, which you seems to be saying is proof of Probst's and/or the show's sexism and I'm definitely saying is the sexist actions of the players or just a single player.

Here's the quote:
2. From Probst's intro looking back on last week's episode: "[One tribe]'s plan was to take out the weak." In fact, that tribe's men had a plan to take out the women. Weakness really didn't enter into it. The intro simply took it as a given that "taking out the women" and "taking out the weak" are the same thing. If that's the case, you might think it's a casting problem.
To me, it's pretty clear that Culpepper is running the show on his team's side and thinks the women are weak, so ergo they have to go. So Probst wasn't being sexist, but parroting what Culpepper was thinking.


Emphasis added to point out that it was Probst's intro that Holmes was taking issue with. He makes conscious choices of what to highlight and how to frame it. By "parroting" it without pointing out that Culpepper is conflating "women" and "weak," he's lending it legitimacy.

Not surprisingly, we're reaching different scores because I'm going based on what I saw from watching the show, while you seem to be scoring based on what Holmes wrote about the show, and I disagree with many of her interpretations.

Yes, we were discussing her interpretations, starting when you said, "Seriously, there's a list of ten items and seven of them are about this season, its players and some of their actions." I pointed out that several of those interpretations were also about the producers' choices, to the point that "seven of ten" is a misleading statistic, given that at least half of them are complaints at least partially about Probst or the producers. If we give half-points, then it's 6-4 players over producers, with asterisks by #7 ("girls") and #10 (passive female players, which could be due to casting or presentation rather than playing styles).

And I'd like to revisit the point I set aside earlier -- this is all very tightly managed and essentially "written" by the producers. I take Culpepper's defense ("I can't be misogynist -- I'm married!") with a grain of salt, but the fact remains that virtually everyone who's come off Survivor (and pretty much every similar long-form competition "reality" show) has said that the producers shape the narrative to the point that the contestants barely recognize the events. Add in the fact that the producers carefully select who they're going to put on the show in the first place, and they have to take at least some of the blame for how it looks to the observer.
posted by Etrigan at 1:17 PM on November 6, 2013


But that doesn't make sense in the context of what we saw. The first two girls they took out were the stronger ones, who were paired with men on the other tribe with whom the Tadhana men had either a problem with (Gervase) or wanted to bait for Redemption Island (Tyson.)

First time around, they were going to vote off either Katie or Marissa. Katie because she perceived as weak and Marissa because she was connected to Gervis, who was too much of a showoff or too loud for Culepper AND probably because she called out Culepper at the council on the beach, where Laura B was voted out. I think Brad voiced concern about his wife, who was on the other team and Marissa called him out for that, which was as dumb as Brad expressing concern.

So it's clear that weakness was an issue there, with Kate, but Marissa and Gervase attitude probably pissed off Brad more. There was nothing inherently strong about Marissa, in Brad's eyes.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:19 PM on November 6, 2013


the fact remains that virtually everyone who's come off Survivor (and pretty much every similar long-form competition "reality" show) has said that the producers shape the narrative to the point that the contestants barely recognize the events.

i watch a lot of reality tv and i think just as many people come out saying, basically, 'they can't put words in mouth - it might not have happened exactly as they showed it, but we said and did all the things they showed - if you can get a bad edit, you gave them the material.' it seems like most of the people who claim it's all made up are the ones who are trying to repair their own images.
posted by nadawi at 1:21 PM on November 6, 2013


Emphasis added to point out that it was Probst's intro that Holmes was taking issue with. He makes conscious choices of what to highlight and how to frame it.

Yes, we agree about Probst's intro was what Holmes was taking issue with. Her and I disagree on the interpretation though.

I pointed out that several of those interpretations were also about the producers' choices, to the point that "seven of ten" is a misleading statistic, given that at least half of them are complaints at least partially about Probst or the producers.

Again, we disagree on those interpretations. Have you actually seen episodes from this season?

ut the fact remains that virtually everyone who's come off Survivor (and pretty much every similar long-form competition "reality" show) has said that the producers shape the narrative to the point that the contestants barely recognize the events.

