Just when you thought a global pandemic had finally gotten you out of having to hear our thoughts on Bachelor Nation…WELCOME TO THE GREATEST SEASONS EDITION OF WILL YOU ACCEPT THIS RANT!
COVID-19 has forced the shutdown of both this summer’s Bachelor in Paradise AND Bachelorette Clare Crawley’s season. What is ABC to do? Why, dust off “the most dramatic seasons yet”, of course. We’ll be watching back, along with the rest of Bachelor Nation, and we’ll share our thoughts on the relationships, the changes in Bachelor Nation, and more! Will you accept this rant??
We start this garbage fire journey with Jeff Lowe’s season!
Oh…I’m sorry. SEAN Lowe. My mistake.
Sean came into Bachelor world via Emily Maynard’s season where he finished in the top 4. Sean is famous for being one of the only Bachelors (THE only bachelor?) to actually marry his final pick. Spoiler alert, in case you haven’t been on the internet since 2013, Sean married Catherine Giudici and they have 3 kids together.
Aside from being a Bachelor to actually make it down the aisle, Sean’s season was known for the villain Tierra who famously “couldn’t control her eyebrows” and wouldn’t let the other girls take away her sparkle. (I can’t even .gif this…what was the internet doing in 2013??)
A few takeaways from Sean’s season:
Abs abs abs I may be wrong but I think this is the first season we were introduced to the trope of gratuitous ab shots and shower shots. Now, Sean isn’t really my cup of tea, but if he is yours, more power to you! However, all that ab B-roll has led some people to accuse the Bachelor franchise of reverse sexism. Shockingly, this might be the only unfair accusation you could make against Mike Fleiss. Reverse sexism is not a thing. Just like reverse racism is not a thing. Racism is prejudice + power. You can’t be racist against white people. It’s the same with sexism. Sexism requires prejudice + power. You can’t be sexist against men. Are the half-naked shower scenes uncomfortable? Maybe. Are they backed up with generations upon generations of oppression and inequality? No. The Sean Ab Showcase is not the same as the way the Bachelor franchise often reduces women to their appearance or sexuality. There will be no argument. This is not up for discussion.
Healthy relationships have their own relationships on the side. No, I’m not given cart blanche to an affair (although what you and your partner decide works for you is your business!), but I am saying that you need to have your friends. A romantic partner is not the only or most important person in your life, no matter what rom-coms might say. Having friends, being able to make friends, and valuing friendships is a key part of being able to build a healthy romantic relationship. So much of the drama on Sean’s season came from Tierra “I’m Not Here To Make Friends” Whatever her last name was. Maybe the Bachelor franchise needs to re-brand as a friendship building reality show with the occasional successful romance thrown in. You deserve and need friends who have your back, who will check in on you, and who will help you if your relationship turns bad. Getting isolated to the point where your only support is your romantic partner is a recipe for disaster.
Healthy relationships start with people who know what they want. Catherine and Sean both knew their plans for their life and their goals and they were able to find out that their plans complimented each other. If you don’t know what you want, it is too easy to get swept up in someone else’s life. You deserve your own life, your own goals, and your own dreams that you can build with a partner of your choosing. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice who you are to make your life work with another person.
Healthy relationships might be boring relationships. If you remember the disaster that was Pilot Pete’s season, you might remember that he seemed to THRIVE on dysfunction. Women crying seemed to be his love language. If it wasn’t Victoria F crying, it was Victoria P gaslighting him. That boy LOVED mess. Shockingly, that might have played a role in why his engagement didn’t work out. Sean and Catherine seemed MUCH more grounded, and let’s be honest, boring. They have a couch company. They have three kids. They live in Dallas. This isn’t the stuff that you make a Hallmark movie out of but it just might be part of what makes a healthy relationship. Good relationships aren’t built out of really high highs and really low lows. That’s what we call the cycle of violence. Healthy relationships are built on the little moments, the ways you make your partner laugh, cooking mac & cheese for them when they are having a bad day, changing dirty diapers. Find a partner who loves and supports you. Not a partner who takes you on a rollercoaster.
