reality tv

We need to talk about the men on MAFS. But we also need to talk about the women.

To catch up on all the MAFS 2021 recaps and gossip, check out The Twins recaps and visit our MAFS hub page.

During Tuesday night's episode of Married at First Sight we were faced with an uncomfortable truth. 

It's not just the men. 

Over the last few weeks we've talked about the behaviour of the men on this season of MAFS

We discussed how they became intimate with their wives on their honeymoons before telling them they're not "their type". How they were so concerned about hair colour, and boob size, and eye colour, that they couldn't really see the women standing in front of them. 

We saw them rank their wives as the "fourth most attractive" among the rest of the wives. 

Watch Sam tell Coco he needs a partner with big boobs. Post continues below. 


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We watched them slowly pick away at their wives' self-esteem, one small criticism of their body and their personality at a time. 

We witnessed a grown man tell a woman she'd be perfect for him if she just had the right eye colour. We watched another man lament how "hard" it is for him because he needs a woman with big boobs and not all women have big boobs. 

They seemed to have expectations of what their perfect partner would look like and act like that no mortal woman would ever be able to live up to. 

While we've been both disappointed and amused by what we've seen on our screens, we haven't been surprised. 

We've seen it before. Both on TV and in our own lives. 

This season of MAFS has really held up a mirror to the churn and burn culture of online dating and the impact porn and social media has had on men's expectations of women. 

But with the behaviour of the men being such a focus of the show for the past few weeks, we've almost glossed over the behaviour of some of the women. 

And last night we were finally forced to face it. 

Because it's not just the men who seem to be completely intolerant of any shred of imperfection in their partners. It's not just the men with completely unrealistic expectations about their future partners. 

It's the women too. 

Over the last few weeks we've watched Beck pick away at her husband Jake. Jake didn't seem to live up to Beck's standards from the start and she wasn't shy about telling him about it. 

It got to the point where John Aiken had to intervene. 

"I've listened to this. I've heard it, and I'm exhausted. There are two people on the couch in front of me. Only one of them, right now, is warm and empathic. Rebecca, that's not you," he said during one of the Commitment Ceremonies. 

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"Rebecca, your standards are so unrelenting that no man, not Jake, not anybody, is going to measure up to that. Now, you may smile at that, but I can tell you that's not going to work in a relationship." 

Then last night we were introduced to Jaimie and Chris. Chris is a gentle giant who was raised by strong women and who is shy about his dyslexia and limited education. 

LISTEN: The moment Married at First Sight hit a new low. Post continues below. 

While Chris was unsure about talking in public and whether he was smart enough for his future wife, he was sure about one thing - he was a good guy who would respect his wife. 

His wife Jaimie couldn't hear that though, she was too busy staring at his nose ring, and asking questions about his tattoos. And raising concerns he didn't finish high school, while she went to university. 

It was interesting to watch it from the other side - to witness a woman picking at a man who didn't live up to her preconceived notions of what her partner should be. 

To watch a woman be so concerned about what's on the surface that she wasn't able to look beneath to see the good man standing in front of her. 

MAFS is a reality TV show, it's a situation where people are thrust together under intense pressure, there's always going to be conflict. And people are always going to have "types" or things they find themselves more drawn to in a romantic partner. 

But it feels like some of this season's contestants are particularly picky. That they're - as John Aiken pointed out - lacking the empathy and warmth to be able to see their partner as a human being, who is also making themselves vulnerable and putting their heart and reputation on the line for the sake of this experiment. 

Instead, they're viewing them through the lens of a checklist of what they require in the perfect partner, and quickly resorting to pettiness if they don't immediately tick everything off the list. 

It feels like some of these contestants have standards so high no mere mortal is ever going to be able to live up to them. 

It also feels sad. While they're so focussed on ticking off their checklist, on making sure their partner has the right eye colour, the right boob size, and the right education, they're missing the good bits. The messy bits that make people uniquely loveable. 

They're missing the single mum who has single-handedly built up a property development business. They're missing the seven foot tall viking who's terrified of talking in public. 

Let's hope they realise this before it's too late. 

More like this: 

Sam, Bryce, Cam and the hypocrisy of the men on this season of MAFS.

This season of MAFS has been particularly cruel and last night it reached a new low.

We need to talk about the men on this season of Married At First Sight.

Feature image: Channel Nine.