Survivor is indeed storyboarded, where the creators film everything they can and then craft storylines based on what they've filmed, i.e. what the players actually said or did. I've seen enough Survivor with it's returning players who usually behave in similar ways to take the "but the edited me that way" compliant with a grain of salt. No doubt, the audience isn't seeing the full, nuanced view of the person, but they are definitely parts of that whole.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:27 PM on November 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Again, we disagree on those interpretations.

Again, you brought them up as a mathematical demonstration that it wasn't really the show's fault, and again, Holmes specifically said, "But I cannot deny that having to sit through all this preening by bullies is beginning take a toll on my enjoyment, especially when I feel like the show and the host are on their side." She seems to be agreeing with you that the players are assholes, but that the presentation is also problematic.

The time and effort that the contestants spend in the confines of the game is dwarfed by the time and effort that the producers devote to casting, devising, storyboarding, editing and generally polishing the entire thing. They don't just stumble on a bunch of people in a jungle and suggest some wacky games to play -- it's all very controlled from far in advance of the beginning of the competition to well after the end. At some point, you have to ask whether they want to present these problematic issues in the way that they do. The answer seems to be an unequivocal Yes.
posted by Etrigan at 1:41 PM on November 6, 2013


i pretty much agree with Fnarf - i think the show can be seen to be "on the side" of bullies if you look at it one way, but it can also be seen as the show really likes to watch bullies/alphas fall on their asses. i can understand why some people don't enjoy it and why some people find probst and the producers to be problematic to watch - but it's not the only interpretation, especially when you consider the top 3 or 4 for all the seasons - the big alpha stomping bullies very rarely make it to that stage of the game, and even if they do, they very rarely win it. if the show is on their side, it's not doing the bullies any good.
posted by nadawi at 1:49 PM on November 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


have to ask whether they want to present these problematic issues in the way that they do.

Yes, but then they get foiled by good players who don't fit the producer's or Probst's mold. Culpepper, for instance, is gone for good -- and early, too.

One of the themes of the show has always been that "weak" and "strong" don't always, or even usually, mean what you think they do. Big strong manly men get creamed on this show, over and over again, often by 90-pound-weakling girlie girls.
posted by Fnarf at 1:49 PM on November 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Etrigan, If you haven't watched any of the episodes, which is a question you've avoided answering, you can see them at the CBS website. Here's the first episode, where about 25 minutes in, Culpepper thinks up and arranges the five guy alliance because (paraphrasing) "we're five guys and therefore strong and will never lose". The funny part is that none of the other guys have the view that "we're men and will never lose" but are happy to have Culpepper be the leader and thus target.

So yeah, Probst parroting Culpepper's dumb thoughts in the intro, something he's done every season, doesn't strike me as inherently sexist of him or the show's producers and creators.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:51 PM on November 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was ready to lean a little with the "they edited the show to make me appear that way" with Culpepper, but that interview seals the deal. The guy is a jerk.

HitFix: When you look back at your reading of this season's specific strategy, it seems like you caught onto the different implication of the twist faster than a lot of people did. Do you think you were maybe over-strategizing around that twist? Or were other people under-strategizing or under-realizing how it was a different game?

Brad: It was a different game because I had my wife over there and very few others did. I think Rupert had his wife and John had his wife. Are you married?

HitFix: I am not.

Brad: OK. Do you have a... significant other at all?

HitFix: Not at the moment, but I certainly have.


So the only people that had skin in the game were the ones who had spouses there. Don't worry about the moms and daughters, or brothers.
posted by Big_B at 3:36 PM on November 6, 2013


For "interesting" substitute "big ole jerks" and you get the true meaning.

—I disagree. In the last couple seasons, we've had Cochran, Jeff Kent, Malcolm Freberg, Vytas Baskauskas, Reynold Toepfer, Eddie Fox, etc. Lots of interesting, decent players who were not jerks, and who were beloved to Probst.


Oh, you mean the same Jeff Kent who said this in his parting speech:

"You know what pissed me off? I think I've made about $60 million playing baseball, and I want this frickin' million dollars in this game and it's not even a million bucks! It's 600 grand by the time Obama takes it!"
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:39 PM on November 6, 2013


> " No doubt, the audience isn't seeing the full, nuanced view of the person, but they are definitely parts of that whole."

Hmm. I remember back in the early days of the reality TV explosion, there was an episode of one show where a contestant just ripped into all of the others. A long monologue about everything that was wrong with all the other people there, that went on and on and on.

