‘The Real Housewives of New York City’: Angry White Women

The Real Housewives of New York
“How Nude”
June 1, 2021

When last we left this gaggle of wannabe Holly Golightlies, Ramona had stormed out of the dinner when Leah began talking about rim jobs. She soon returns to her seat and tries to make nice with Leah, before calmly explaining, again, that she hates the sex talk. Leah is like, “Yeah, I get that, but I’m sex-positive, so …” And Ramona, bless her, she thinks that Leah has just made up the turn “sex-positive” right there on the spot.

The Countess excuses herself to bed because nothing good happens after a certain hour and also, too, who can be around these drunk assholes for this long without having a drink themselves? That’s just entirely too much to ask of any one person. And as she takes her leave, Sonja compliments The Countess’ whole Audrey Hepburn look, telling her that she won the night, which genuinely pisses Ramona off, and leads her to tell The Countess “THERE IS NO GODDAMNED CONTEST AND FUCK YOU.”

Ramona turns back to Leah, trying to explain that she was brought up very old school, and not so free with the sex talk, and saying things like, “this dick is big and this dick is small and I like dick and she has a w.p. or a w.a.p …” And Leah’s like, “I mean, you seemed pretty comfortable talking about sex just now, so …”

Leah then in an interview marvels once again at the hypocrisy on display here: Ramona, according to Leah, is constantly on the prowl, and is getting laid more than all the other women combined, but demands that Leah edit herself to make Ramona feel more comfortable. OK.

Ramona then begins … rubbing herself with a feather? Talking about how hot it is making her? And I DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE CONTEXT OR WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE? But whatever it is, it is making me MUCH more uncomfortable than Leah talking about how she wants to find a man who will eat ass.

And then, a tipsy Eboni yells across the table to Ramona that she heard her say she “takes a big dick.” Ramona, scandalized again, insists SHE NEVER SAID THAT before running away from the table. Again.

Eboni follows after Ramona, laughingly apologizing and explaining that she had “too many gins.” But Ramona is disgusted, and storms upstairs with an entire bottle of red wine in hand.

Yep! ‘Cuz nothing says “elegance and class” like drinking a bottle of red wine alone in your bed.

The next morning, Leah and Eboni take their coffee outside where they marvel again at Ramona’s squeamishness when it comes to them talking about sex in front of her, this, the same woman who a mere hour before was posing for this picture with Leah:

Later, Leah takes a call from her mother about her grandmother’s condition: not good. Leah comes to the sad realization that she’s not going to have another conversation with her grandmother and it bums her out.

Meanwhile, Ramona goes down to the spider basement to have a chat with Heather and warn her to KEEP RAMONA’S NAME OUT HER MOUTH. “I don’t want to be in the press,” she says.

Yes, you wouldn’t want to be an attention whore.

They then get dressed for a day of painting and lamb curry over at The Countess’ so obviously, Ramona puts on pleather pants and tiger print boots and then gives Heather shit for not being as “chic” as she is.

She is also OUTRAGED that Leah and Eboni’s hair and makeup isn’t done when she’s ready to leave for The Countess’ and stomps into the half-deserted and very definitely haunted game room where their glam squads have set up. Eboni explains that Black hair requires more time, while Ramona barks at her that SHE SHOULD HAVE STARTED EARLIER THEN, before storming off — literally screaming! — and leaving without them.

Eboni: “1865. The Emancipation Proclamation. I’m free. Ok? So what you’re not going to do is come down here and tell me what to do with my time.”

Over at The Countess’, the male model has arrived, and Garth is finishing up his lamb curry when Sonja, Ramona, and Heather arrive. Ramona makes it a point to irritably note that Eboni and Leah were still having their makeup done, though they arrive very soon after:

As the women get their drinks and prepare to do some painting, some other dude arrives: Alfredo, a French cowboy musician who The Countess wants to hook Sonja up with. Sonja, however, is NOT HAVING IT, explaining that she’s an artist and as an artist, she doesn’t date other artists, she only dates bankers. That’s just math.

