You could literally put the camera on a pile of cow manure for 43 minutes a night and it would have more charm, integrity, and insight than this cultural atrocity.
But since a lot of the world is apparently still watching, here’s why I won’t join in:
- It treats women like interchangeable parts, easily discarded when convenient
The crass objectification of women was bad enough already. Do we really need a show that throws one woman into the scrapheap every episode?
- It puts men on more of a pedestal than they already are
C’mon. Men are worshipped like heroes in pretty much every action movie, every football game, every baseball game, every basketball game, and every beer commercial. This just helps make men more entitled than ever.
- It’s female exploitation on steroids
The message of this show is clear: Women, you’re here to make yourself worthy of this almighty Bachelor Extraordinaire™. Your only worth is measured by whether he approves of you. Bend, twist, and contort yourselves in every way possible to meet his expectations.
- It rewards men who are all about themselves, not about being a partner
These guys might occasionally talk about “the life I want us to build together,” but it sure seems like lip service when it’s never backed up by any lasting actions.
- It pits women against each other
The way women end up viewing each other as a threat to each other is not only incredibly harmful to themselves, but it gives male viewers the twisted expectation that women should be fighting it out for the honor to be at their side.
- It values a man’s charm and good looks over his integrity
When romantic interactions are reduced to quick one-hour “dates,” it’s more about external appearances than a measure of a man’s actions, values, and character.
- It forces women to throw themselves at a man before they’ve even gotten to know him
The entire premise reeks of the idea that a woman should just be happy to take whatever is presented before her.
- It implies women should line up for men to deem them worthy
Just for once, I’d like to see the entire cast of women walk out on day one and say, “What the hell were we thinking? This is offensive.”
- It implies a woman isn’t worthy unless a man picks her.
Believe me, women, you dodged a bullet if this guy didn’t choose you. Any guy worth marrying would never even audition for this show.
- It implies a man isn’t worthy unless he’s married a beautiful woman
The show is pretty problematic for men, too, and the idea that we only have worth with “arm candy” at our side is toxic, too. The men are forced to judge women largely on the surface, too, and it reinforces a prehistoric method of finding a “soulmate.”
- It supports a man “playing the field” while a woman has to wait for her “turn”
I realize the same structure exists in The Bachelorette, but it’s less toxic there because it doesn’t reinforce a centuries-old notion of one sex displaying themselves before another to be “selected.”
- It presupposes that you can find your soulmate in 12 episodes
This is the most ridiculous and offensive idea of all, and probably why the vast majority of these “marriages” end up in the trash can. This is a delusional fantasy. A real relationship can’t unfold in an artificial environment where neither person faces real circumstances. “Love at first sight” might be real, but finding true compatibility takes more than 12 episodes and watching sunsets on the beach.
C’mon. We can do better than this, society. Sure, let’s all hope for people to find true love. Let’s celebrate people finding their perfect match.
But that’s not what this is.
This is artificial sweetener in TV form. It’s not really nutritious and will leave us still hungry for substance after it’s been digested.
Let’s all change the channel, pick up a book, or just go for a hike.
We’re all much more likely to find fulfillment (or even a soulmate) out there than participating in this charade.
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