It turned out that in an interview she had been told to, "Say one positive thing and one negative thing about all the other contestants." Then they just edited out the positive ones.

I don't assume I know anything about the people on reality TV unless I know them personally.
posted by kyrademon at 3:51 PM on November 6, 2013


I enjoyed the Linda Holmes article, couldn't yet listen to the podcast (anyone have a transcript?), and have long thought Probst sees, with some exceptions, the men on the show as the natural leaders and winners and women as the second stringers. I have felt this at various times from his commentary during the challenges, his questions/comments during tribal council, and his questions and comments during the final hour wrap up results shows. This isn't the first time anyone has noted his weird favoritism toward men on the show -- google Probst and sexist and there are varied pages of results that expand back years and aren't limited to this one episode.
posted by onlyconnect at 4:02 PM on November 6, 2013


Fnarf Jeff Probst has always been a sexist asshole. He likes his women to be girls. . .and his men to be the most dudely of dudes. . .five minutes into the first episode of the season you knew Probst was going to be calling him [Culpepper] by his last name and admiring his football muscles.

It's almost like Probst has underlying doubts about his own masculinity!
posted by mlis at 4:08 PM on November 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, I'm glad we're past the mefites noisily proclaiming their superiority to anyone who watches survivor.

It's interesting, out here in the colonies, Survivor could actually be viewed as very progressive - it was one of the first shows broadcast here with:

1) Nearly equal representation of women
2) Highly visible racial minorities from across the board
3) First gay people as major "characters"
4) Great diversity in age and background of contestants (though I grant, younger players are outweighed, and I cannot believe breast implants are as prevalent in America in general as they are in Survivor).

I do think it's folly to conflate the show with the contestants - though I do think bringing back execrable racists like Colton is a terrible thing (Probst has said he was against that from the get-go, and certainly expressed that in interviews post "one-world". )

Obviously, it's not directed by samaritans, but I don't think Survivor is noticeably worse than a lot of television out there - and sometimes, it's noticeably better.

Regarding this season - I think Culpepper was certainly edited in a way to highlight aspects of his personality, but that his personality was a bit on the not great side. I think his main problem was that he played way, way too hard, too fast. Also, I suspect because of his sports background, where intensity is required but you can't take it home with you, so to speak, he was able to remain emotionally distant from the "Game" and was genuinely puzzled when others weren't able/willing to do it.

The burning of the immunity clues has to be, as a whole, the dumbest moves of the season. There are many ways you could keep that clue and not piss off your tribe.

This all said, I would be very reluctant to seriously judge anything or anyone on Survivor (Colton excepted) - we only see such a small proportion of what goes on, and what we do see is built for particular narratives.
posted by smoke at 4:19 PM on November 6, 2013


i got the sense that probst's problem with colton wasn't his completely odious personality and manner, but the fact that he faked appendicitis to quit and then came back and quit again. if there's anything probst is 100% consistent on it's his opinion of people who willingly leave.
posted by nadawi at 4:47 PM on November 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


That was certainly a factor, but I read an interview on EW where I thought he was reasonably upfront about his distaste for Colton's racism shortly after the season ended.

I suppose it's heresy by this point in the thread, but I like Jeff's hosting!
posted by smoke at 5:05 PM on November 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, I'm glad we're past the mefites noisily proclaiming their superiority to anyone who...

You're, um, familiar with Metafilter, right?
posted by Fists O'Fury at 5:18 PM on November 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


i think there's a lot that sucks about probst, but i do enjoy his hosting despite it. it's sort of the way that i love guns n' roses.
posted by nadawi at 5:43 PM on November 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think Probst is a pretty good host except for his biases. His handling of some of the more ridiculous moments in the seasons has been pretty good, and the episode from Redemption Island where Philip 'played the race card' featured him doing a very good job in that Tribal Council in moderating a civil and thoughtful discussion.

Those biases can get damned annoying, though, and the article has some good points. I wouldn't say that all of them are valid (just for an example, but there's certainly some skimpy male clothing on the Survivor beaches, and a fair amount of blurring of their swimsuit areas as well), but certainly Probst has a tendency to lionise his physically active males and especially football figures. And the article is so very correct in how it points out that he just won't highlight the women in the same way as he does the men, and wouldn't ever start referring to one by her surname in the same 'mark of respect' way he's done with some of his other favourite contestants.

