Sex, hypocrisy, and The Bachelorette

The double standards of the fantasy suite.


I have only seen four seasons of the Bachelor / Bachelorette since its inception, so I do not pretend to be an expert on the show. But as a viewer, I must assume that my opinion aligns with some in Bachelor Nation. I’d like to address the current controversy over sex. What happens in the fantasy suite? What should happen in the fantasy suite? Is it slut-shaming to criticize the Bachelor or Bachelorette for sleeping with a bunch of suitors, back to back? And what about Hannah Brown specifically? What is our opinion of her?

There is a now-notorious clip about an upcoming episode. Assuming it has not been grossly manipulated by production, it hints that Hannah Brown admits to having sex with more than one man in the fantasy suite, and Luke P. reacts poorly to this news. He essentially calls her behavior unacceptable and sends himself home. Hannah becomes defensive, blowing up at him with “I’ve had sex, and Jesus still loves me.”

Former contestant, Kaitlyn Bristowe, claims it is common knowledge that sex happens in the fantasy suite. Really? This is news to me. Maybe I am irretrievably old-fashioned, but I am shocked. I can understand being sexual with the one guy or gal whom you plan to choose and marry in the end (a la Trista and Ryan), but having sex with more than one person seems a bit off the charts even in today’s progressive society.

As a viewer, I do not care whether a male or female contestant has sex with every gal or guy on the planet, but if I were on the show, it would be a different story. I would not want to be with a man who slept with a bunch of women, back to back, only days before he planned to select one of us to marry. I would react just like Luke P. I would tell my “boyfriend” that our values do not align, and I would send myself home. Would I be criticized by society and called out for “slut-shaming”? No, because I am a woman.

Luke P. has made the fatal mistake of being a male. It is apparently not politically correct to criticize a women—even your “girlfriend”—for sleeping with a bunch of other dudes. If he does, he is assumed to be sexist. But what Luke P. did is not sexist (again assuming the clip has not been manipulated or taken out of context). He is not giving all skirt-chasers a pass while condemning all females who are sexually adventuresome. He is merely saying that he does not want to marry a particular woman who would behave in this way. This is no different from learning that your “girlfriend” has some other flaw (that she is an alcoholic, a shoplifter, a miser, or an animal-hater) and exiting the relationship. A boyfriend has the right to break up with a woman over any “defect,” and he is allowed to decide what qualifies as a “defect.” It is not America’s decision.

In addition, Hannah has proved herself to be a hypocrite. She became incensed at the beginning of the season when she learned that one of her suitors (Scott) had dated another woman just prior to coming on the show. She was frankly quite mean-spirted, calling him a “jerk,” and sending him home in an unnecessarily hostile way. She announced, “I’m done with this!” as if she were morally superior to him. She was essentially saying that he was a slut, that he could not be there for the right reason, and that he was unworthy of her love. She did not believe he could have sex with a woman on Monday and turn his attention to her on Thursday.

Sleeping with multiple men in the fantasy suite is not-so-very-different from what Scott did. Yet, Hannah is not being publicly criticized. I argue that this is because she has the good fortune of being a woman. Females have a lot of latitude in this #metoo era. It is not politically correct to attack a woman on the subject of sex, or in this case, to point out her hypocrisy. It would be viewed as anti-feminist.

Whatever happens in the fantasy suite is not America’s business. It is up to each contestant to decide what is right or wrong for his or her life. Some contestants may be fine with dating a Bachelor or Bachelorette who sleeps with multiple partners only days before an engagement. Others will not. Although the producers have edited Luke P. to be the “bad guy” (regardless of whether this is warranted), he is not the “bad guy” on this issue. I stand with him and support his decision to go home.

This opinion piece is a guest post. United By Pop welcomes guest posts of all kinds from its readers and followers. If you’re interested in seeing your own words published here, please find more information on our submissions process here.

  1. Petter says

    I Googled “bachelorette hypocrisy” to see if the entire world has gone mad or if anyone else is seeing the blatant misandry/feminist double standards at display in Bachelorette. I believe that Hannah is literally a self-entitled narcissist oblivious to anything resembling a fair perspective. She has been shaming contestants for sexual relationships they’ve had BEFORE the show, but when someone demands exclusivity from her DURING their relationship, she gets all high on self righteous fake fury.

    Any normal being would feel the way Luke felt, but being a man, he’s not allowed to question her sexual behavior. Or rather, it’s not even about questioning, because she’s free to do as she wishes. But likewise he is also free to withdraw if he doesn’t like the premises, and he’s also entitled to knowing exactly what they are.

    Bachelorette has become a megaphone for opportunistic, man hating feminism. And it’s utterly pathetic how almost all of the guys are playing along out of fear or conformity.
    Just like they unscrupulously bullied Luke for the same reason. And even though he annoyed me a lot in the beginning, I ended up wanting to jump through the TV screen and start a fight with the weaklings ganging up on him.

  2. Eugene says

    I too searched the internet for this discussion about the double standards and hypocrisy. I’m just a casual watcher of the show with my wife, and I’m all for doing whatever you want amongst consenting adults; but I kept saying Hannah is getting upset about something she herself had issues with, when the other contestants allegedly had ex gfs/ sleeping around. People on Twitter like “you tell him girl” “stop slut shaming” “who is a man to control what we do” etc . It’s a joke amongst me and couples with the comment Hannah made along the lines of “how dare you, what goes on between me and that relationship has no bearing between me and this relationship ” … I’m really here like what kind of bizzaro world is this ? And don’t get me started on the praying to Christ thing going on.

  3. Bones says

    It’s nice to see some other sane people out there, how can she call herself a good Christian woman and sleep with men who will possibly not even be her husband, then to get mad when Luke wants a good Christian wife!

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