Why The ‘Big Brother 18’ Winner Should Be A Woman

It’s only weeks away: The premiere of Big Brother 18 is on the horizon, and I can’t think of anything to do with myself besides twiddle my thumbs and start hoping for what this season will bring. Because there is a lot to hope for in this all-new season that begins on June 22: new contestants, new twists, and a winner that maybe doesn’t look all the past winners. And yes, by that I mean that I want the winner of Big Brother 18 to be a woman. Unfortunately, this hasn't been a common occurrence in Big Brother season's past — and it's time there was a conscious effort to change that.

The topic came up recently in an interview that The Hollywood Reporter conducted exclusively with four previous runners-up. Even though the main topic was advice that the former players had for the current contestants, a discussion about why female contestants fail to win when they sit beside a male contestant in the final two came to the forefront toward the end of the interview. The former contestants had their explanations, some of which definitely seemed to miss the mark. Season 17's Liz Nolan declared the issue a result of women being "catty." But Big Brother vet Daniele Donato explained it in a more nuanced way:

It's true what everyone says that women don't want to vote for another woman. I don't want to use the word jealous because everyone uses that on Big Brother, "So and so is jealous of you because you're pretty" or whatever they want to say. I don't think that's necessarily it. Girls just have such strong emotions and you go in there and either love the girls that you're playing with or you hate them. It's real life. You're not going to get along with everybody in real life. It's that heightened in the house. And guys don't want to get beaten out by a girl obviously so they'll vote for the guy in the end.

If Donato's words are true, that's a pretty sad reality — and completely indicative of a society that has historically viewed women as weaker competitors to beat in game settings. This alone is a huge reason the winner of Big Brother 18 needs to be a woman: This dated mindset needs to be destroyed, swiftly.

Trust me when I say that this is a change that needs to happen within the franchise. Of the 17 contestants who have won Big Brother, only five of them have been women. Considering the fact that the house numbers are right around 50-50 from the start (50 percent women and 50 percent men), the fact that so few women is actually pretty astonishing.

Still, no matter what the feminist theory that could explain that phenomenon says about how women are treated in competitions like Big Brother, I think it’s seriously time for this trend to change. Just imagine the message that more women victors could send across America about the way women can work together and support each other. If there were more female jury members voting for women in the final two, it would make a great point about the fact that women aren't "catty," as Nolan unfortunately stated to THR. Women are strategic and strong and totally capable of supporting each other and winning the game. And if there were more male jury members voting for women in the final two, well that would do wonders for the nature of gameplay between men and women. It could potentially show the world (or at least the Big Brother audience) that women are powerful competitors. Just as powerful and strategic as their male counterparts.

So come on, Big Brother 18 contestants, let’s show the world that systematic sexism is something that can be overcome.

Image: CBS (3)