We all know The Bachelorette is awful. It truly is. Anything which manufactures situations in which people actually have no choice but to fall in love and get engaged within 8 weeks of meeting one another has to be awful. Right?
But is it though? I mean, compared to poverty and famine and Mugabe, is it really that bad? Does it have any redeeming qualities? Is it actually, for instance, a searing satire of the harsh realities of dating life, seen through a microscope? Maybe not, but what it might be is the most feminist show on television. Or at least a feminist show on television. If you squint.
Hear me out, quickly, before I think too hard about this because I’m pretty sure this theory is already wilting in my mind-grapes.
One independent girl going out to get what she wants, dating 20 guys at the same time, stating openly and honestly what she is looking for without fear of retribution. In a society where asymmetrical sexual moral standards between men and women are the norm, one could argue that The Bachelorette is, albeit accidentally, leveling the playing field. The casting of a woman in the traditional gender role of the male (complete with his inherit right to sexual liberalization – pah!) seeking out a mate; testing all available options, picking some and throwing away others while female viewers cheer her on shows we’ve come a long way from the kitchen sex bunnies of the past….
but only if you overlook the fact that the main goal of the Bachelorette is to find a man to propose to her, marry her, complete her, give her life meaning, etc, etc.
See? I told you you had to squint.
Help me out here guys, I need for this show to be forgivable. I need for it to deserve to exist. Why?
Because I have accidentally been watching it every week for the past 4 seasons.
I don’t just watch it though. You can’t ‘just watch it’ in Australia. I actively seek it out. I do more thank seek it out, I download an app onto my computer which hides my IP address, which means I can go to US-only sites like abc.com and stream it online every week and –
Come to think of it, maybe The Bachelorette is really really Marxist. And, um, postmodern. Socialist? No? You know what? Screw it. It’s actually kind of brave, going on television and telling the world that what you want is to find someone to spend your life with when most people can’t even say that face-to-face to someone they’ve known since they were 2. I have a certain respect for people with that kind of courage, and if that sort of courage means they occasionally do silly things like sign up to be the next Bachelorette then so be it.
Pass the remote, Germaine.