In a crowded room one night, I let slip that I was following Australia’s The Bachelor.
Because besides getting questioning looks – the, “Really? I wouldn’t have picked you for the type,” line – I wound up having to justify myself with some bullshit excuse.
For a feminist, it really is embarrassing.
If you’ve never seen The Bachelor before, the last season was every bit as sexist as you can imagine. On multiple occasions, the Bach forced the Bachelorettes to compete in humiliating physical competitions, to squat and throw shit in (sexy?) scottish garb, to cook for his approval, and to tend to a screaming mechanical baby like a class full of 14 year olds begrudgingly trying to pass health class.
Of course it’s complete bullshit. I don’t believe in love at first sight (or after three manufactured dates), and I’m pretty suss about the viability of marriage too. But still, I find myself watching this trash.
Yes, this is the height of romance.
I’m not the only one. Globally, I’ve got no doubt that there’s millions of us. The phenomenon of smart women watching reality drivel is well documented. We’re “hate watchers” – addicted to trash TV and well aware of how toxic it is.
If I’m being honest with myself, I love the drama. I love the fights. The sniping. The animal-like predictability of the Bach. The women who never stand a chance but delude themselves into believing they do. The ones who will do anything to get the guy, and the ones who are thoroughly unimpressed with the whole production.
What does that say about my own feminist politics? I’m afraid to ask. When the drama is at the expense of those women, I truly hate that I love it. Mostly, though, I excuse myself because it’s all a bit of a joke.
The feminist in me would be pleased if this abomination never graces our screens again. But when it inevitably does, I can’t guarantee I won’t watch.
Words by Skye Davey
Art by Qiaoze Yu
IG – @auskeke