As a host and producer, though, he's going more for good television rather than good gameplay or good behaviour, and that difference in perception comes through in how treats the show. The most egregious time for this was with Russell Hantz on the Samoa season, where I ended up unable to watch the Probst-narrated 'Previously on Survivor' bit because his description of events being almost all at the whim of a near-omniscient Russell simply ran somewhat counter to the show as was presented and edited for the audience. It was like a little internal battle of realities each week.

Hell, you could even get a little bit of that with this season, where Probst's obvious appreciation for Brad Culpepper's sporting maleness had its counter in 1) how poorly Brad did in the game itself, and 2) little moments like the editing keeping in the time he miscounted on his fingers when demonstrating the strength of numbers in this game.

If there is anything that I'm noticing spreading on Survivor it's religion. Both Redemption Island and, even more centrally, South Pacific had a very strong Christian angle, and bonding and playing through faith has come up in more seasons than not for the past several years. It would maybe give me less pause if I didn't also know about Mark Burnett's multitude of Bible productions, but I'd put the religious against the non-religious as one of the stealth factors in the game ahead of sexism, which is much more frequently subverted.
posted by gadge emeritus at 9:10 PM on November 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I guess this article would be true if you assumed Jeff Probst means everything he says without any irony, and if everyone watching were devoid of critical thinking.

Brad Culpepper came off as a meat head and was basically used to highlight the folly of being a big jock meat head with sexist beliefs in a strategy game. FWIW, Probst has given glowing interviews about Candice. I was actually impressed by the amount of airtime given to the back-and-forth between sexist Brad and clearly feminist Candice, and character development for both of them. I took some of the questions asked to be tongue in cheek rather than sneering. The narrative in the end was that Candice was one of the heroes and Culpepper was one of the villains.

For a Survivor fan, Holmes has clearly missed the fact that normally when Jeff Probst asks a question these days it's to stir the pot and get one of the players to make a non-strategic response or to throw someone off their game. Holmes also didn't realize that when Jeff Probst said "that's the first time that has ever happened" it was clearly in reference to someone burning a clue to a hidden immunity idol, not to someone obeying her husband. It's also odd that she believes the Survivor stereotypes are "tough sexy male athletes, nurturing moms, sweet young things, wise and wily (male) silver foxes, and so forth." The last season's winner was a Harvard Law Survivor geek who regularly engaged in humorous self-deprecation when alone with the camera - although he has said in interviews the producers requested he geek-up his wardrobe with a sweater vest, so really what the mefi community should be enraged about is the sweater vest stereotype which is wayyyy out of date.

The rest of the very general examples require analysis I'm not going to recreate (screen time during athletic challenges? What?) because the writer lost me on those points alone. Who has what filters on? I think she's got some embarrassing mainstream feminist filters on that I would like to stay the hell away from my feminism because she's making us look silly. I'm not saying Probst is perfect, I'm saying that Holmes analysis is weak and she should do her research and get some better examples.

I would vote Holmes off the NPR island.
posted by skermunkil at 11:15 AM on November 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


someone burning a clue to a hidden immunity idol, not to someone obeying her husband.

I could not believe that Laura M. did that for individual immunity, it was so stupid. If you want to win, you need every advantage you can get.

Now Tyson finding the idol on his own, that I could be believe. Currently he's my favorite to win.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:23 AM on November 7, 2013


Brad Culpepper came off as a meat head and was basically used to highlight the folly of being a big jock meat head with sexist beliefs in a strategy game.

That's how he looked to you. That's your filter. It's my filter, too, but it's not coming from the show.

For a Survivor fan, Holmes has clearly missed the fact that normally when Jeff Probst asks a question these days it's to stir the pot and get one of the players to make a non-strategic response or to throw someone off their game.

It doesn't matter. It really doesn't matter. If he were making racist comments, would it be an adequate response to say he's stirring the pot with his racist comments; he doesn't really believe them, and therefore using them as provocation is perfectly cool? Of course he's stirring the pot. Of course he's trying to provoke good television. That has literally nothing to do with whether what he's doing is insulting or not. It may have to do with the purity of his heart, but it has nothing to do with the quality of his product.

