I’m a proud feminist, healthcare advocate, taboo breaker on periods, and a huge bachelor fan. I know, I know, one of these doesn’t seem to go with this list. But let me explain. I love The Bachelor. I love it. It’s the one day of the week where I get to zone out, to relax with friends, to see everyone and talk about our weeks, and to talk about how this seemingly un-feminist show sparks our own notions of womanhood.
Every Monday night, my girls and I have a long-standing appointment to watch the trashiest show on television. For me, it was about forcing all my friends to get in on the beauty of romance, for others its about hanging out once a week, and for some, it’s about the kick ass cheese plate I always make. But what we really get out of it is time together as friends to check in once a week about our lives. It’s not about the show, it’s about talking through our work weeks, talking about the politics of the time, and analyzing our own love lives.
We’re a group of girls that gets together once a week to have that space to analyze womanhood, talk periods and birth control, and moan about dating in New York City. For us, The Bachelor is our time to be present with each other.
The Bachelor itself is an interesting analysis of tensions in our modern society. The push and pull of the “right” woman, the “right” reasons, the “right” to be a part of this reality programming. It’s interesting to see how the women interact with one another, who lifts each other up, who’s in it to win. As my girlfriends and I sit around watching we ultimately grow closer as we evaluate how we would behave if we were selected, the questions we would answer or not tolerate, and the absurdity of this situation.
What does it mean to be a female on The Bachelor? Ultimately, it means being a commodity, inhabiting that stereotypical quality of “femaleness” and beauty, and fighting towards a goal of marriage. My group of girls encompasses so many varieties of women from Lawyers to Doctors to Film Makers to Designers, our “femaleness” is us coming together each week to put the show on in the background and articulate our own goals for careers, dreams, and find friendship. The Bachelor may not be the most feminist of shows, but how we come together through it is how I spend my feminist Monday nights.