MAFS: ’Imagine if a man behaved like that’
Over the years, MAFS has brought a lot of things to our TV screens we never thought we'd see.
Bronson calling Ines a c**t. Martha dumping wine on Cyrelle. Troy brushing his teeth like he had rabies.
But during last night's episode, we saw something more shocking and unexpected than all these things combined.
Contestant Tash, one half of the show's first-ever lesbian couple, informed her on-screen wife Amanda that she wasn't attracted to her.
And the astonishing part is that she did it with poise, self-respect and honesty. I could've sworn the show had strict screening procedures in place to make sure none of their contestants possessed any of those qualities, but here we are.
This is what went down:
After the rush of the wedding, where both women seemed thrilled with their match, Tash came back down to earth. She checked in with her feelings and served herself some truths.
And she realised that she'd developed "the ick" for Amanda.
"The Ick" is that feeling you get when you realise you've been gripped by the cold, dead claw of non-attraction.
Once it sinks its talons into you, you can't shake it. The erogenous zones want what the erogenous zones want.
What was so brilliant and surprising about Tash's "ick" reckoning is that she came out right away and told Amanda the truth, something that most MAFS contestants - in fact most people generally - struggle to do.
What was disappointing is that Amanda behaved like the jerk captain of the football team pressuring his prom date in the back of the limo.
"I'm just not feeling the chemistry," Tash told Amanda bluntly, causing Amanda to flush with hot dismay and insist that Tash wasn't giving their relationship a chance.
Later, when they met at breakfast, Amanda pushed harder, asking if she could move back into Tash's room - with the implication that she wanted to escalate the relationship to the next level.
Tash valiantly stood her ground.
"I feel pressure … and I'm not caving into it, I'm just not," she said firmly. "It would make me feel uncomfortable and I'm not going to do it. I'm trying to be true and honest to myself and I'm not going to do something that makes me uncomfortable."
"Oh, you know what? You're going to have to work a bit harder than that," snapped Amanda, a line which we'd generally consider to be unacceptably pressuring and disrespectful if it came from a man.
No means no, Amanda.
Tash stayed her course. "I'm not going to fake, feel or do anything that sits uncomfortable with me. Everything in my body goes 'I don't want to do that.' So why would I do it?"
Tash is far from the first person on MAFS to feel a lack of physical connection to the person that a bunch of ratings-crazed TV execs have paired them with. In fact, that's more or less the baseline reaction we've come to expect from all the couplings; anything more positive than that is a surprise bonus.
But because these people are generally so emotionally stunted and driven by a confused cocktail of desperation for love and/or fame, they usually can't simply come out and say it like grown-ups.
They lead the other person on but make their lives miserable, like Ashley did with Troy. They cheat, like Dean did with Tracey. They kid themselves and everyone else that if they just dropped their "walls" they'd be able to push through their lack of attraction, like the excruciating Ning and Mark.
In contrast, Tash's honesty was a breath of fresh air and gave both herself and Amanda the respect of the truth.
Now Amanda needs to listen to what she's being told, accept that someone who doesn't want to bump bits with her is not necessarily a bad person, and keep her hands to herself.