Holmes also didn't realize that when Jeff Probst said "that's the first time that has ever happened" it was clearly in reference to someone burning a clue to a hidden immunity idol, not to someone obeying her husband.

Of course that's what he meant. I don't know why you think we disagree about that, but we don't. Why would I ever take the position that a host who clearly sees ordering your wife around as perfectly normal said that a wife obeying her husband had never happened before? That doesn't even make sense.

It's also odd that she believes the Survivor stereotypes are "tough sexy male athletes, nurturing moms, sweet young things, wise and wily (male) silver foxes, and so forth." The last season's winner was a Harvard Law Survivor geek who regularly engaged in humorous self-deprecation when alone with the camera

Yeah, you're kind of stretching here. To say a show specializes in a set of stereotypes doesn't obviously mean that every single person, or even every single winner, belongs to one of those stereotypes. (Thus the use of "and so forth.") It also has a male nerd stereotype, you're right, and we can certainly amend "nerd" to the list if it helps.

screen time during athletic challenges? What?

What indeed. Didn't say anything about screen time during athletic challenges. Said something about impractical clothing during athletic challenges.

The irony is that you and I have the same filters in a lot of ways, you believe the show and Probst are on the same page we are and are doing all this as a sort of grand satire of gender stereotyping, and I emphatically do not.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 11:45 AM on November 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Of course that's what he meant. I don't know why you think we disagree about that, but we don't. Why would I ever take the position that a host who clearly sees ordering your wife around as perfectly normal said that a wife obeying her husband had never happened before? That doesn't even make sense.

To be honest, in that paragraph it wasn't clear what you were going for to me either. With your obvious bias (no biggie, everyone has a bias) and came to the same conclusion that skermunkil did.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:44 PM on November 7, 2013


To refuse to believe that the voluntary (or otherwise) ingestion of such televisual kak is detrimental, is folly.

Purty soon you'll find yourself refusing to adhere to norms, such as using caps, or washing your hands after wiping your bottom.
posted by Zenabi at 1:56 PM on November 7, 2013


And the author lurks. Welcome.

I appreciate the comments but your writing does not convey what you think it does.

And then immediately — immediately — Brad Culpepper gave Monica the order. Firmly, with no discussion. "Walk it down and put in the fire. Walk it down and put it in the fire. Walk it down and put it in the fire." He said it three times, just like that, and after two times, she got up and did it. Did Jeff Probst say, "Does he tell you what to do all the time?" No, he did not. Candice did: she jumped in and said, "Doin' what she's told." But Probst just said, admiringly, "That's the first time that has ever happened."

You have left the key fact out and make Probst sound like he's commenting on something completely different. Your writing has implications for people who do not actively watch the show, or who weren't watching carefully. That you meant something different is interesting but it does not change how that paragraph reads.

It's almost quaint to mention at this point, but never forget that you see a lot more footage of women engaging in sport competition in bikinis than you do men attempting to compete in similarly practical/revealing Speedos.

You did explicitly say something about screen time during athletic challenges. In case the original comment did not make it clear with the use of question marks, it is really not clear what are you establishing here to support your argument - that the dress is different? That the footage is differently proportioned? I don't even know what metric I would use if I wanted to sit there and verify a relatively general claim about who wears what and how much it get shown.

As far as other details, I'm actually pretty sure that some characters refer to them as women (I'm thinking Vydas in particular), and most of the referring to girls has actually been by the women on the tribe dominated by older women. I think women have the right to refer to themselves as girls if they want.

It's also the most obvious thing in the world to ask Candice's husband if the women are being shushed - it's a much more awkward question for him to answer than anyone else. He's married to someone who called someone else out for being sexist, was previously in an alliance with the accused sexist person, and it's possible he might re-enter the game if he survived redemption island. Candice actually spoke to this exact issue in an enlightening post-game interview.

I don't believe Survivor is a case of grand satire, and it's not perfect, but this exploration of what is possibly a good topic was lacking. Articles like this are disappointing for me because of issues like the above combined with excessive speculation where there should be facts (e.g. that if men sat out they would comment in similar circumstances in particular on feeling like "tiny weak babies" - there are dozens of seasons for you to refer to in order to find contrasting facts), that some of the language used to interpret things (smirk, sneer) that colors the analysis.