Finally, it’s nude model painting time. As a blanket-wrapped model takes his spot in the backyard, The Countess’ niece, ol’ WhoCaresWhatHerNameIs, explains that they will do a series of poses: they’ll start with 2 one-minute poses, then do some five-minute poses, and then 10-minute poses. And before he even undresses, Leah is saying that she’s weirded out. And on the face of it, that seems strange for someone to say who was just yelling about dicks the night before, but there is something weird about this whole activity (kinda like it was on This Is Us a few weeks back) in that it is giving cover to a bunch of women to ogle a naked man, and glossing it over with this thin veneer of respectability. Listen, there’s nothing wrong with life-drawing classes or nude modeling in general, and there’s also nothing wrong with wanting to look at a naked person. But there is something disingenuous about this entire activity that might leave someone who is already in a bad headspace feeling kinda weird about doing it.  

And in fact, this is highlighted when the model announces that he can’t remove his blanket by himself, and demands that Sonja remove it for him. Come on, dude. I get that you’re trying to lighten the mood, but you don’t have to be low-rent stripper about it.

Sonja, however, is happy to oblige as you can see from the gif in the header.

So, the ladies paint (“paint”) this young gentleman to the best of their abilities, some paying more attention to the model than others …

Ramona is actually the first to give up on painting, and retreats to the patio, where she is soon joined by Leah, and in the most unintentionally hilarious moment of the season so far, Ramona finds herself enjoying the musical stylings of Alfredo:

She goes on to emotionally tell Alfredo that his music is “touching” her. “It’s touching me! It’s touching me!” she yelps at him.

Meanwhile, the other women continue to paint the model, emphasizing all the relevant parts.

Inside the house, Leah is beginning to feel worse and worse, claiming that she’s having vertigo, possibly from low blood sugar, maybe from just emotional exhaustion. She sits with Eboni who assures her she’s not being a baby and that she believes that Leah is feeling physically unwell. Ramona then joins them and tells Leah that she knows that her grandmother is the only person in Leah’s life who has given her unconditional love and that her grandmother knows Leah better than her mother does, and better than Rob does. For some reason, reminding Leah of what she’s about to lose does not actually make her feel better about things.

Eboni takes over comforting duty and tells Leah that she knows she’s fearful of what she will lose when her grandmother passes, that there won’t be anyone around to tell her that they are proud of her. But Eboni assures Leah that she is a good person with a good heart and that even when her grandmother dies, that feeling won’t die with her.

It’s then time for lunch and Ramona is loudly talking about how death is harder for the living and that Leah thinks of her as “an older sister …”

… and that Leah is looking for her affirmation.

But then there’s Sonja, God bless her, who sits across from Leah, asks her how she’s doing before explaining that she’s giving Leah some space. This is genuinely appreciated and received by Leah because it’s clearly coming from a place of gentleness and understanding.

After they toast Chef Garth and The Countess’s daughter for arranging the nude model, The Countess decides now — moments after she has had a sobbing fit inside — is the time to confront Leah, again, about her potty mouth. She begins by asking about Eboni and Ramona’s little blowup before bed the night before. Leah explains it started when Ramona was lecturing her again for using language that makes her uncomfortable, and The Countess is all, “Yes, well, she and I were both raised in church-going Catholic families that are more conservative.” Leah finds the idea that it is Ramona’s “Christian values” that make her respond this way ridiculous, noting again that she LIED about DONATING PLASMA.

The Countess concedes that they do talk about sex, but that the vocabulary Leah uses can sometimes be too much, and some people are offended by things like “the C-word.”

And maybe I’m wrong, but Leah doesn’t use the word “cunt?” Not like Erika Jayne, for instance, who uses it with complete abandon:

Ramona then chimes in, saying that her daughter and her friends don’t speak the way Leah does (revealing once again that the real issue Ramona has with Leah is that she does not think of her as an actual peer, but as someone closer to her daughter’s age), and Leah is infuriated. First of all, OF COURSE AVERY AND HER FRIENDS AREN’T GOING TO TALK ABOUT SEX IN FRONT OF RAMONA, but second of all, STOP COMPARING HER TO HER DAUGHTER. SHE HAS HER OWN DAUGHTER.

