MAFS Mike blames ‘toxic feminism’ for backlash
MARRIED At First Sight contestant Mike Gunner has copped a lot of flak for his treatment of women on the reality show.
Now he's hit back and has blamed "a shift in consciousness of the public toward men which favours women" for any criticism he's received.
"Unfortunately, that's the double standard that seems to be occurring at the moment and I personally take umbrage to it, and I refuse to accept that I cannot use words (like 'darling') that were terms of endearment only a couple of years ago that now are suddenly seen as something offensive," he told The Sydney Morning Herald.
"I have done a lot of interviews and I have received a lot of criticism," he continued. "I received comments like, I am 'gaslighting', I am a 'narcissist', but other people's insecurities don't concern me. If they want to cast labels like that on me then that is a reflection of their own poor judgment, not mine."
On this season of Married At First Sight, Mike was involved in several dinner party clashes with Jessika and his confrontational attitude was a major issue for his "wife", Heidi.
"Are you telling me that men can't stand up for themselves?" Mike told The Sydney Morning Herald about his behaviour on the show.
"Are men now so emasculated that we can't speak our minds? That we can't be real? That we have to somehow fulfil the expectations of those around us?
"I simply refuse to do that and I am speaking on behalf of all men in this country," he said.
Mike added that some of the blame should be attributed to women with "strong personalities" who have "undertones of toxic feminism".
Mike's comments come after he clashed online with author Clementine Ford yesterday.
Ford, a self-confessed MAFS fan, commented on one of Heidi Latcham's Instagram posts from Tuesday night's vow renewal ceremony.
Despite their many ups and downs, Heidi and Mike decided to stay together, a decision that baffled many fans watching at home - including Ford it seems.
"You are way too good for the sleazy black hole that is Mike," Ford wrote on Heidi's Instagram post.
But it didn't take long for Mike to fire back at Ford, with the electrician writing: "I can see that charm isn't your strong suit."
"Maybe not, but honesty is! How's your 25 year old girlfriend Mike?" Ford hit back, referencing magazine reports that the 44-year-old was now dating a much younger woman.
In another swipe at Mike, who is reportedly looking to use his time on MAFS to launch a media career, Ford sarcastically added: "GoOd LuCk WiTh YoUr RaDiO cArEeR!!!!"
But Mike wasn't taking her criticisms lying down, telling Ford that to "make assumptions is a reflection of bad judgment".
"I truly hope that one day you can overcome your bitterness and accept that everyone is on their own unique journey," he wrote.
However, Ford wasn't done, writing a lengthy response in which she criticised his behaviour.
"With an ego the size of yours, it must KILL you to know so many women around the country saw right through you and into the empty void that is your personality," she wrote.
Married At First Sight continues at 7pm on Sunday on Channel 9