Check out all of the posts for our The Reality TV Theme Week here.
Examining my sexist reaction to this season of ‘MasterChef’ made me realize the pervasive role of gender expectations in the series. ‘MasterChef’ distinguishes itself from other cooking reality competition shows by focusing on “home cooks” without any formal training.
Being a feminist can be hard, like when it interferes with my god-given right to irrationally hate reality TV contestants. The “love-to-hate” feeling is basically the entire point of watching reality television. There is no room for guilty consciences. And yet, this past season of ‘MasterChef USA’ forced me and my partner to wrestle with why we were hating on our least favorite contestants, because the obvious answer was that we’re sexist jerks.