A Woman Just Won One Of The Worst Seasons Of Big Brother

Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS.
In a move that made Big Brother history, female contestant Nicole Franzel beat Paul Abrahamian in Wednesday night's finale, Buzzfeed reports. While this isn't the first time a woman has won the reality television competition, it is the first time that a woman bested a man in the final moments. The win is also momentous because this season of Big Brother featured moments of unadulterated misogyny from various male contestants.

It's hardly ironic that a show called Big Brother doesn't have the best history with women. With a name based on the threatening government in Orwell's 1984, the show doesn't pretend to be a paragon of equality. In the show, contestants called houseguests compete for a $500,000 prize. Meanwhile, their house is outfitted with HD cameras and a live broadcast captures the houseguests' every move. Season 18, which aired this summer, was particularly bad, even for a show plagued with violence and aggression. The 24-hour surveillance aims to catches contestant at their worst. As a result, houseguests throughout the tenure of the series have displayed all manner of society's ills. Most recently, Season 15 saw a series of the houseguests perform bigotry, homophobia, and racism on the live feed. CBS, as a result of the remarks, issued a public statement stating that "any views or opinions expressed in personal commentary by a houseguest appearing on Big Brother, either on any live feed from the House or during the broadcast, are those of the individual(s) speaking and do not represent the views or opinions of CBS or the producers of the program." Season 18 caught houseguest Frank Eudy body-shaming female contestants (he told fellow contestant Da'Vonne Rogers that her "titties were sitting right." Paulie Calafiore, another houseguest, also took time out of his day to criticize women's bodies and denigrate the female existence in general. As a result, Franzel's win feels like win not just for the contestant, but for female contestants in general. It should be noted, however, that Twitter is already angry that she won. Users argue that Paul Abrahamian actually "played the game" while Franzel just sat around doing nothing. See a few below.
Unfortunately, for a show that feeds on conflict, this activity is nothing new. Statements made by the show's host, Julie Chen, emphasize the fact that the show is a "microcosm." The houseguests are meant to represent society as a whole. Misogyny in the show indicates that misogyny exists elsewhere. What Franzel and other castmates experienced on Season 18 of Big Brother could possibly mirror the daily experiences of women in general. (Could possibly? More like definitely.)

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