Are You The One? Dear God I Hope Not!

As The Captain and Tenille once famously sang, “Love… love will keep us together.” Powerful words that have resonated throughout the ages from 1930s housewives waiting for their menfolk to return from war to struggling first year uni students who are giving the long-distant thing a go. They are words to live by. Unless that is if you’re a contestant on MTV’s romance-yeah-right-have-sex-in-Hawaii-and-bitch-about-it-all-day-long-get-me-someone-to-love-NOW dating show, Are You The One?


The cast of Are You The One? Peace!

It’s the classic tale of fame-hungry sexually-frustrated post-teen hunks and “fabulous” women who travel to a desert island in Hawaii in order to find their love, whilst sweaty men with cameras over their arms capture the whole thing for our enjoyment. Only this time, MTV have gone all scientific! That’s right, readers, SCIENCE has matched these contestants up in pre-production and now it is their job to find out who is their perfect match in order for the twenty contestants to split one million dollars! The twist? They only have ten weeks to match up or they go home with nothing because apparently finding your soulmate and a ten-week paid vacation in the most beautiful part of the world just isn’t prize enough!

There are many contestants, with a vast range of beauty and cuntish behaviour! My personal favourites come in the form of Shanley and Chris T. Both beautiful, both ready to be rogered in the pool and both absolutely besotted with one another. They seem ideal mates. He enjoys a nice booty and doesn’t mind being screamed at hysterically when drunk and she likes muscles and enjoys screaming at him hysterically when she’s drunk. Overall, they are drunk-tastic together. There’s just one problem, when they enter the Truth Booth, it is announced that they are not a match.


Shanley is not a happy bunny when Chris T. and Paige are declared perfect matches for one another.

Oh yeah, did I mention there was a Truth Booth?! That’s right! If the rest of the house think that two people are a match then they go into the Truth Booth and after some fancy lights that look like scanners go up and down their body, they  are told if they are a match or not. Sadly, it was the latter for Chris T. and Shanley. Although she is desperate to become Mrs T. there is no hope for them. You see, here in lies the problem with Are You The One? Contestants have to do some SERIOUS soul-searching and really ask themselves the question of whether love is better than money. Turns out, it is! As recently, Chris T. found his soulmate in the form of sexy blonde, Paige. She’s actually very lovely, gullible in the way she falls hook, line and sinker for real New Yorrrrrrrrker Chris S. who looks like an ungenerous lover and proves it after sweet talking her into bed and bragging about it to anyone bored enough to listen, but other than that she’s a real doll. And sadly, after Shanley goes to a rampage ’round the house slagging everyone off for selecting Chris and Paige for the Truth Booth treatment (even though it was an inevitability) before sobbing uncontrollably into his shoulder about how science is wrong and what they have is real, her lover must leave the house with his scientific counterpart to the honeymoon suite set up by show’s producers. Whether they like it not!

Although Paige has hopes that she and Chris T. might get to know each other a little better and see if there is a spark, her efforts fall on deaf ears:

‘I’ll take the couch,’ he mutters to her upon arrival at their swish hotel room.

‘Won’t be needing these,’ She sneers as she dusts rose petals off the bed aggressively.

It’s classic MTV. Everything you could possibly want from a “dating” show is accounted for: a presenter too old to be there, sexy romping sessions in a bubble bath, a skinny and camp brunette who is so girl-obsessed he’s GOT to be overcompensating for something and not to mention, it is tattoo porn!


Call me crazy but I don’t think Chris and Paige are gonna make it…

Don’t get my wrong, if there was an award for Trashiest But Best Thing On Television, this show would be going home with it! It has changed the game in regards to Bad/Good television. You know like most people justify their poor viewing habits with the line, “It’s like a train wreck, you can’t look away!” With Are You The One? It’s a train wreck you wanna stare at all day long, laughing hysterically at the wreckage and uttering the words, “She’s such a bitch!” to the bikini-clad survivors! I’m rooting for no one and everyone in equal measure and loving every second!

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All The Single Feminists (Eat Some Ice Cream and Be Proud)

Hello. It’s Valentine’s Day. I’m a feminist, and I’m single.

I like cuddles. I also like Helene Cixous, Caitlin Moran (when she isn’t being horrifyingly blasé about intersectionality and race, or male feminism), Margaret Atwood, Maya Angelou and Angela Carter. I campaign for gender equality whenever I can. I am also looking for a boyfriend.

Bombshell: these things are not mutually exclusive.


