Podcaster and Bachie ‘villain’-turned-fave Abbie Chatfield has explained her convo with former AFL player Robert ‘Dipper’ DiPierdomenico on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in the latest episode of her pod, It’s A Lot.

While some people argued that their discussion about slut-shaming was representative of a generational gap between Abbie, 25, and Dipper, 62, others praised Abbie for trying to confront the idea that women are ever “asking for it” based on the way they dress.

Here’s how the moment played out on screen:

Abbie decided to head to the pool, dressed in a singlet and bikini.

“How can you walk around like that?” Dipper asked, and Abbie tried to laugh it off.

“Ash walks around topless!” she replied, referencing fellow contestant comedian Ash Williams. “I’m allowed to walk around pant-less.”

“You’re not going out like that!” Dipper continued, as Abbie headed to the pool in her bikini.

So Abbie asked him to explain what he meant by the ‘joke’.

“[It’s like] when a father sees his daughter grow up, and she’s going out to see her boyfriend or whatever, and walks out with a miniskirt,” Dipper said.

“We’re protective of you girls being hurt.”

But what does that have to do with what a woman is wearing, Abbie questioned.

“It’s like you’re seeking attention and asking for it,” Dipper said.

At the pool with Ash and actor Toni Pearen, Abbie teared up, not just because Dipper made the joke repeatedly, but because she felt she had a responsibility to other women to articulate why that cultural idea is harmful.

“The implication [is] that men are dangerous, but it’s our fault.” 

On It’s A Lot, Abbie Chatfield stressed how much she “loves” Dipper, even saying she’d like to have him on the pod. She said Dipper even reached out to apologise after the episode aired, telling her he knows “not to say that anymore”.

“I just had a conversation with him and the conversation wasn’t about him specifically. Yes, it was had with Dipper [but] it was more about the overarching issue of slut-shaming girls for having titties and wearing bikinis,” Abbie said in the episode.

She acknowledged that Dipper didn’t meant to upset her. But, Abbie added, “The whole issue is that it’s so ingrained into our society and into the psyche of men particularly, and older men, that it’s okay to say these things is that he thinks it’s a joke, but to me, it’s a part of rape culture.

“It’s part of a sexualisation that we’ve endured since you were a kid.”

Abbie disputed the idea that she needs to be ‘protected’ by someone like Dipper. “It’s not about protection when you think about it it’s about controlling women’s clothing and our choices.”

The reason she wanted to call out Dipper’s ‘joke’, Abbie said on the podcast, was because those kinds of insidious comments perpetuate ideas about women’s agency that can lead to acts of violence. “Unless we question the lower level jokes, then we don’t get to go up to the next part of the pyramid of actually combatting rape culture.”

She continued, “Saying someone is asking for it because they are wearing a bikini is the basis of rape culture. It is the absolute foundation in which further thought is able to fester and be perpetuated through society, and that women who are sexually assaulted are asking for it.”

Even though she’s been subjected to people attacking her online for her ‘not family-friendly’ body, and for speaking out on the show, Abbie says she’s glad the conversation is being had at a national scale. She said people have reached out to say that they’ve found the words and the strength to talk to men in their lives about why those kinds of comments are inappropriate and damaging.

“Looking forward to being slut-shamed even further throughout my life,” Abbie cheekily concluded. “But hopefully it’s a bit less. Hopefully if any of you have been slut-shamed you can just ask the question. Just be like, ‘What do you mean by that?’ and then watch it all unravel.”

Abbie calling out slut-shaming on national television is important because it challenges the outdated cultural view that women are somehow responsible for men’s actions. The idea that women can change our behaviour or our outfits to avoid sexual assault isn’t just victim-blaming, it’s statistically untrue.

Hell yeah, Abbie Chatfield. It’s so empowering to have women on screen calling out outdated and frankly dangerous cultural attitudes. We’ve got to stop telling women to “cover up” and instead teach men to respect women and their bodily autonomy. Women celebrating their bodies isn’t dangerous – violence against women is. 

Image: Instagram / Abbie Chatfield