Trouble in Paradise

Within the week and half since the alleged misconduct took place in Paradise, the internet has quickly jumped to conclusions and taken sides based on articles from multiple sources providing the same vague information. Corrine and DeMario have both spoken out and lawyered up. I have lots of thoughts, comments, questions and concerns. Here’s a list of them:

  1. How is Corrine doing?

 

  1. Where were Alexis, Jasmine, Raven, Astrid, and Sarah when this whole thing went down? Where were the guys? How the fuck did this happen?

 

  1. How are the other female #BIP cast members feeling? Did anyone feel like they couldn’t or shouldn’t step in and help because it might interfere with someone’s chances of staying on the show? They get paid for how long they make it. God, this is fucked.

 

  1. What does Rachel have to say about all of this – as a woman, as someone who is friends with Corrine (God, I really hope they actually are friends), and someone who had the pleasure of meeting Lexi and subsequently dismissing DeMario? Rachel. Tell us.

 

  1. Who is the whistleblower on this scandal? And is the whistleblower also a witness? What is the whistleblower’s gender?

 

  1. How many witnesses are there?

 

  1. What are the waivers the contestants have to sign, and what does that waiver say about sexual assault and suing ABC in general?

 

  1. Women are forced to constantly prove themselves as worthy of the same things men automatically receive: money, attention, power, credibility, opportunity, status, and the rights to their own bodies. (read: the bodies that are theirs, their bodies, the bodies of the women themselves. #911)

 

  1. This is not an opportunity to villianize all black men. This is not an opportunity to shame all blonde women.

 

  1. If you’re a woman out there saying #girlbye to Corrine, shaking your head saying of course this happened, UNPACK THAT. Are your expectations for men THAT FUCKING LOW that you just say well duh things get shady when two randy adults get lit by the pool? MEN GET DRUNK ALL THE TIME WITHOUT HAVING NON-CONSENSUAL SEXUAL RELATIONS WITH WOMEN WHO ARE IN NO POSITION TO CONSENT. Ask for more. We all deserve better. No one. Not even you deserve to be taken advantage of no matter fucking what.

 

  1. Rape is not just some big strong man throwing a woman down and sticking his penis into her vagina. Merriam Webster defines rape as: “unlawful sexual activity and usually sexual intercourse carried out forcibly or under threat of injury against the will usually of a female or with a person who is beneath a certain age or incapable of valid consent because of mental illness, mental deficiency, intoxication, unconsciousness, or deception.” Sexual assault is a rampant issue, and just because it’s not penis into vagina does not make it less of a big deal. It’s all bad. All of it.

 

  1. Our society has brainwashed women into thinking that sexual assault is something that can be avoided. Button up. Wipe off your lipstick. Those heels are too high. That skirt is too short. That dress is too tight. This only perpetuates the destructive belief that women can cost themselves safety by what they wear, how the walk, and what shade of lipstick they recently overpaid for at Sephora. It also distills men down into ruffian sex monsters who can’t control themselves, and this is NOT the case. Again, have higher expectations.

 

  1. If I admire a man’s ass, he’s not afraid of me. He’s not. You know why? I’m not as strong as him, and I don’t have a penis. A man looks at my ass and I don’t feel flattered, I feel afraid. Yeah, women are statistically physically smaller and less strong then men, but this isn’t the fucking ocean floor food chain. It’s the safety, security, and emotional and physical wellbeing of human beings for Christ’s sake. If women had penises and had a physical leg up on men’s bodies…CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE.

 

  1. If Corrine decides to put whipped cream on her perky boobs or take her top off in the pool while Franco does a sexy photoshoot, these are her decisions and her actions. She has acted autonomously. And like it or hate it, she can do whatever the fuck she pleases with her body. Utter swagger with your rockin’ bod and heartfelt enthusiasm for getting some does not make you a whore, a slut, or deserving of physical violation.  NEV. ER. EV. ER.

 

  1. This show/this entire franchise exists within the realm of reality TV, but almost no component is based in reality. It’s a strange, alternate universe with different rules and sets of behavioral codes. Our country and culture is founded on Puritan, Christian values, particularly monogamy, yet this “reality” show is a polygamous dating game. There’s nothing “normal” about this entire premise. Paradise in particular is a place where the training wheels come off and contestants are encouraged to go hard. Still, within this very unreal world there’s no sexual misconduct get out of jail free card. Not even a little bit.

 

  1. Some people are turning their frustrations towards the producers stating that it is up to them to prevent things like this from happening. I think that we all have a responsibility to raise our hands and make some noise if we see something even remotely nonconsensual is about to happen. You would think that despite its nothing but normal premise, this would still remain the case, ESPECIALLY because it’s a televised spectacle where all actions have the ability to live forever on film.

 

  1. My mother always tells me to just worry about me. Take care of myself. Don’t worry about anyone else. Of course I feel supported by friends and family, and I would hope if I needed help and for whatever reason couldn’t help myself that someone would help me. Still, I can’t help but ask the question: how can you rely completely on someone else to act for you? If you are in a position where you have no control over yourself, how can you trust that anyone is going to make sound, healthy, responsible decisions for you? Was Corrine counting on someone to step in if anything started to take a left turn? Can we ever really be fully uninhibited around people we don’t trust 100%? Can we trust anyone? Ever?

 

  1. Big ups to Jennifer Weiner at The New York Times for this poignant article on the chaos, and a special thank you to my public health correspondent for their assistance and support in writing this piece.

 

 


One thought on “Trouble in Paradise

  1. Thanks for this. I’ve been so upset and frustrated with the victim blaming going on towards Corrine. She was brought back because people love seeing her drunk and ridiculous–she should be able to be her character and be protected by those around her, rather than prioritizing good ratings (because let’s be real, the juicy “hookup” footage is what stopped people from intervening).

    As someone who has been sexually assaulted, it’s moments like these that I’m reminded why I rarely if ever tell me story. I didn’t say no because I froze. I went to breakfast with him the next morning because we had been friends a long time, I was still in shock, and I didn’t know how else to act. And ever since all I can think is those behaviors mean no one will believe me. Even Brock Turner’s victim, who had fucking pine needles in her vagina after the attack (if that’s not a sign of non-consensual sex I don’t know what is), was questioned and berated for getting too drunk. It’s a mistake we (people of all genders) commonly make. Why is it that the victim has to do everything just perfect WHEN THEY ARE BEING ATTACKED to be believed? I would bet my life that the majority of people who are victim-shaming and slut-shaming Corrine have been drunker than they meant to be before. I’m fed up with it. And for this to be at all about race…DeMario’s actions, whatever they were, have nothing to do with the fact that he is Black and everything to do with how men learn to treat women in this society and the culture of this show that we indulge in. Any assertion that this happened because he’s Black is boldly racist and just as fucked up as saying this happened to Corrine because she’s provocative and got drunk.

    Rant. Over. Thanks again Love You Bach for taking this up :-*

    Liked by 1 person

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