That’s not to say that being a feminist on the dating game isn’t crap; navigating the world of internet dating and sounds roughly as appealing as eating a packet of fingernail clippings. Navigating Tinder seems roughly as appealing as eating an entire, fungal-infected crusty toe. In a world where my attractiveness seems to be based on a profile picture with at least thirty filters, I am utterly lost. And yet, as a singleton seeking another singleton for some meaningful interaction, the dating world is the most evil and necessary of necessary evils.

I don’t quite know what caused this irrational want. Perhaps, growing up, it was old uncle Disney and his motley crew of princesses (these were the days before Frozen after all, and I didn’t get access to Princess Mononoke until I had long passed puberty).

San wouldn't be dealing with this crap.

San sure as hell wouldn’t be dealing with this crap.

I personally blame Jane Eyre. At the impressionable age of 12 I picked up a book and gained an unrealistic expectation of love that was dramatic and based on intense mutual respect. Though I now think that Rochester is indeed a bit of a douchebag (Mr Thornton from North and South is totes a better dude, obv.), what with the racism and wife locked up in the attic and all that shiz, the lingering desire to find another person, much like a tick stuck on my leg or a particularly nasty case of gangrene, still won’t leave me no matter how much I shake myself.

So, how to deal with this predicament? Feminism on the one hand, a desire to desire and be desired on the other. The fact that I have to consider these things separately is part of the problem. Gender equality and not being treated in a wanker-ish fashion because I don’t have a Y-chromosome has always been a pressing issue to me since I learnt what was “fair” as a kid. Equally, I’ve always found having a significant other (not in the “let’s snog at a club, have casual and disappointing shag on the sofa, shake hands and call it a day” kind of way) important.

Contrary to the advice of such women’s bibles such as Cosmo and Glamour magazine, politics, specifically feminist politics, is often a topic of conversation that’ll come up in my initial courtship rituals. It is the deciding factor that sorts the proverbial wheat from the chaff. Observe:

A Typical Encounter

B: “I study English Literature!”

RANDOM MAN WHO I THINK LOOKS VAGUELY INTELLIGENT AND ATTRACTIVE: “No way! You’re never going to get a job are you? Has anyone ever told you you look like David Mitchell?”

B: “Yeah way! Of course I’m not! And Unfortunately, yes. Many times.”


B: “Also, I’m a feminist!”

Awkward Pause.


B: “What do you think about gender equality then, mister?”

RMWITLVIAA: “… Are you a lesbian? Aren’t all feminists butch lesbians?”

B: “Why, NO! Some are, some aren’t, in fact that’s a woman’s choice… In fact it’s really interesting-”

RMWITLVIAA: “- sorry to interrupt, but can you hold my drink?”

B: “What?”

RMWITLVIAA: “There’s a woman over there with no obvious political opinions whatsoever. I am going to proceed to make out with her happily, and avoid this awkward situation.”

B: “Oh.”

Cue sad violins, tumbleweed, and Celine Dion’s “All by myself” playing softly in the background.

The reactions I get when I announce that I am a lonely feminist provoke even more outrage among my supposedly “intellectual” friends, who mistake “want” for “need”, and “desire” for “dependency”. Or, less problematically, from my supportive girlfriends, I get well-meant criticism in the form of “Giiirrrrllll, you don’t need a man to be content!” while playing awesome Beyonce songs. Yes, I do not need a man. I ended my last relationship, with (shock!) a man, because he was pretty hopeless and put about as much effort into the relationship as he did into washing his socks i.e. none at all. Rather than mutating into a shrewish she-harpy with talons at the thought of my being forever alone, I am still a competent and capable autonomous lady.

I don’t let my choice of phone or computer or clothes define me as a person, but  it’s rather nice to have the stuff I want from time to time. I don’t need salted caramel ice cream to live, but damn it, it’s bloody delicious and I do want it from time to time.



So, this valentine’s day, let us single feminists who kind of want a man but do not need one unite; let’s go eat salted ice cream together. Or chocolate ice cream. Or vanilla. Or mint. Or maybe you’re more of a frozen yoghurt type of person. Maybe you don’t want dessert at all.

Whatever you want or don’t want, that’s cool. Don’t let anyone judge you for wanting that ice cream, reader. As long as you’re a strong, independent and autonomous lady confident in her own skin, you go ahead and EAT THAT MOTHERF*KING ICE CREAM LIKE A CHAMP.

Metaphor over. I’m going to waddle off to the freezer now.

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