Celebrity Big Brother Abuse; Roxanne and Jermaine Unpacked

Not Your Babe

Every time I leave my house I have to think about how a man on the street that I don’t know will react to the way I look. Only yesterday a van pulling up to a set of red traffic lights alongside a minding-my-own-business me on the pavement featured a sexist, idiotic moron breaking his neck to lean out of the window to gawk at me. Feeling particularly bolshy I gave him a huge exaggerated wave intended to shame his aggressive gaze but to my dismay he was thrilled for the attention yelling “I love a ginger” at me. I yelled back sarcastically that he should take a picture and stop staring before completely ignoring him looking the other way whilst waiting for the lights to change. I hoped that by giving him attitude instead of shamefully trying to become invisible under his uncomfortable staring could make him think about the effect of his cocky, intimidating behaviour towards random women, but I doubt it will because men like that don’t see any problem with their behaviour, it is so normalised.

Cat called, sexist, feminist, blogger, fashion

The Banter of Emotional Abuse

Behaviour like this was displayed on Celebrity Big Brother in the last few weeks in the form of shameful ‘banter’ from ex-footballer Jermaine Pennant as he sexually pursued 21 year old glamour model Chloe Ayling, pretending not to be married. The love rat removed his wedding ring inside the house, touched, flirted, lied and even slept in a bed with Chloe. Implying at times to the guys in the house that he had a ‘girlfriend’, Jermaine continuously used the word banter to try and play down his disgusting behaviour of coming onto a woman on TV with his wife at home watching, humiliated in from of the nation. Batted away as ‘laddish behaviour’, or ‘just a phrase’, in isolation a comment seems innocuous, but it’s not. Calling it banter normalises the objectification of women and normalises sexism so that we accept it. Jermaine sent Chloe secret flirtatious messages written in make up and confessed to “liking” her in a challenge. When she tried to ask questions, he avoided them, clearly used to manipulating women. This is not a joke or ‘banter‘.

jermaine and chloe blossom

jermaine chloe bed blossom

CBB secret note blossom

Jermaine kiss chloe blossom

The night Chloe was evicted Jermaine shocked the housemates by admitting he was married. A week later, in Jermaine’s exit interview with Emma last night, the pig laughed at Chloe’s anger in finding out after her eviction about his relationship status. He told Emma “Nothing actually physically happened, it was just…” Emma interrupted and asked “Did you ever consider her feelings?” Jermaine replied: “I never once said ‘Oh I’m single, it was in jest.” In my opinion it is not Chloe’s job to ask if he is married, but his job to not act single! Men questioning your memory of events, trivialising your thoughts or feelings, and turning things around to blame you can be part of pattern of gaslighting and emotional abuse. You can just imagine him accusing his wife of overreacting when he gets home.

Jermaine Pennant Love Rat Celebrity Big Brother

(Some) young men of Jermaine’s generation have established emotional abuse like this as the norm and it is considered the woman’s fault if she didn’t get the ‘joke’. We saw it with Love Island’s Adam which was truly uncomfortable and now again with Jermaine.

An Everyday Abuse of Power

This week a friend of mine shared her experience of trying out a second job in a restaurant. She works freelance in social media, primarily in the fashion industry, and wanted something part-time to boost her income. After a trial shift at the restaurant, she decided it wasn’t for her. She rung the restaurant manager to let them know and later received strange messages from the supervisor on WhatsApp.

creepy text messgae

On reading her explanation the supervisor told her he wished she would work at the restaurant as she looked good. This sexist and intrusive behaviour is an abuse of power and I bet at this point she was extremely glad to have turned down the position. My friend, who has asked not to be named, called him out straight away.

creepy text messgae

Thanks to #MeToo and #TimesUp the impact of accusation bigger than ever, being called out for sexual harassment has more clout and is (hopefully) taken seriously rather than shrugged off. The supervisor certainly took it seriously.

creepy text messgae

creepy text messgae

What I think is really important here is that my friend has told the man exactly what he has done that she deems invasive and unacceptable, potentially changing his perception of how to treat women in a greater sense. The man has clearly used his position of power at the restaurant to steal her details, look her up online to gain information on her background and use her phone number from her CV to contact her. If he genuinely was interested in furthering his career as a ‘model’ a more considerate and professional approach may have had a very different result, but hands up anyone who thinks this was really his intention???!

The False Allegations

The counter argument for the new power of accusation is the potential for false accusations. My natural inclination would be to believe any woman who claims she has been abused. It’s important to remember that there is a massive amount of unreported abuse and that perpetrators of sexual violence are less likely to go to jail or prison than other criminals with a tiny 6 in every 1000 actually ending up incarcerated (source). Every case should be taken incredibly seriously and reforms need to be made in the justice system to support and protect the vulnerable in our society.

However… the actions of Celebrity Big Brother’s Roxanne Pallett last week has regressed the anti-domestic violence movement back 20 years when she falsely accused fellow housemate Ryan Thomas of hurting her, making headlines.

Roxanne Pallett Ryan Thomas Domestic Abuse Allegation Big Brother

If you missed the event, I’ll fill you in…Viewers were left confused as Roxanne claimed she had been “punched repeatedly, unprovoked and completely deliberately” by fellow contestant Ryan after he accidentally hit her too hard during a play-fight. A tearful Roxanne even asked to sleep in a separate room because she no longer felt “safe” in the shared bedroom. She dramatised the incident and blew it 100 times out of proportion to a point where it would have ended Ryan’s career had cameras not been there to catch the liar.

Please Please Please click here to watch the actual incident and the following conversations between housemates.

When discovering that the public were furious with her serious and false allegations, hearing them chanting “Get Roxy Out” during a live show, Roxanne quit Celebrity Big Brother and avoided public judgment. She apologised to Ryan, his family and cited her regret over the whole incident in a private interview with host Emma Willis, shown during last night’s Celebrity Big Brother show. Emma has been praised for her stern questions, scolding Roxanne “Can you imagine if those cameras hadn’t been there? You would have ruined somebody”.

Emma’s interview with Roxanne

The attitudes shown by the man in the van aggressively leering at me, Jermaine’s banter and with the supervisor stealing a phone number off a CV to tell a young woman he liked the way she looked are all linked to the rape culture of our society. Some men think they have a ‘right’ to women, their emotions and bodies. I demand to have equality and respect, daily “It is only when we make a stand together against abuse that we will see attitudes change and an end to domestic abuse, physically and emotionally.” – Katie Ghose, the chief executive of Women’s Aid.

Katie Ghose, the chief executive of Women’s Aid.

I have written more about everyday sexist attitude in posts including THE MEN’S FOOTBALL WORLD CUP. BRINGING THE SEXISM HOME and BOSSING IT IN A MAN’S WORLD; THE INTERVIEW So please check them out if you want to learn more and as always, like, share and comment your thoughts. Be kind to one another.
Love Roxy xXx

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