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Game Show Had Men Guess if Women Were “Fat or Pregnant” & Tried to Sell It as Social Progress

No, really.

dutch show

Sunday night is widely known as the peak night of peak TV. Pretty much any time of year, it’s a big evening, full of great television. Last Week Tonight, Game of Thrones, Big Little Lies, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead–these are or have all been Sunday shows.

Oh, and if you live in the Netherlands, Sundays also bring you the “satirical game show” Neem Je Zwemspullen Mee, which translates to Bring Your Bathing Suit. The show features a number of challenges, including one called “Fat or Pregnant?” in which women stood in front of the male contestants, who then had to guess if they were—yup, you guessed it—fat or pregnant.

Yeah, this isn’t so much Peak TV as it is low, low valley. Like, fiery-cavernous-hellpit-of-rage TV.

According to BuzzFeed News, the show had another segment that had men stare at women’s breasts to determine if they were natural or implants.

dutch show gross

(image: screengrab)

Despite the widespread criticism of the show, one Twitter user pointed out that this is nothing new for this show. Last year, they had a segment asking contestants to guess if a person is Chinese or Japanese.

And then there’s this segment: “Is This a Man or a Woman?”

Charming.

The network didn’t do themselves any favors with the statement they released (translated here from Dutch), addressing the criticism. They say the “satirical” segment “shows how you can go wrong if someone evaluates his or her appearance.”

In this round are numerous different prejudices, like: is he a criminal or businessman? Is he Dutch or German? Through this satirical setting is a way to laugh off all kinds of prejudices.

That response is ridiculous. Four men scrutinizing and judging women’s bodies is not addressing prejudices, it’s indulging them. As is trying to discern a stranger’s gender, or four apparently white contestants analyzing the ethnicity of an Asian man. There are far too many people who already feel like these questions are perfectly fine subjects of conversations, that they are permitted to ask these questions of members of marginalized groups and entitled to the answers.

I’d guess it’s the rare woman who doesn’t know what it’s like to have her body scrutinized by a strange man with an opinion on her appearance. The same goes for people of color living in a majority-white country, and for anyone who might not present themselves perfectly according to society’s gender binary. For whatever reason, there are a lot of people out there who get confused or curious about anyone they see as other, and then feel entitled to have that confusion sorted out for them by the person they’re questioning.

Did these contestants or any viewers actually learn a lesson from having that entitlement be given a television platform? Did anyone walking away realizing these aren’t appropriate questions to ask, especially of strangers? Or did they just get a few laughs at the expense of those who already feel this burden in their daily lives?

(via BuzzFeed, image: screengrab)

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