reality tv

Today, thousands of people are reading Abbie Chatfield's powerful essay about sl*t-shaming.

During the recently wrapped season of The Bachelor, contestant Abbie Chatfield was repeatedly and incessantly sl*t-shamed.

For her bikini, her outfits at every date and cocktail party, for kissing Matt, for admitting that she wanted to have sex with him and for quote “using her sexuality to manipulate Matt”.

Australia was apparently not okay with Abbie and/or the editing room’s depiction of a woman who knew what she wanted.

Bachelor contestants translated. Post continues after video.

Video by MMC

As Osher Gunsberg put it in a very telling tweet during the show, “I am always interested to see how a strong woman powerfully expressing her sexuality makes so many people uncomfortable”.

What we saw last week post-finale was a broken woman trying to piece her heart back together, while facing a tirade of abuse from strangers (aka, fans of the show) as she tried to keep to her contractual obligations with Ten.

“I’ve been going through heartbreak plus being abused and bullied online, and also I was completely isolated in the house. For six months, I’ve been going through absolute hell, basically,” Abbie told Mamamia the morning after the finale.

Now, after a weekend of pizza, negronis and surrounding herself with the people who love her, Abbie is fighting back.

“This is something I did not expect in 2019, ” she wrote in a lengthy Instagram post on Tuesday night.

 

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A post shared by ABBIE CHATFIELD (@abbiechatfield) on

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“Sex is essential to a successful relationship for me, as is sexual chemistry and the ability to express that comfortably with my partner. I saw commentary around my sexuality (rightly) calling out sl*t shaming and double standards regarding my pash sessions with Matt,

“With responses of ‘I’m not sl*t shaming her she is just manipulative/aggressive/only wanting sex’. To insinuate that any relationship is less valid because of a strong physical connection is counterintuitive – the defining factor between a platonic and romantic relationship is physical expressions of affection,” she wrote in the 400-word caption.

“I saw many comments about me having ‘nothing between my ears’ or that I was ‘so insecure she can’t talk to him so they just kiss.’

“The public see 10 minutes of a 12 hour date, it is insulting to both myself and Matt to assume he took me right until the end purely for a snog,” she continued.

Matt and Abbie
Abbie and Matt were shown making out regularly on dates during the season. Image: Ten.
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As Abbie reiterated to Mamamia, "I'm still crying about this man once a week. I'm still upset about this. My friends, Helena gets calls from me, my publicist gets calls from me sobbing. The therapist gets calls from me. It's like, people don't understand that I'm going through this plus getting told that my mother should've aborted me."

During her chat with us, Abbie pointed to the American [Bachelorette] season with Hannah Brown, who slept with two contestants. "They praised her... in Australia no one can handle me kissing a man I've been dating for two months," she argued.

While Matt was referred to as "thirsty" during the show, Abbie copped the much harsher, more loaded term of "manipulative" for the same behaviour - a clear double standard.

abbie chatfield
While Abbie was labelled "manipulative" Matt was given the much kinder term "thirsty." Image: Ten.

"I'd like those who think that I was manipulative to TRULY examine why you believe that. On most occasions, it comes down to a core belief that a woman who is "seducing" a man has ulterior motives, while a man doing the same is merely being romantic," Abbie wrote on Instagram.

"If it isn't that, it is based off the opinion voiced of other contestants on the show, not my actions. I was always honest, authentic and expressive which can sometimes rub people the wrong way.

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Also MY LOVE LANGUAGES ARE PHYSICAL TOUCH AND QUALITY TIME LEAVE ME ALONE PLS," she finished.

abbie chatfield bachelor
Abbie was left heartbroken at the end, being dumped for Chelsie in the show's finale. Image: Ten.

Abbie's post has been liked by tens of thousands and many people are praising her for speaking out.

"You're a friggin legend babe," wrote one.

"Louder for the people at the back," wrote another.

"You've become a cultural scapegoat for a conversation that needs to and IS happening. Sex for me has always been paramount in a relationship," said a third.

But a quick scroll and it's clear for some the message will never sink in.

"We get it, you're proud to be the Brisbane bike," wrote one of many trolls who felt the need to once again bring the 23-year-old down.

Sigh.

It's 2019, you'd hope that sex or sexuality in some form is a vital part of any healthy relationship. It appears not. But regardless of the opinions of armchair experts, Australia seems to have once again forgotten that Abbie is a real life person.

Yes, she went on reality TV, but in no way, shape or form did she sign up to be sl*t-shamed. Enough now, please.

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