The Ten Network has officially apologised for two blatantly misogynistic questions included in last week’s broadcast of the once-popular program, ‘Family Feud’. The rebooted game show asked one hundred ordinary Australians to “name something people think is a woman’s job”. But instead of reflecting the truth about Australia’s working women, the flashy board lit up with offensive answer after offensive answer.
Hairdressing and reception work were occupations singled out as ‘women’s work’, while domestic obligations like washing the clothes, doing dishes and cooking also made appearances on the list. As the previous question concerned a ‘man’s job’, the studio execs figured the outcome of the poll wouldn’t make waves. By the time the show had finished, angry viewers were taking to social media to express their discontent at the question and the answers.
Wasting no time, Network Ten issued an apology for the incident, claiming that the choice to include the question had been “ill advised”. In spite of their seemingly contrite attitude, Ten defended the choice by pointing to the fact that the questions and answers came from a special ‘Family Feud database’ which includes results from all over the world. In that manner they claimed to understand the results were “not reflective of all Australians”.
And this brings us to the sad reality: If the failing network truly understood the Australian public, they wouldn’t have aired the segment. Australia is a free country, allowing its citizens and media outlets the right to free speech in almost every context. In that sense, the Ten Network may say what they please. But as viewers and citizens in modern Australia, we have the right to change the channel and deny theTen Network the ratings they so desperately crave.
We also have the right to disapprove of negative female stereotypes and the portrayal of women as anything less than equal to their male counterparts. By airing the contentious survey results, the Ten Network chose to maintain the status quo and re-enforce decades of on-air misogyny.
It truly is a dark day for supposedly inoffensive prime-time game shows…
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