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.
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