I’ve never watched The Bachelorette before this week. Just a few months ago, I watched The Bachelor for the first time since season one or two (“onion girl” got me hooked this year). But then I got to know Britt and Kaitlyn, and I realized I had to watch The Bachelorette (and Bachelor in Paradise #teamonion)!
Of course, the second Chris sent her home, I wanted Kaitlyn to be the next bachelorette. She’s much more fun than Britt, in my opinion, and her laugh makes me laugh. While I understood the reason ABC decided to let the men decide between the two women — they wanted both #teambritt and #teamkaitlyn viewers to tune in — it didn’t sit too well with me. This feeling was only amplified during the premiere.
Let me backtrack a little. I mentioned I watched the first season or two of The Bachelor. It was back in the day where reality TV wasn’t quite as common; it was still somewhat new to network television, and the whole idea of the show was kind of scandalous.
I don’t remember anything — not the people, the dates, or even Chris Harrison. I only remember being appalled knowing this random guy was probably (heavily implied, at least) sleeping with multiple women, and the women were still competing for him. Obviously, I was pretty young at the time, but that particular thing still doesn’t sit well with me about the show. I just now know the women who choose to go on there know what they’re getting themselves into.
But The Bachelorette (usually) places the “power” in the woman’s hands. The previously rejected woman gets a second chance, and the tables are turned. She sends the guys home. She calls the shots. It’s the entire premise of this show.
So this isn’t really about feminism for me — although it could easily be — it’s more that ABC has taken away an awesome part of this season. The first night we see both Kaitlyn and Britt feeling uneasy, jealous (although I firmly believe that is largely due to editing and production), and worried about going home again. It’s just not how our bachelorette is supposed to feel, or how any bachelorette in past seasons have felt.
And then it gets worse. We overhear the chitchat of the men in the house. “I’m all for Britt!” The men are comparing the two women, and the power is in their collective hands again. This also leaves me wondering if some of the men here for one woman will even want to stick around if she is sent home — basically, we know from the get-go half the guys will be faking it. As if that’s not bad enough, some drunkard (sorry, “Ryan M.”) slaps Kaitlyn’s butt. The men go into a room, one by one, and place a rose in the box below the picture they like the best (or which box is “pulsating” with energy… GAG). So now we have two bachelorettes, neither powerful, both objectified.
Luckily, Ryan M., the biggest douche of all, was asked to leave. The producers kept him on just long enough to start some drama and allow them to get some footage of him in his speedo.
Don’t get me wrong, I can enjoy reality TV and all its flaws like anyone else, and I’m sure I will enjoy the rest of this season now that the power has shifted back to its rightful place. I’m just irritated we had to start off this way. Do better, ABC.