The entire tone of the latest series of The Bachelorette US could be described thus: judgey judge judge judge slut shame.
If it’s not the suitors themselves disagreeing with 30-year-old Kaitlyn Bristowe‘s decisions about her own sex life, it’s the viewers.
The show’s puritanical insistence that sex before a proposal is “controversial” is so old-fashioned as to be laughable, but that doesn’t stop viewers insisting that Bristowe’s behaviour (sleeping with a MAN, before MARRIAGE!) is degrading the moral fibre of society.
For some reason, the host of The Bachelorette, Chris Harrison had Bristowe sit on a stage in front of a studio audience while he read out some of the tweets and messages that have been directed at her.
“You’re the worst bachelorette ever in history,” he read. “You’re a little whore so shut your little whore mouth. Hashtag slut.”
“You need to unspread you whore legs and shut your [bleeped] filthy diseased mouth and [bleeped] off.”
Watch an excerpt of The Men Tell All Bachelorette special…Post continues after video.
An email: “I hope that fans break her spirit so that kids can see that whoring behaviour isn’t rewarded.”
Bristowe listened stoically while Harrison read these messages of hate, but the audience appeared visibly shocked.
“That was a mother, who said that to me. So to read those words… I feel like, my whole life I just try to get along with people, I try to see the best in people,” Bristowe responded.
“And when I’m reading that, I just don’t understand how someone who is a mother figure can go out of their way to write that for the world to see, for me to see. And she’s talking about how I’m teaching bad behaviour and yet she’s speaking like that to somebody.”
Bristowe doesn’t appear to have entered into The Bachelorette experience with an agenda to change perceptions or challenge sexism – she just seems to be being herself. Or in American parlance, you do you, Kaitlyn!
She’s actually proving that The Bachelor/ette concept has been woefully outdated since the show began (30 seasons ago!), and the format has had to arrange itself around her, rather than the other way around.
Last week, for example, she was the first star of The Bachelor/ette to have her Fantasy Suite dates (when sex is generally sanctioned by the producers) before meeting her suitors’ families.
It was only after the sex that she decided whether or not she felt strongly enough about them to meet their parents.
“I really like to think myself as a tough, tough person. I’m fine with people disagreeing with me or having their opinions, that’s okay,” Bristowe said.
“But spreading hate the way people have been is not okay.”
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