Ranking the Sexist Moments From Survivor: Worlds Apart

“I think we’re ready for another Survivor sexism rant with Emma.” – Andy, discussing Survivor’s latest run-in with sexism on the latest podcast

Your wish is my command, Andy. After all, as a woman my job is to serve the men.

For newer listeners/readers, it may be useful to know that I was first brought onto the podcast as the token girl so John and Andy could discuss Linda Holmes’s article on sexism in Survivor without being accused of mansplaining everything. I was also a guest host last season after the “Wes and Alec’s fun with bodily gases” episode. So discussing sexism and feminism in terms of Survivor has become a bit of my thing.

As John’s lament over Max being voted out took over much of the podcast last week, I’ve decided to carve out a few moments highlighting the sexism that has appeared this season thus far.

Disclaimer: Rankings levels of things like sexism will always be subjective and based on personal experience. Your results may vary.

5. So voted out, Joaquin never even a question

The mere fact that So was voted out first is not inherently sexist. Out of context, Joaquin not being at risk is also not sexist. But votes, like Survivor, do not exist in a vacuum. So was largely voted out for being deemed untrustworthy due to the admittedly horrible and now infamous “neutral box” lie. However, she managed to take all the blame for this despite being paired with Joaquin in that lie. White Collar’s decision was not between So and Joaquin, but So and Carolyn. Worse still was Carolyn saying that it would definitely be a woman, despite there being an equal number of men and women with Shirin and Max already a tight pair. You had the power, Carolyn!

Joaquin letting So do all the talking and all the White Collar men being reasonably athletic keeps this moment from being too egregious.

Sexism level: WNBA not coming close to the popularity or profits of the NBA.

4. Mike is sorry

Part one of last week’s episode covers 3/5 of this list, so Mike’s casual misogyny ends up pretty low on the totem pole. In case you don’t have an encyclopedic knowledge of Survivor (in which case, I am shocked to see you here, but welcome!), here is a refresher course: After the tribe swap, Mike knows that Sierra has a strong chance of flipping. He instructs Dan to apologize for his remarks the previous night, but not to say why he’s sorry, just that he is sorry because women don’t want the explanation, they just want the apology. Everyone knows that there’s nothing women (or people in general!) appreciate more than an empty apology.

In fairness to Mike, there is a non-zero chance that he knew Dan would probably fuck up the apology (which he did) and tried to keep his instructions as simple as possible while playing into the gender theory Dan has already displayed.

Sexism level: Refusing to walk through a doorway before a woman, even though she’s already holding the door open for you.

3. You talked to another boy and now I can’t trust you

Remember Vince? Jenn does. In her nightmares.

In the opening moments of this season, Vince latched on to Jenn rather quickly-

Artist's rendition
Artist’s rendition

until she started talking to Joe. Then suddenly he couldn’t trust her and needed a long, horrifying hug to move forward. Cut to the next week, when Vince desperately tries to vote Jenn out. As if he wanted to prove to us it wasn’t just about trust, when questioning Jenn about her loyalties he goes as far as to ask her if she’s attracted to Joe. He can claim bad edit all he wants, but they didn’t cobble that question together. Dude was thirsty and didn’t get the attention he wanted, so he took it out on the object of his affection.

Sexism level: Calling yourself a nice guy and simultaneously calling every girl that rejects you a bitch and/or slut.

2. Dan is from Mars, Women are from Venus

See, women just listen to people talk without providing any useful solutions, men listen so they can fix the problem. Dan can’t disagree with that. He’s talked to so many women, he knows what they are all like. Women being a foreign and homogenous species, of course.

Sexism level: Bad ’90s standup comedy

1. All dogs go to heaven and find their angel

Rodney just thinks women should be held to a higher standard because they should be kept pristine and pure while men do whatever they want until they eventually settle down. What’s wrong with that? He loves his mother! He’s been burned by two whole women! If that’s not a large enough sample size to condemn the whole gender, I don’t know what is.

I’m just going to let you see my live reactions:


Seriously, have you ever noticed that dudes who frequently discuss how much they love their mothers also tend to be misogynistic assholes? I’ve never quite understood the link, but I know it’s there.

Not only do I think voting out Rodney would have been a good strategic move (you don’t need challenge strength at that point and it doesn’t alienate anyone), but I also think there is a point where it’s not just about the game. If someone is toxic and foul, they need to see consequences of that. Instead, the blue collars voted out the woman who stood up to him. Which is why I say…

Sexism level: Asking a victim of sexual assault what she was wearing and saying she was “asking for it.”

And that’s been Emma’s semi-annual Survivor sexism corner. I’m sure we’ll have plenty to talk about next time, because people are terrible.

Emma is not sure whether she’s the token chick or the token young person of the Purple Rock Podcast. Posting her Twitter seems redundant when there are screen caps in this blog.