Why we shouldn't feel sorry for MAFS' Josh: 'Not OK'
Angie Kent has revealed why Australia should cut Married at First Sight's Melissa some slack.
If you are reading this then it is probably safe to say that you are also addicted to the dumpster fire that is Married At First Sight 2023. Welcome to the cooked club. I don't want to be a part of this club, but unfortunately, my obsession with trash TV is much stronger than my will to better myself in this department. Rest assured that you are not alone in this guilty pleasure.
Let's waste no more time. Last night we watched what I felt was one of the most consuming commitment ceremonies to date. We can all safely admit that this show has zero boundaries when it comes to, well anything, and we know that they have no qualms about hitting well below the belt. Perhaps that's why we love to hate-watch it so much. I don’t have time to dissect the whole ceremony or we would be here for 84 years. So I will be focussing on Josh White and Melissa Sheppard and what went down during their time on the hot seat last night.
Josh 'seems' like a decent bloke
I think we can all agree that Josh ‘seems’ like a really decent bloke. He’s a bit older than the rest of the variety of space cadets on that show. He has admitted he is quite conservative. He’s been open about his failed marriage and his love for Disney. Bless. Some outlets have even called him a hero or used phrases like ‘salt of the earth’. Look, for me, that’s a bit of a stretch but we do love to carry on when we see men do something that isn’t complete trash on this show or provide us with even a minuscule amount of emotion that doesn’t involve rage, cheating, lying and emotional abuse. The bar is extremely low so I do get why he looks like this year's MAFS salt-of-the- earth-king of sorts. However, it does make me wonder if this man is so pure and innocent, then why in the hairy hell is he on this cluster f*** of a show? Something to ponder before you absolutely take his side completely in all of this.
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I do want to start off by saying I TOTALLY do not agree with what we have seen of Melissa’s character, at all. I mean, I do love that she is so open about sex. That part was empowering. Other parts have been extremely cringe to watch and I am more than sure she is sitting back watching it wishing she never signed up for this horse s**t of an experiment. At this stage, I think it is safe to say that anyone who willingly goes on this show after what we have seen over the past few years is some kind of a thrillseeker or potential sociopath because the edit and the treatment are not something any everyday human would want to sign up to. Surely? The proof is in the pudding people. Only a handful of people each season (if that) come out on top with Instagram followers through the roof and deals coming out of their ears ... If they play their cards right and have been blessed by the edit gods at Channel 9. All in all, I would still say that it is a risky little game.
'Misogyny is running rife'
Josh admitted to the experts, the other couples and those of us playing along at home, that Melissa has been controlling what he does in his spare time. How much TV he can watch, who he is talking to, how much he could be on his phone and even how much time he can spend reading. All while forcing him to talk about sex and have sex. That’s what the edit has provided to us anyway. Josh goes on to make the point that if a woman were sitting on that couch claiming the same type of treatment then it would be dubbed abusive, And yes he would be absolutely correct. It is happening to the women. Every season. Like clockwork. It just shocks us more when roles seemingly are reversed (in a highly-edited show) because we don’t provide women with any chance to redeem themselves or bounce back. Misogyny and interlined misogyny is running rife in this country.
Josh has completely tapped out. You could see this for a while now. He has put his walls up so high and from what we have been shown Melissa has pushed him too far. He looked like a shell of a human on that couch and she was either completely blindsided by this or lacks a lot of self-awareness – either or, it is too hard to tell because we only got to ever see one side to Melissa and that was sex. The sex-crazed edit of a 40-something-year-old woman. They stitched her up, let's just call a spade a spade. They made it her whole personality. One thing I have noticed – remember this is all based on an edit and the MAFS producers are known to be ruthless for ratings – these two I believe were both in fact stitched up from the beginning for those ruthless ratings. They were polar opposites. Melissa was very clear with what she wanted (whether you agree with her choice of words and what she is after in a ‘man’ or not) and the experts/producers etc knew very well that Josh was none of those things – setting both ‘sex-crazed Melissa’ and ‘salt-of-the-earth Josh’ up for failure. It’s evil and ugly doing that to these humans.
'This is not OK'
I do want to ask though, why don’t we have the same outrage when we see all the toxic behaviour coming from the men? Sure we clutch our pearls and say, ‘Oh no not again’, but when you get on your phone or laptop to write a nasty comment about Melissa really think about why you’re doing this and perhaps why you haven’t expressed the same reaction towards how deeply toxic and dangerous these men on our screens are.
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I’ve read that Melissa is distraught over ‘slut-shaming’ comments and the trolling she has received online. Men have turned up to her work asking if the 'freak in the sheets is here'. This is not OK. Do the men on the show have to fear for their safety over an edit on a television show? I highly doubt it.
We are very quick to feel sorry for men when they cry but we are so used to seeing women cry and being treated so terribly we’ve almost grown more brutal skin towards it, which isn’t fair. Just because it’s more common doesn’t mean it’s not right and shouldn’t be held to the same standard as when a man cries once in a blue moon on this show.
I don’t understand why Josh was granted the opportunity to leave when we’ve seen women in similar relationships on this show and they were never granted the same privilege. Do women stick it out more because they don’t know their worth? Or do we just favour men's stories more and let them get away with more? It’s all gross and messy to me and a new low for MAFS. Can I just say Shannon's behaviour has been far worse than Melissa’s and when Josh spoke his truth Melissa didn’t take off her ring and storm off like a big God damn baby.
Super toxic for everyone involved and I’m not sure why I love to watch it so much. Probably because I’m bonded by the trauma and can relate to the treatment. Just like most women in Australia.
Remember, there are two sides to every story, then there’s the truth and then there is the editing/media's version.
It’s all a no from me. I’m going to go shower and meditate now, and revel in the fact that I am single and never have to do anything I don’t want to do. Yay for self-love x
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