I've Been Bamboozled!

Episode Report Card
Miss Alli: B+ | Grade It Now!
The Naked And The Figuratively Dead

As Hatch approaches, Sue tries to step right past him onto the beam -- she's taking that first step past him before he even reaches her, almost, so she doesn't appear to have been waiting around in order literally to have some kind of a smackdown with him. As Hatch reaches the beam, he pushes against Sue with his crotch -- he throws the hips forward, in fact, to make very sure that that's what happens, and as he does it, he says, "Want some, honey?" You can tell he makes a good solid contact with her, too, because it's enough of a bump to knock Sue into Kathy, who has to throw her arms out to rebalance herself. I would also point out that Hatch does not do this on his way past Sue. He stops, plants his feet, knocks against her, saying, "Want some, honey?," and then he goes by her. It's not incidental. Or accidental. Or remotely necessary. Not like you couldn't tell that from the lewd comment. She says something about "gross, Richard," and then she starts out onto the beam. If you look at the overhead shot that follows, he's got a good foot of platform on the other side of her that he can easily, easily, easily step onto at this point. He's essentially perpendicular to Sue as she starts to step out. Rather than turn away from her in the direction he's supposed to be going, he turns toward her so that he's pressing up against her back. Although he's blocking her from a good camera view, you can tell from where they are on the platform and how much space is behind him, as well as from the fact that you can see her foot between his two feet, that if he's not actually touching her, it's certainly not for lack of trying. The first one of these two shoves with the dick, you could almost call spur-of-the-moment total lunacy -- he's passing her, he loses his fucking mind, he decides it would be funny, he has no sense of boundaries at all, and he does it. But the second time? After she says "gross," and after she's trying to get onto the beam? That's just disgusting, and aggressive, and kind of disturbing. You can start to hear some protesting from the group on the platforms, and Jeff finally says, "Guys, come on, nobody cares about that stuff." I would have preferred, "Hatch, keep your dick to yourself," but I suppose you take what you can get. Interestingly, Hatch has no trouble discerning what Jeff is talking about, and he immediately turns around and starts across the beam.

I spent a lot of time after this aired trying to figure out why it bothered me so much, because it bothered me quite a lot. I just cannot stand the phenomenon of guys (not all or most or many guys -- I'm talking a very specific breed of guys) who respond to women who don't back down easily by trying to humiliate them or embarrass them by subjecting them to some kind of sexual contact or sexual behavior and saying, basically, "What are you going to do about it?" I mean, if you're looking at the dynamics of that situation, Hatch is a lot bigger than Sue is. She's muscled, yeah, but that guy is a lot bigger than she is. Is he actually going to physically overpower her? No. Do I think he's trying to scare her that he's literally going to assault her? Of course not. Do I think she rationally believes that he's a threat to her physical well-being? No. But when you have a man and a woman who have been facing off in a sort of battle of wills and don't like each other, and he's a lot bigger than she is, and he goes in the direction of unwelcome contact with his unclothed dick in a situation where by the time she realizes he's going to do it, she physically has nowhere to go? I have a major problem with that. It has exceedingly unsettling overtones to it. And obviously, yes, this particular situation is complicated by a bunch of other factors, like the fact that they're on TV, and her own participation in last week's "bone" joke, and whether you think it's relevant that Hatch is gay (for this purpose, I don't)...but all I'm trying to say is that that's where the echoes of this scene landed for me, and that's why it made me intensely uncomfortable. And I'm just not willing to write it off to "all behaviors in the game are okay." If some guy told the women in his tribe that he was not going to allow them any privacy to change clothes, for instance, and he was intentionally going to follow them and peep at them while they were changing, I would expect somebody to tell him to knock it off. There are behaviors that just are not okay in any setting. Just as I don't think people should have to put up with physical violence, I don't think people should have to put up with this.

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