Next week is Kaitlyn’s season so get ready. It’s been a while since we’ve seen this one, but we’re anticipating an excessive dose of toxic masculinity. We can’t wait to talk about it with you!
Who matters when we think about domestic violence and sexual assault? Who are we protecting and who do we silence?
Over the course of the last few months, our country has been forced into a reckoning of whose pain is important and whose lives matter in a visible and vocal way. From the start of the pandemic, we’ve seen how the disease has allowed prejudice and racism, especially against Asian Americans, thrive. We’ve seen our communities argue about whether wearing masks to protect our neighbors is “worth it” or whether our vulnerable community members should be thrown under the bus in the name of economic recovery. Finally, and most recently, we’ve seen such egregious (and heartbreakingly common) examples of violent, murderous racism and police brutality against Black Americans and people of color.
We have to answer these questions every day in our work. Whose lives are important? Who do we care about? Who are we willing to protect? Who will we speak up for?
As we’ve worked from home, listening to new podcasts, shows, and webinars, one theme has been constant: people with power almost always ignore abuse as long as they can until it becomes inconvenient or impossible to ignore the victims any longer.
In “The Catch and Kill Podcast with Ronan Farrow” and “Chasing Cosby”, we see the countless women who were ignored in favor of protecting powerful men. Countless media, court officials, law enforcement, and even friends and family ignored, dismissed, or discouraged the hundreds of victims who came forward. Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby (like so many others) were only held accountable when there was no other option.
We see this decision to ignore the needs of some in favor of a bigger “agenda” when listening to the second season of “Slow Burn” which focuses on the sexual abuse scandals faced by Bill Clinton during his years in office as President. Monica Lewinsky has maintained that she does not feel like she was sexually assaulted by President Clinton, but there is no arguing that she was treated as a political football, rather than a victim of violence or power inequity. Both sides (regardless of party) seemed to view Clinton’s inappropriate pursuit of Lewinsky as an opportunity to bring down their opponent or support their candidate. We have to answer this with Clinton, with Kavanaugh, with Trump, with Franken, and yes, with Joe Biden. How do we respond to allegations of sexual abuse and violence? Is our response different when it is “our guy”? Are we concerned with supporting victims and survivors? Or are we looking to score cheap political points? Are we ignoring survivors and victims because we’re afraid to lose the election, the seat, or the moral high ground?
And let’s take that even farther…are we afraid to support victims because we don’t know what it will mean for our community? Our family? Our workplace? Ending violence requires courage and consistency. We MUST be willing to be brave. We must be willing to hold EVERYONE accountable, no matter the cost. We must take the risk to create a world where everyone is safe, everyone is free, and everyone is loved.
There are so many things to be said about the current situation in our world. The first thing is that it isn’t new. This isn’t America breaking or a failure in the system. This is the truth about American racism and systematic injustice. It has always existed; now it is just being caught on camera.
The second is that we can’t do the work to end domestic and sexual violence without addressing racial violence. Freedom for some (i.e. freedom for cis white women) is not real freedom. We MUST acknowledge and fight to undo the racism and white supremacy that intersect with and uphold interpersonal power-based violence in our nation and world.
The third thing is that we don’t need more white voices weighing in on this. It is time to listen to, amplify, and compensate Black activists and leaders. They have been doing the work for generations. They know the struggle. If you are white, it is your turn to sit back, support the Black leaders in the movement, and use your white privilege to protect them. As Ijeoma Oluo said:
“Allies: Now is the time to be in the service of Black liberation.
Limit your response to what is of real, tangible help to us. Give money, call your reps, protect Black people at protests, elevate our work and voices.
Don’t make us swim through your tears while we fight.”
We can’t allow racism, racial violence, and policy brutality to claim any more Black lives, Black hopes, Black dreams, or Black futures. EVERY organization that works for a better world must participate in this fight for justice. Black lives matter.