As Leah leaps up from the table, having had perfectly enough, thanks, Sonja quietly suggests that Ramona should just let Leah be herself without the constant criticism. As she takes her leave, Leah once again calls Ramona a hypocrite and tells The Countess to come down off her high horse.

While Leah waits for her Uber, Ramona calls Leah “overly sensitive,” and Sonja again suggests that she just leave Leah alone. Eboni is like, “this is a lot of energy being spent on something that is not that big of a deal,” but Ramona won’t hear it, claiming that after she, Leah, Avery, and some of Avery’s friends went to dinner last year, her daughter was shocked! SHOCKED! at Leah’s language, Ramona claiming that Leah used “the P-word.”

First of all, the producers, God bless them, roll the same footage they used last year from that dinner, at which Leah says, AND I QUOTE: “I would like to find a billionaire with a 9-inch … NEVER MIND!” So, no, she did not say the “P-word,” so much as she implied it. But second of all, who says “the P-word?” Is “penis” really that offensive a word? IT’S AN ORGAN. It’s like being offended by the word “appendix” or “fibula.”

Eboni tells Ramona and The Countess that while she understands that they don’t like those words, just because a person uses them does not make them “unclassy” or “not a lady.” Ramona begins yelling — really yelling — that SHE NEVER SAID THAT. SHE SAID IT MAKES HER UNCOMFORTABLE. And Eboni calmly is like, “OK, but I heard The Countess say something about being raised in the church?” The Countess insists that it had nothing to do with “class,” it has to do “with education,” to which our new lawyer friend makes this face:

… because she can’t believe what she just heard. Eboni explains that it doesn’t have to do with education, because frankly, she’s the most educated person at the table (which is just facts).

And these women lose their damn minds. “OH REALLY?” demands an indignant Countess. “DID YOU GOOGLE EVERYONE?” Ramona wants to know. And Eboni is like, “damn straight I Googled all of y’all. Obviously, I did.”

The Countess is still pissed about this education angle and asks Eboni if she really thinks her degree makes her more educated than the rest of them, and Eboni is like, “Literally, yes.” The Countess declares that this is the stupidest thing she’s ever heard from someone so supposedly educated.

And that’s when Leah decides she’s bored of waiting for her Uber and swings back around to tell Ramona that “If you bring up your daughter to me one more time … they’ve been sucking dick since the age of 14!” And then there is so much screaming and bleeping that it’s impossible to even hear what’s being said but the gist of it is: Ramona doesn’t want to talk about sex at the dinner table but also Ramona is full of shit. Leah then declares that Ramona is not going to treat her the way she did last year before screaming that at least four of the five women at the table are not just “hos” but the “biggest hos ever” before finally taking her leave for real this time.

Ramona complains that Leah is so “defensive and aggressive,” and Heather, who has mostly kept her mouth shut through all of this, suggests that it’s a real listening problem that is happening: no one is listening to each other. The Countess sighs that Heather’s right and she was “trying to explain it” but that Leah just wasn’t listening, that much is clear for an UNEDUCATED PERSON.

Eboni is like, “we are not doing this …” and The Countess then claims Eboni said she was “the smartest one there.” Eboni insists she said no such thing and Sonja has her back, reminding her that she said she was “the most EDUCATED person at the table,” which, as Eboni adds, IS A FACT.

The Countess protests that Eboni doesn’t speak three languages, so they shouldn’t go tit for tat over who, in fact, is the most educated. Eboni counters that she doesn’t like the way The Countess said that the way someone talks shows their education, and The Countess counters that she was talking “about Catholicism.” The Countess adds that Eboni jumped on her because she is “miseducated,” and that she doesn’t like “the way [she] talks.” The Countess then yells at Eboni to not “COME INTO MY HOUSE AND TELL ME I DON’T HAVE AN EDUCATION.” Eboni insists that she gives her credit for being a trained nurse, and when The Countess sarcastically that it didn’t sound like that to her, Eboni suggests she clean her ears out.

