Sue Sue Sudio

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The camera never gave us a good angle of Hatch's shenanigans, so it's hard to judge Sue's reaction. Not that that'll stop us, naturally. Was Hatch a puerile jackass? Absolutely. Should someone on the production staff have thrown up a red flag on the idea of someone participating in a contact challenge naked? Hell yeah. But Sue was fully clothed. It's doubtful there was any skin-on-skin contact. For someone who peed on a raft in the presence of her tribemates, suddenly she's awfully prickly about privates. And Hatch is gay. He clearly wasn't making any sexual advances. He and Sue have known each other for years. He probably thought he was just taunting her and being cute. He was wrong, and I can see how Sue might have been uncomfortable or disgusted. But violated? Dehumanized?

Hatch was wrong, and had he not been voted out that night there'd be a good case to boot him anyway. But Sue's reaction seems grossly disproportionate to the offense.

On with the game.

Update: I just rewatched last week's challenge on the Survivor web site. When Sue came to the final platform, she had two choices of how to proceed. Her teammates urged her to hurry up and take the lefthand route, but she demurred saying, "No, I want this one"-- meaning the route Richard Hatch was using to come toward her. Not only could she have taken the other path, she should have-- it was vacant. She chose instead to wait for Richard, forcing the two of them to squeeze by each other. Are there legitimate reasons for her to have made that choice? Sure. But it smells fishy. She put herself in Richard's path when she needn't have. She knew he was naked. That sounds like assumption of risk to me. There's lots of blame to spread around here, but some of it is definitely Sue's.

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I'm curious about this game rule stated on the official site:

"Even though they are stranded on a remote island in Panama, the Survivors will still be held to U.S. law and local law. Any breach of those laws is against the contest rules."

Does Richard's act qualify? Even if he had gotten naked at a private party here in the States and no one disapproved of it, committing the same act against a woman here would have gotten him arrested. Then again, the web site also says that stealing or misappropriating food is also prohibited, and players do that frequently, so obviously not every rule is ironclad.

I can't put myself into Sue's head after what happened (she's already under the stress of roughing it for two weeks by then), but to me it's clear that Sue lacked the thick skin required to play this game, and I say that knowing it goes against her reputation as one of the most mentally tough of all players. It is the fundamental nature of Survivor that you must scheme constantly, and guard against being outwitted by your opponents. Sue allowed herself to be outwitted by a single player, who was on the other tribe, and who had already left the game! Talk about weakness. Richard's action last week had the purpose of intimidating Sue; that it worked so well was Sue's fault. To paraphrase Eleanor Roosevelt, no one can make you quit Survivor without your permission.

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