The Return of Hantz Sexism

So I didn’t watch Survivor for several years, and I’m not super-familiar with some of the modern “celebrities” of the show. I did tune in just in time for Russell Hantz’ first season, though. Russell gained a following quickly as the most brilliantly manipulative player in the show’s history. His strategy was simple: ally with a couple of blonde girls and use them to get to the end.

Now, this strategy blew up in his face twice. In relishing being a manipulative bastard, he forgot that in the last stage of the game, people have to like you. So the girls he brought with him came out of the situation relatively likable, and won the money. But there was a subtle undercurrent of sexism — made less subtle the more he talked about it. He would refer to them as “his dumb girls” and so on. He didn’t really know about their intelligence; he just seemed to assume they were dumb because they were young and blonde and pretty. Again, keep in mind these “dumb” girls beat him by being smart enough to stay likable. Twice.

Watching him weep was cathartic for me. I almost want him to come back just to see it happen again.

When this season started last week, we were introduced to Russell’s nephew, Brandon. This kid seemed nice at first. He talked about the stigma on his uncle’s name, how he doesn’t want to be associated with that, how he wants to play an honorable game based on his Christian values. I thought this was refreshing, and thought I’d give him a chance.

But in the last two weeks, he’s shown himself to be as sexist as his namesake. Maybe not quite as blatant, but he’s definitely got a strange, skewed view of women. Or at least, one particular woman. He’s severely uncomfortable with one lady on his team named Mikayla. He talks about how he doesn’t want to be around her, how she’s too seductive, how as a married man he doesn’t want to be close to that, etc. He basically stopped just short of screaming “HARLOT” and trying to cast out demons.

Now, Mikayla isn’t exactly flaunting. Unless they cut out the footage of her pole dancing on a palm tree, she’s not doing anything out of the ordinary. She’s dressed like any other woman dresses on Survivor, which is to say she wears tank tops and her bra because it’s hot out. As far as I can tell, he’s just attracted to her, and that makes him feel guilty and uncomfortable, so he foists that blame onto her. It can’t be that he’s too immature to be married when he clearly feels tempted at the slightest provocation; it must be that she’s a slut.

It’s really uncomfortable, and hard to watch. Even Coach, who’s sort of douchey and pretentious in his own way, thought there was something off about Brandon’s judgment of Mikayla. I kind of wonder if his wife is sitting at home watching this season, just horrified at how he’s acting.

By the way, this week didn’t have nearly enough Papa Bear. I demand more Papa Bear.

I was thinking about blogging with “Gears of War 3 first impressions,” but I think I’ll give that another day to percolate. I got in an hour or so, and so far it is a solid Gears experience. I might have a few more personal insights as I go on.

  • A Mass Effect movie will almost definitely be terrible, and I will almost definitely watch it.
  • You know when you dangle a milkbone in front of a puppy and watch it jump around for a few moments before giving the dog its treat? That’s what Blizzard is doing with these constant Diablo 3 on consoles teases.
  • God I hope this story is true.
  • When I rented Star Fox 64 3D, the lack of online play didn’t really stand out as a major miss to me. Maybe because Mario Kart 64 was more my multiplayer game fo choice and I played SF64 more for the single-player, but it just didn’t bother me. The explanation seems reasonable enough, I suppose, and maybe this means we’ll see future Star Fox games. Without Krystal. Or dinosaurs.

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