Does Made In Chelsea Have A Problem With Women?
The Debrief: The pursuing of Tiff, the dismissal of Lily, series 10 was one thing after another.
The most recent series of Made In Chelsea has come to an end, and it has left a peculiar taste in my mouth. It’s a little like M&S salt caramel pretzels - hard to love, but it won’t quite go away. And I want everyone else I know to try it, and taste it too, just so I can ask them ‘Is this weird? Do you think it’s a bit peculiar? Or am I the weird one?’
Firstly there was Mark Francis’ descent from benevolent luxury peacekeeper to demented, shrieking, bouffed anger-bot. Then there was the idea that we were supposed to believe Louise kissed Elliot when she was drunk. Firstly, I think Louise is less likely to go near Elliot’s mouth than I am to put ‘select golden pieces’, £1.99 for eight from Chicken Caravan, in mine. Not after the first two IBS episodes, anyway. But most bothersome of all was the whole Sam/Tiff situation. The Stiffuation.
Here are the facts. Sam was believed to have cheated, and admitted this to Jamie Biscuits. A picture of Sam, in which he appeared to be doing something with another woman that looked vaguely gynecological, turned up on Facebook. Sam swore it was his cousin and she’d lost her phone charger up her own vagina and Sam was helping her to look in a totally innocent way, or something. Tiff then admitted to kissing a crush in Hong Kong and not letting things go further because she loved Sam, who responded like Biblical kings respond to plagues and swore that he’d never allow her to sully his eyeline again. Obviously they then slept together, and Sam suddenly stopped treating her like a wasp and started pursuing her like the last pair of Yeezy Moonrock trainers on Ebay.
Jamie Bloody Biscuits, who is never very far away when stupid people want to be actively encouraged to do stupid things, turned up and told Sam that to get Tiff back, he needed to ‘sit on her doorstep! Climb up to her window!’ And even though Tiff told everyone she couldn’t tell less, Sam wore her down with sheer persistence. Meanwhile, James was swearing that his ex Lily was some sort of sad stalker for calling their eight month association ‘a relationship’ when James reckoned they were just doing sloppy drunk boning on the way back from DSTRKT.
We urgently need to end this senseless sexism, this stupid cinematic heteronormative narrative in which the boy must claim the girl at any cost, in order to become a hero, but no woman can become a heroine by giving herself credit for having presence in a relationship. This is a world in which the boys are the story, and women only exist to serve it. Made In Chelsea is compelling entertainment, and you might say that it’s silly to read so much into a TV show. But viewers, male and female, are soaking up these mixed messages - when a man really, really wants you, it’s romantic, not creepy. If you’re a woman, your feelings make you vulnerable and easy to dismiss. When Sam behaves one awful way, it’s seen as sweet and cinematic, but if Lily had ever showed up on James’ doorstep to ‘save the relationship’ we’re pretty sure that he’d be calling the cops.
We’ve seen similar behaviour before - every series, Spencer pursues the one woman who won’t hook up with him (because, she usually makes it clear that she’s seen him discard enough women from a distance and she doesn’t want to be another conquest.) Eventually he convinces her that he isn’t ‘like that’ only to get distracted as soon as there’s an orgy to go to, or a waitress to cheat with, or just space in the bed for someone else. Spencer was prepared to do anything to get Emma, even when his friend Ollie was dating her. The message seemed to be that Ollie just didn’t want her enough, as if MIC had briefly become X Factor and Ollie had somehow failed to convince Simon Cowell of his passion.
I’m getting tired of watching a show which is about what boys want. And I wonder whether women are only interesting for the men of Made In Chelsea because they’re the only part of their life which is variable. When you can go to Monaco on a whim, or wake up and buy a Ferrari, or sack off work and go whisky tasting because you own the company, what surprises does life hold for you? Romance is the only thing you can’t fully control, which might be why the bois spend all their effort to get Tiff, or Emma, or probably Lily (because I’m sure she was probably wary in the beginning). They’re not pushing for promotions, or freaking out about house deposits.
I’d love to see a serious shift. These women are not prizes to be won, and we want to watch them demanding and getting respect on screen. Love is not a battlefield and no-one should be rewarded with a ‘victory’ when all they’re doing is using heavy artillery. Sam, no-one is really wowed by your grand gestures - this year, let’s see you listening to the women you want instead.
Like this? Then you might also be interested in:
Made In Chelsea 10.9 Mytton Is A Rat, Sam And Ollie Have A Chat And JP Won’t Go To Binks’ Flat
Made In Chelsea 10.7 Louise Has Been Kissing, Spenny’s Sense Of Decency Goes Missing And Elliot Has Us All Hissing!
Made In Chelsea 10.6 - Rosie Has Purple Wee, Spencer Angles For A Three (Some) And Binky Loves JP!
Follow Daisy on Twitter @NotRollerGirl
At work? With your gran?
You might want to think about the fact you're about to read something that wouldn't exactly get a PG rating