‘The Bachelor:’ guilty pleasure or sexist sitcom?


The newest season of “The Bachelor” kicked off in January, featuring Peter Weber as the eligible bachelor. GRAPHIC BY HALEY KEIZUR/FOGHORN, PHOTO COURTESY OF ABC

Savanah Dewberry is a freshman media studies major

Guilty pleasure: something someone enjoys but may be ashamed to admit to. “The Bachelor” definitely falls into this category for me.

The infamous dating show recently premiered its 24th season to six million national viewers. 

This season’s eligible bachelor, Peter Weber, will have to decide between 30 equally-eligible women, all competing for his heart. Drama has already hit the house, champagne has been spilled, and an emotional support cow showed up at one point.

Most of these examples are probably producer-induced drama, and not everybody is a fan. “The Bachelor” has often come under fire for being seen as vapid or demeaning toward women. If the idea of 30 women fighting over one man seems questionable to you in relation to feminist values, you aren’t alone.

Can you be a modern feminist and still enjoy shows like “The Bachelor?I say yes, you can.

Even though the show’s entire premise revolves around women trying to catch the attention of a man in the hopes of marrying him, I still think it’s a fine show in regards to modern feminist values.

There is nothing wrong with the pursuit of love; if these women want to use a dating show to find their husband, good for them! Feminism gives them that choice.

The women on “The Bachelor” are no frail flowers, either. A recent episode showed several of them confronting Weber over his lack of attention to all but a few of the contestants. The women basically unionized for better husband-hunting conditions.

Last year’s “Bachelorette,” Hannah Brown, even sent a contestant home after he attempted to shame her for having consensual sex with one of her potential fiances. These ladies did not come here to play.

Laser-focusing on little things on “The Bachelor” to pick them apart for a perceived value is a tiring and never-ending task. It’s not a perfect show, it certainly can be improved, but it’s in no way anti-feminist.

After all, in reality TV, it’s the people themselves who make the show worth watching. Not a single woman who steps onto “The Bachelor” is ashamed of getting what she wants, even if it means an entire bottle of champagne exploding in her face.

People who watch reality TV such as “The Bachelor” aren’t lesser for it. A person can watch “The Bachelor” and also listen to NPR; the two aren’t mutually exclusive. So no more hate on reality TV, and no more hate on “The Bachelor.” Enjoy “trashy” television and feel good about it, too.

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