On last night's episode, millionairess Leah McSweeney, founder of the streetwear company Married to the MOB, sought Patti Stanger's service, only to be told that the "good guys" aren't asking her out because—despite her feminine appearance—she's too "masculine."
McSweeney was the first client of Stanger's with whom I could identify. Watching her made me think, "At last, one of us." She was assertive, outspoken, knew what she wanted in a man (a big penis), funny (again, the big penis thing), and spoke frankly about sex, even bringing cameras along as she went vibrator shopping. While I found all of these qualities admirable (if not completely familiar and what I look for in a friend), Stanger wasn't having it. She said that McSweeney had a "masculine energy," even noting that she needed to "find the vagina and put the penis away."
After seeing the episode, McSweeney tweeted:
It's a totally valid point, and I agree with McSweeney on how it's a bad message. While I like the work that Stanger does with her male clients—focusing more on fixing them instead of fixing them up—I'm not as enthusiastic or approving of how she treats her female clients, particularly in this instance, when she assigns certain positive personality traits as being positive when possessed by one gender and negative when possessed by another. It could be called a double standard, but really, it's just sexism. While I think that maybe Patti's advice about not talking so openly about sex on a first date might be wise, telling a woman to tone herself down and be less "aggressive" in order to be more attractive is kind of bullshit.
Besides, isn't there an obvious role reversal going on when a female millionaire approaches Stanger for her services? The pool of potential suitors aren't millionaires themselves, so why can't they take a backseat to the money maker, as is expected when women are matched up with male millionaires? Why does the power distribution have to be decided according to gender instead of wallet?
For someone as confident, successful, and plucky as McSweeney, it's weird that she would need a matchmaker at all. In fact, the qualities that Stanger felt were holding McSweeney back from finding a mate—the ones that comprised her "masculine energy"—were probably the very reasons why she went on this show to begin with: To promote her brand, have a good time, and take the piss. And all of those things seem to have been accomplished.
In the end, she didn't really need Stanger's help anyway. She wound up getting back together with the father of her child. However, Stanger somehow still managed to take credit for that, saying that bringing out McSweeney's more "feminine qualities" brought her ex back into the picture. So I guess she "found her vagina"? But it seems like Stanger's head is still missing, when it comes to these kind of gender politics. Maybe she should try looking up her ass.