You are fully entitled to your brand of feminism. And I am entitled to not be that into it.
posted by skermunkil at 1:59 PM on November 7, 2013


fwiw, she wasn't lurking at all. she had commented very early in the thread and the fpp points out that she's metafilter's own. i don't even disagree with all of your points, skermunkil, but you've been pretty aggressive about it, especially since she's right here to talk to.
posted by nadawi at 2:02 PM on November 7, 2013


The strong tone of the article itself attracted a reaction in kind from me, the lurking refers to the quick response - I didn't expect the author to engage despite checking in earlier but as I've indicated I welcome the commentary/explanation but I still strongly disagree, both specifically with the accuracy of various facts presented to support the argument and broadly with the writer's style/overlaid feminist analysis.
posted by skermunkil at 2:40 PM on November 7, 2013


ok, well, if you care, it's coming off pretty aggressive even to people who agree with you.
posted by nadawi at 2:53 PM on November 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


[Zenabi/nadawi, have that conversation elsewhere please]
posted by jessamyn at 3:41 PM on November 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Okay. It's time to vote.
posted by Big_B at 4:03 PM on November 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


INTERNET MEN FIND WOMAN'S ANALYSIS OF SEXISM IMPERFECT; DISMISS SEXISM AND ATTACK WOMAN. FILM AT 11.
posted by klangklangston at 4:09 PM on November 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


FOX news is on at 10.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:26 PM on November 7, 2013


in the central time zone it's on at 9. regular news is at 10.
posted by nadawi at 4:27 PM on November 7, 2013


My god, what the hell is happening out there?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:30 PM on November 7, 2013


I don't know, skermunkil, Linda_Holmes' article really resonated with me. I've heard Probst --Probst!-- call the women on the show "girls" countless times. I view the tiny bikinis that most of the women wear most of the time, compared to the long baggy shorts of most of the men, as a sort of magnified reflection of the casual sexism of our culture where it is accepted that of course OF COURSE women must strive to be decorative whatever they're doing, and men not so much. Even if Survivor is only reflecting the outside world on this I think they have certainly played it up and encouraged it with gusto in the footage they show and promos for the show -- they are using it for ratings, and to me they are complicit -- Holmes referring to it as "wallpaper" no one bothers to notice as being sexist anymore seems spot on to me, and I didn't find her explanation especially hard to follow.

Frankly I have watched so much Survivor over the years that I don't think Probst is saying sexist things just for effect, I think his personality is more open and straightforward than that. But even if he were putting it on, I agree 100% with Holmes' response here that, so what? Even if Probst is saying shitty things that reinforce sexist stereotypes merely to try to provoke a reaction, who cares? That is still awful. I don't care if he's just doing it for effect. Neither do I care if he's saying sexist things ironically, but not ironically enough to be understood as such by most people. I don't care. Just be better. Don't reinforce stereotypes that suggest I'm less than a man.

I have appreciated Linda_Holmes' comments here before and I've mostly agreed with her POV in this thread. I do think it's unusual to direct really openly confrontational comments to the author of a posted article in a MetaFilter thread. It's not a rule but it just seems to be how things usually go here, imho, fwiw. Cheers!
posted by onlyconnect at 9:18 PM on November 7, 2013


Sorry if it came off as lurking; I am here literally every day reading about and sometimes talking about all manner of things (four hundred and something comments), and on the rare occasion that my own stuff comes up, I do try to let the discussion go for a while before I say anything of substance, because I don't want people to feel like I'm trying to cut it off. I don't mean that as lurking, just not intruding. I guess I responded a little bit to the tone of your opener ("I guess this article would be true if you assumed Jeff Probst means everything he says without any irony, and if everyone watching were devoid of critical thinking"), and if it seemed defensive, it wasn't meant that way; I'm just responding to a bunch of things you said that, to me, misrepresent what I said.

You are, of course, entitled to your brand of feminism as well, if that's what this is. I continue to believe we don't disagree as much as you think, since most of the things you're taking issue with aren't things I actually said, so I'm not sure how we wound up here. But nevertheless, I'm happy to let it go.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 4:24 AM on November 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


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