Can We Talk About How Problematic The Men Going Into Celebrity Big Brother Are?

It's further evidence that this is more about increasing views than celebrating women.

Dapper Laughs: 'Being Deemed The

by Georgia Aspinall |
Published on

In yet another example of Celebrity Big Brother’s ‘female empowerment’ series being a load of bullshit, the line-up for the male contestants has been confirmed and my eyes have never rolled so far back into my head.

Dapper Laughs, Jonny Mitchell, Andrew Brady… WHERE DO I EVEN BEGIN? It’s now at a point that for Channel 5 producers to deny that this is about anything other than views would be career-suicide. It’s as if someone’s gone on Google analytics, found that the most googled word was feminism in 2017 and then deep-dived to find which three men on tele have said the least feminist things.

There’s also some where yet to decide on, like John Barnes, Wayne Sleep, Shane Lynch and Ginuwine, who could equal parts prove themselves to be informed feminists or old sexists. Courtney Act, who speaks extensively about gender fluidity and feminism, is the only contestant I have faith in right now,

Jonny Mitchell

Appearing on Love Island 2017, Jonny was nothing short of dull before he gave Camilla Thurlow her shining moment by saying something sexist to a feminist. In a conversation that stemmed from who should pick up the bill on a first date, Jonny revealed himself to be the true misogynist he is by claiming ‘feminism believes in almost inequality’ and that we don’t have a sexism issue in the UK because we have a female prime minister. Peak white, male logic. His masculinity is so fragile that he would feel emasculated by a woman paying for herself, yet he doesn’t support a movement that aims to subvert those gender roles and stop men feeling that way. This type of irony that always has me half way between laughing and crying.

Feminist rating: 0/10- He may not be anti-women, but he’s anti-feminist.

Andrew Brady

Best known for being fired from The Apprentice after swearing in front of a client, Andrew is the epitome of lad culture. Fab. He caused a stir in last year’s season when the contestants had to lay on a VIP hospitality box at Wembley Stadium for the Women’s FA Cup Final. As part of the task, he claimed they should charge a cheaper price than normal because, ‘we have to remember that this is the FA Cup Final but it’s not the men's FA Cup Final.’, and ‘With women's football against men's football there's still more money in men's football.’ Luckily, Michaela Wain was there to remind him that ‘last year more people came to watch the Women's FA Cup Final than came to watch the men's England game.’

Feminist rating: 2/10- he apologized for his ignorant remarks on Twitter, admitting the price difference are unfair, so we’re not writing him off just yet. Still only a 2 though because there’s no excuse for being an idiot.

Dapper Laughs

Can we actually boycott this?? From rape jokes to objectifying women, Daniel O’Reilly is the epitome of lad culture and therefore repulsive. You've probably all already heard about his abysmal attempt at a TV career in 2014 when he attempted to teach men how to 'pull' women. Dismissing his controversies as ‘harmless banter’ he has shown little to no remorse for how misogynistic his ‘character' Dapper Laughs is. He’s already been making ‘jokes’ on Twitter about all the female contestants having synced-up periods and causing uproar. We can only hope he has become less of a sexist pig since having a daughter in 2015, but let’s not hold our breath.

Feminist rating: -10000/10, there’s no coming back from rape jokes.


Watching his interviews, I had genuine hope in Ginuwine, pun intended. He comes across as respectful towards women, and he wrote the Magic Mike anthem Pony so you just WANT to love him. Being a feminist is also surely a must when you have nine children, seven of which are daughters. Then I came across this little gem of knowledge he blurted out in 2016…

‘There’s a lot of women going to other women because the men aren’t doing right, that’s crazy to me, then it seems like it’s a fad because a lot of guys aren’t stepping up’,

And all my hope in the world crashes down. This, again, comes across as the genuine ignorance of a heteronormative man rather than full outright sexism and homophobia. While we can’t excuse it, because excusing sexism as generational is bullshit, we can have faith that simply teaching him why this is ridiculously problematic will be enough to gain a feminist ally.

Feminist rating: 6/10 – he’s never had any outright sexist scandals and speaks meaningfully about being equal partners in a relationship, but he’s still clearly misguided about sexuality.

Courtney Act

Bound to stir up controversy with India Willoughby who outrightly declared that drag queens ‘cheapen’ the transgender movement, CBB is really doing its part to ensure different points of view are heard with Courtney. Because they want a super open feminist debate, right? Not because it will be great TV once these two inevitably have it out, no it’s ALL in the name of education and female empowerment…

While Courtney is a human rights activist and speaks freely about gender fluidity, we can’t ignore the misogyny that is rife within the drag community. Depending on what side of the fence you sit on, drag is either a harmless form of entertainment or a degrading attempt to mock women using extreme forms of femininity.

However, Courtney considers himself a feminist, even better an intersectional feminist, and promotes it through educational videos on YouTube. So, whether you believe drag is offensive or fun, you can’t deny that Courtney goes beyond expected to push the feminist agenda.

Feminist rating: 9/10- While he does contribute to a culture that can be perceived as sexist, Courtney does actively contribute to promoting feminism and is definitely the most feminist of all the men entering the house. Although less one point because you can always do more for feminism…

John Barnes

The only other person of colour entering the house is football legend John Barnes. While he’s never actively spoken up about feminist issues or sexism in football, which we’re praying he’ll address in the house, he does speak up often about racism he faces. Since institutional and everyday racism is a hugely feminist issue, we’re hoping that even his male perspective will highlight the inequalities that people of colour face in the UK- made worse when you’re also another minority such as being a woman, disabled or homosexual.

