Watching Big Brother season 16 from a feminist stand point is just really, really painful. Oh, sure, there's Caleb's misogynistic obsession with Amber Borzotra and the way Joey van Pelt got in trouble for starting an all-girl alliance when the boys had already started an all-boys alliance. Those things really bum me out. However, the thing that I find the most painful is sitting down week after week and wondering what is keeping the girls from finally making an alliance of their own. The boys are essentially running the house and three of the four house guests that have been evicted so far have all been women. If Amber evicted on Thursday night's episode of Big Brother, then that will only leave four women in the house compared to the seven men left. And that 4-7 ratio feels like something that really could have been avoided.
In the first episode of the Big Brother competition, the four female house guests decided to form an all-girl alliance called El Cuatro. The alliance was made up of Nicole, Amber, Joey, and Paola. The fact that two of those women are gone and one is likely to go home Thursday night should tell you about how long that alliance lasted. El Cuatro was formed before the second group of eight house guests arrived and it didn't last beyond their arrival. Nicole bonded with Christine, Amber and Christine were brought into the Bomb Squad, and Joey and Paola were basically on their own.
When the house began to turn against Joey, she tried to save herself by pulling the all-girl alliance back together again. However, all of the other women had other loyalties by then and Amber swiftly sold her out to the Bomb Squad. Joey was later forced to apologize to Devin for trying to start her own alliance and she got sent home first anyway. The final attempt to rally the girls into some sort of alliance came when Amber, suspecting that the Bomb Squad wasn't as loyal to her as they claimed, went to Christine to talk to her and Nicole about a possible alliance. Christine immediately ran to the Detonators and sold Amber out, solidifying the plan to get her evicted.
What is going on in the Big Brother house this season? Every attempt to start an all-girl alliance has either failed or been laughed out as an absurd possibility. It's true that the guys are the ones who are running the household, but it's also true that this might have been avoided if the girls had been working together from the start. Now no matter who gets evicted on Thursday night there are going to be twice as many guys as there are girls left in the house so the very idea of an all-girl alliance feels like a death sentence to the person who starts it.
The guys have been almost horrifically sexist during this season. Many times, when it comes around to nominating people to go up on the block, every one of the four people sitting on the block will be a woman. Victoria and Jocasta have been on the block so many times that they may as well write their names on the seat and Christine's friendship with Nicole won't stop her from lying to Nicole's face and remaining loyal to the mostly-male Detonators alliance.
Allying themselves with the boys hasn't kept the girls safe so far — note again that three of the four evicted house guests were female — and so it's hard to understand what's stopping them from realizing that they need to start working together before the boys finish picking them off one-by-one. The sexism that runs rampant among the males on Big Brother season 16 is bad enough, but the girls are just as bad for working against each other instead of with each other.
Maybe Amber's eviction will be the wake up call that the females need in order to realize that they need to band together before the guys head to jury without them. However, it's probably too late by now. Even if the women do finally start allying with one another, they no longer have the numbers to control any of the votes.
We could have had it all, El Cuatro. We could have had it all. We could still have it all if you work together.