“You’re the one screaming,” The Countess replies.

This is the point when Ramona, Miss Primal Scream at Everything 2020, starts complaining that her ears hurt and demands that Eboni bring down her volume. “Your white fragility is killing me,” Eboni responds, prompting The Countess to scold Eboni to not go after Ramona’s race because they “aren’t going after [her] race.”

“I wish you would,” Eboni replies, before trying to explain to Ramona what white fragility is because these middle-aged white women have lived in a bubble of privilege for so long now, they have no idea that they are wielding their race like a weapon even when they’re doing it. But she can’t even get through her calm, reasonable explanation without Ramona yelling at her to stop screaming.

Eboni then walks through the entire argument again, beginning with the fact that Ramona doesn’t like certain words relating to the reproductive system being used, only to elicit an eye roll from The Countess. But Ramona proves her point by screaming and slapping the table that she doesn’t like “when people are saying dicks and cocks at the table! SORRY! SORRY! And SHE SAID it was because of my Catholic education!”

Eboni tries to argue that The Countess did not claim that Ramona’s squeamishness was because of her Catholic education but just her education, period. The Countess insists this is not so, so Eboni GOD BLESS HER! looks directly into the camera and demands that they “Run the tape back! Run the tape back!”

So they do, and, again, Eboni says, “I thought I heard The Countess say something about being raised in the church,” to which The Countess says, “It has nothing to do with class, it has to do with education,” which, in the flashback from 16 minutes earlier, we are once again treated to this face, this time in washed-out sepia tones:

(Honest to God, I somehow managed — without trying! — to pause my DVR on both of these shots, and thought it was too funny to not include.)

And that’s when The Countess asks Eboni, “Why are you getting so angry?”

Eboni is like, “Oh, so now I’m the angry Black woman?” But The Countess denies that she would ever suggest such a thing. Heather tries to interject something about people having different standards, and Eboni is like, “No, listen, I didn’t appreciate The Countess making a false equivalency between someone’s education …. which is what you said …”

And that’s when this asshole calls Eboni an “angry woman” AGAIN, before adding, “I never referred to your color.”

“You didn’t have to,” Eboni replies.

In an interview, Eboni points out that Leah McSweeney stormed off in a “mad dash” 10 minutes earlier and no one called her angry. I would add that Leah McSweeney stormed off in a mad dash after screaming at all of them that they were the “biggest hos ever!” and not one person called her angry.

Sonja gets it:

Ramona then goes inside with the cameras, finds The Countess’ daughter, and demands to know whether when she is with her friends she says things like, “‘I like to suck cock’ or ‘I like dick’ or ‘Ooh that cock is hard?'” and Victoria, mortified, is like “NO,” because what the hell else is she going to say to this lunatic?

Meanwhile outside, Eboni is telling The Countess that if she does not want her here, she will leave out of respect, and The Countess is like, “yeah, I think you should go.” Eboni’s like “Alright then!” and gets up. The Countess adds that Eboni needs to calm down and think about what she said and how she offended all of them. “Not me!” Sonja yells, while Eboni tells The Countess that she will not silence her or police her feelings. Eboni then accuses The Countess of trying to shame Leah and any woman who is sexually free and using “education” to do it is, and I quote, “trash.”

And with that, we are left on a big TO BE CONTINUED.

Team Eboni, by the way. I do think there was some miscommunication that was happening between The Countess and Eboni, that they were not listening to each other and as a result, they misunderstood one another. But that said, it’s clear that The Countess (and to a lesser degree, Ramona) was furious at being reminded that Eboni does have more education than she does — it’s just a fact — and she and Ramona fell back on casually racist insults while lashing out.

Yes, I know, it’s shocking that this woman might be racially insensitive:

Boy, I do hope Bravo is paying Eboni extra for having to educate all of these ignorant white women.

The Real Housewives of New York airs on Bravo.

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