Feminist rating- undetermined, let’s see how he does when he joins the women…

Wayne Sleep

As a ballet dancer, Wayne is the only example of a man in a female dominated profession entering the house. We’re bound to see some interesting takes on feminism from his perspective, and fingers crossed he addresses the gender stereotypes that he must’ve come across during his illustrious career. My main concern is his understanding of beauty standards for women, given that during his Channel 4 reality show Big Ballet he assumed the overweight ballet dancers would be ashamed to wear tutus and said the women were ‘quite frankly fat. They’re too big to be dancers and they don’t mind me saying it’. Of course, the women did mind. While he may have a skewed view on weight in ballet, he did stress the importance of women dancing no matter what they’re size and insisted the show wasn’t to encourage anyone to lose weight.

He’s another one we’re yet to decide on, will he be able to teach Jonny a thing or two about toxic masculinity? Or will he prove himself a secret sexist unaware of how beauty standards oppress women?

Feminist rating: 7/10 - he's sure to bend gender norms but we may have to amend this once we've heard more of his views...

If we can gauge anything from this list of men, it’s that CBB is really pulling out the stops to create what we can only assume will be a battle of the sexes. It’s been implied since the series began that the men will have a chance to steal power to nominate from the women, most likely after a series of patronizing tasks that reinforce the idea that certain activities are more suited to specific genders.

This is what happens when you throw the word feminism on a project without having authentically feminist motives. When the whole purpose is to make money off a ‘buzzword’ or tending topic, the means at which to achieve their so-called celebration of women are slowly revealed to be anti-women. Even the obsession with gender alone is everything feminism hates right now, when we’re attempting to move towards a society where gender is irrelevant. CBB is feigning that this is its motive, yet is encouraging a battle of the sexes? The contradiction in their supposed message and their means to achieve it is everything wrong with commodifying feminism.

Feminist entertainment you should be watching? Here's all the female directed films you should be excited about in 2018...


Debrief Films By Female Directors To Be Excited About In 2018

Films By Female Directors To Be Excited About In 20181 of 8

1. A Wrinkle In Time

Based on the book of the same name by Madeleine L'Engle, a movie adaptation directed by Ava DuVernay is on the way and if you haven't watched the trailer/seen that incredible Time magazine cover, you need to get on board because it's really exciting. It's a fantasy adventure film starring Oprah, Mindy Kaling and Reese Witherspoon and with this film Ava DuVernay has become the fourth woman and first African American woman to direct a film with a budget of more than $100 million. 23 March 2018

Films By Female Directors To Be Excited About In 20182 of 8

2. The Spy Who Dumped Me

Directed by Susanna Fogel, The Spy Who Dumped me is a comedy with Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon starring as BFFs who find out that the guy who dumped one of them is - wait for it- a spy. At the moment we know very little else about the film beyond the fact that Mila wears a blond wig at some point but we'll keep you posted.

Films By Female Directors To Be Excited About In 20183 of 8

3. Lady Bird

Greta Gerwig's directorial debut comes in the form of Lady Bird, the already hotly anticipated coming of age story that we all wish existed back when we were still in school. In short, it's a beautiful film about a young woman who likes to go by the name Lady Bird who is trying to navigate all of the usual suspects: her mother, her best friend, going to college, sex and, well, herself. 16 February 2018

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4. Blockers

Kay Cannon who wrote the screenplays for the Pitch Perfect films is the director behind this comedy about three parents who find out about their daughters' plan to have sex on Prom night (otherwise referred to as a Sex Pact, apparently) and try to stop it happening. ILeslie Mann is in it and she's great. 6 April 2018

Films By Female Directors To Be Excited About In 20185 of 8

5. The Darkest Minds

This is another book adaptation that you're going to want to get familiar with real quick. Directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson and starring the incredible Mandy Moore, Amandla Stenberg and Gwendoline Crisitie, The Darkest Minds is all about the 2% of kids in America who survive a crazy disease and end up developing superpowers. It's got a bit of a Hunger Games meets Divergent vibe if you ask me. 14 December 2018

Films By Female Directors To Be Excited About In 20186 of 8

6. Can You Ever Forgive Me

Get ready for another dose of comedy fave Melissa McCarthy in this Marielle Heller directed project. She stars as the best-selling celebrity biographer Lee Israel (the film's based on her memoir, you see) who was well known for profiling big shots like Katherine Hepburn and Estee Lauder back in the 70s and 80s. That ism until she lost her groove and ended up selling forged letters and stuff. October 2018

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7. High Life

Celebrated French director Claire Denis has only gone and directed her first English language movie. It's a sci-fi drama starring none other than Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche and Mia Goth and pretty much focuses on a group of convicts who are sent to explore a black hole (knowing that they probably won't be returning from space alive) in return for having their jail sentences reduced. It's about a father-daughter relationship, it's about family, it's about home, it's about the unknown.

Films By Female Directors To Be Excited About In 20188 of 8

8. You Were Never Really Here

And finally we have a thriller directed by Lynne Ramsay that promises to be the sort of thing that lingers in your mind for a while after watching. You Were Never Really Here is about a private 'contractor' who is tasked with recovering a teenage girl who's gone missing. It's pretty dark and violent and intense but packed a resounding punch at Cannes last year. 9 March 2018

Check out our interview with Diane Munday, a key member of the abortion law reform in 1967...

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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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