Bachelor Contestants Are Like Trump Voters

After the historic Women’s March this past weekend (and that little, tiny thing called The Inauguration), we couldn’t help but watch this week’s Bachelor with a sense of depression — or should we say, an even greater sense of depression than normal? The women on this show (except for maybe the reasonable Rachel this season) don’t seem to represent the cross-sections of protesters who marched a million-strong all over the globe in their fuzzy pink pussy hats; instead, they represent the Melanias of the world — women so obsessed with (or desperate for) the status of celebrity marriage that they’re willing to sacrifice their own identity, conform to narrow beauty standards, and put up with the pawing of a non-committed, intellectually dull lech whom they hardly know in order to reach that “prize” of marital fame and fortune.

We couldn’t help but consider all the untapped power of the majority of contestants who were grossed out by the gratuitous bouncy-house straddling that occurred between a half-naked Nick and Corrine: imagine if they had all decided to say no to the humiliation, the manipulation, and the bullshit and simply walked out en masse, a women’s march of their own, straight off the set?

Okay, okay, contractual obligations probably make that a concrete impossibility. But rather than conducting a tribunal against the hopeless woman-child Corinne, whose narcissistic personality disorder rivals that of Trump’s, the women could have banded together and collectively held Nick accountable, the person they’re all supposed to be assessing on a deep, personal level to determine compatibility in terms of values, politics, personality, and life plans. Who gives a flying plate of cucumbers what Corrine thinks, says or does? These women should be concerned with the true character of the man they’re considering to bind themselves to for life (or at least for the next 4 years, maybe 8).

Yes, just as Corrine is like Trump, the contestants on The Bachelor are like Trump voters. They’re mesmerized by the glamour of reality TV. They fall for the lies (a.k.a. the “truthful hyperbole”) they want to hear. They obediently fall in line with tired old scripts about the way things are (or at least should be): women need a man to complete them; women should wear dresses and makeup and be feminine and sexy but always ladylike (or else they’re villains); men must always do the asking when it comes to marriage proposals; white heteronormativity is the gold standard.

Perhaps that’s why we continue to watch this car crash (and, fyi, we’re talking about the show here now, not the new administration, though that’s its own five-car pile-up): We’re forever hoping that one day we’ll see someone on the The Bachelor resist the script, challenge the norms, and take a stand on behalf of the inherit independence, dignity and diversity of women. Andi Dorfman, not exactly the poster child for radical feminism, came the closest when she called out Juan Pablo for his shallowness and walked away, even though she could have probably won the “prize.” The closest we’ve gotten on Nick’s season so far is a contestant who once dated a girl and a woman who opted for a shark (yes, shark) costume instead of a bedazzled evening gown requiring nipple tape. (Though the fact that, as we soon learned, she had fake boobs under that costume kind of watered down the power of the humorous gesture).

We’ll take these baby steps. But we much prefer all the big, historic steps 2+ million women and allies took around the world on Saturday, January 21st, 2017. No snarky, catty exchange in a hotel bathroom on a group date could ever compete with the joy we received from all the snarky, catty (and by that we mean pussy-powered) protest signs we saw this past weekend! Women marched in solidarity with one another to push back against the advances of one creep; the contestants on The Bachelor could certainly take a tip from them.

The 45 Best Girl-Power Signs of the Women’s March!