Last week, I wrote about Caleb Reynolds’, a houseguest on “Big Brother 16,” and his unrequited romantic obsession with fellow player Amber Borzotra. While the television show has gone out of their way not to draw attention to Caleb’s out of whack fixation on Amber, those fans who subscribe to the 24/7 livefeeds are privy to how this is impacting his game, her game and the entire house. While Amber certainly has many, many supporters who see that she’s done everything she can to reject his clearly advances, there are others who have called Amber a tease. In response, Amber’s brother-in-law — one of the family members manning Amber’s Twitter feed and website while she’s in the “Big Brother” house — posted an articulate and smart response on Amber’s blog that defends Amber, but more importantly calls out a culture of victim-blaming that extends well beyond this reality TV show. With his permission, I’m republishing his piece below. Whether you’re a “Big Brother” fan or not, it’s well worth a read. — Amelia
Before I begin, just to be clear, this post isn’t about Caleb, the “Big Brother” game, or even about any concerns we may or may not have for Amber’s well-being. This is solely about the way the narrative is being portrayed by some observers: people who are not subject to the pressures/paranoia of the house and have the ability to know just about everything that is said and done before forming an opinion.
Specifically, there has been a worrying rise in “BB16″ live feed followers blaming Amber for somehow playing a part in encouraging Caleb’s unrequited feelings for her. Keep reading »
I don’t know why anyone is still talking about the friendzone. I thought we’d established that it’s a whiny, childish idea, that some people feel entitled to a friend’s romantic attraction by rights of … I don’t know, having been their friend? Or that they feel that pretending to be a friend in hopes of getting some is an OK way to relate to other people and not at all dishonest. Or that being friends with someone they think is great is a bad thing, or that they see sex as the end-all be-all of all human relationships. Yeah, definitely childish and entitled.
Of all the sort of casual, social concepts that go hand-in-hand with misogyny (you know, not rape, abuse, disenfranchisement, slavery, or genital mutilation), I think the “friendzone” is the most offensive to me. I get that it sucks to be attracted to someone and not have that attraction reciprocated. The first song I ever recorded was about my grade school crush and how he didn’t like me back. I spent years in a weird situation with another person where we both really liked each other but for one reason or another kept each other at friend-distance, which I think ultimately ruined what was a good friendship. I’ve dated a few guys who I liked better than they liked me, and vice versa. It feels insulting and off-balance, and it feels like you aren’t on the same page when you so, so thought you were.
That being said — oh well? Keep reading »
Let’s talk for a minute about the “friendzone.”
Don’t worry, fellas, this isn’t a lecture. It’s an advice column, because there is something you deserve to know: There is a very simple, nigh-foolproof way to avoid ending up in the situation that that exceptionally loaded word describes.
And I will tell you what it is. Keep reading »