There’s A Pretty Loud Race Issue Underpinning MAFS’ Domenica Vs Olivia Fight

From the infamous wine-throwing incident between Martha Kalifatidis and Cyrell Jimenez-Paule back in Season 6, to last night's blow-up between Domenica Calarco and Olivia Frazer, Married At First Sight has proved it's set in an environment where female voices often end up pitted against each other and nasty behaviour manifests.
Last night's heated argument between Calarco and Frazer involved the women raising their voices, speaking over one another and Calarco smashing a wine glass after Frazer criticised her voice. It was confronting to watch and I don't condone violence to resolve conflict.
What particularly caught my attention was Frazer lashing out at Calarco because of the way she naturally speaks, something Italian Australian Calarco said she's been criticised for her "entire life". As a woman from an immigrant family with friends from Mediterranean backgrounds, it reminded me of times I've heard such friends be mocked, criticised or viewed as the 'angry woman' because of the way they speak — whether it be when asserting themselves or merely having a friendly chit chat.
Last night's on-screen argument reached boiling point when Frazer told Calarco to consider her tone.
"I just think you need to choose your words really carefully because when you swear, it comes off way more aggressive," she told her co-star.
"I really hate being told to choose my words wisely. Guess what? I’ll choose my words. Because they’re my words,” Dom responded.
Frazer then drew attention to Calarco's loud voice, which if you've watched the show from the start this year, is pretty consistent. That's how she speaks.
"I'm sick of hearing you. I’m sick of your voice yelling all the time. I’m bored of your voice," said Frazer.
"That's the way I speak," Dom told her, to which Frazer responded, "It's just not a nice way of speaking to people".
"So my voice isn’t OK?" Dom asked, tears in her eyes at this point as Frazer responded, "Apparently not".
While co-star Ella Ding tried to calm Calarco down so the argument didn't escalate, Calarco claimed, "No, my entire life I have been told my voice isn’t OK." Rattled and furious, she smashed her wine glass on the table before walking away.
Many people on social media said the incident reminded them of how women from culturally diverse backgrounds are often berated for the way in which they speak.
During an interview with KIIS FM's Kyle and Jackie O Show, Calarco explained how Frazer's comments really hit a nerve because she's been asked to change who she is since she was very young.
"My action of smashing a glass, I don't condone that at all and I really wish I didn't do it and I hate that I did it," she told the radio hosts.
"It really got to me. My whole life, being told about my voice… that I’m loud, that I’m outspoken, you know, change the way you are, the way you are isn’t good enough," she told the radio hosts. "It really triggered me."
Calarco said even speaking about it "riles" her up, "but it also makes me sad because I feel like a lot of women — and it's International Women's Day today — have been told that. That they talk too much, they're too loud, they're too out there."
As I mentioned earlier, there were various layers to last night's MAFS argument. There were other catty comments and inexcusable violence that also contributed to the toxic nature of the night. But as a WOC I wanted to draw attention to this particular aspect of the episode and the way it's been perceived by many of us from immigrant families. Just like our voices are so often asked to be altered or silenced, so is intersectional-led commentary on important moments in pop culture. And for a show that attracts over 1 million viewers every night, it's time people listen to us and accept our tones for what they are.
Married At First Sight continues tonight at 7:30pm on Channel 9 and 9Now.
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