Why RHOP's Ashley Darby shouldn't have to defend her husband's sexuality
At long last, we have reached the climax of this season of The Real Housewives of Potomac in the form of the reunion, Part 2. Last Sunday, on Part 1 of the reunion, Karen faux-pologized, Katie revealed that her engagement to Andrew was over, the ladies yelled at each other about race, and Andy Cohen probably wished he had a lot of booze, as did viewers.
On the second half of the finale, things got extremely uncomfortable when Andy decided Karen should have to further connect with her feelings around Ashley's husband, Michael. In case you blocked it out (or missed an episode), Michael did a few things this season that Karen found objectionable, including almost taking his pants off on her yacht, showing up during a girls' only weekend and grabbing Andrew's butt at a party. This, and Ashley's commentary on her and Michael's sex life, were enough to put the so-called "Grand Dame of Potomac" over the edge.
The butt-grabbing thing, though, yikes. It's probably going to follow Ashley into next season, and maybe even into old age. It immediately led Gizelle and Robyn to question Michael's sexuality, and then it turned into an ugly confrontation about race that involved Katie. Dutring the reunion, Ashley was once again asked to defend Michael's sexuality, which she should never, ever have to do. I am completely over this homophobic attitude everyone, except Ashley, seems to have about Michael.
If Michael is gay, or bisexual, that's between him and Ashley (it was not, by the way, cool, that Michael denied grabbing Andrew's butt to Ashley and then admitted that he had). Secondly, everyone needs to calm down about the way men are "supposed" to act around other men. Gizelle and Robyn quickly decided that Michael's actions had to be about race, this upholding a bunch of ridiculously problematic stereotypes about race and masculinity.
On Sunday, Ashley let everyone know how fed up she was with all the speculation when she asked Gizelle where her man was. Michael, sitting uncomfortably behind his wife during the reunion, went to bat for Ashley when Karen introduced the possibility that Michael might be attracted to her.
All of this caused a joyful uproar on Twitter, where viewers definitely had some thoughts about Ashley and Michael as a couple, and what their, um, conjugal life might look like.
At the end of the episode, there was a lukewarm toast to Potomac, and it could not have been more clear that Ashley wished she was on another planet. The rest of the cast seemed to feel the same, but hey, at least everyone had a drink in their hand.
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