There’s a familiar tale that follows the introduction of a new Bachelorette to our screens.
A justification of sorts.
A peculiar focus on their career, how their career interferes with love and how having a sustainable relationship and successful career are (apparently) mutually exclusive when you’re a woman.
Take this, from Georgia Love in the promos leading into her season of The Bachelorette:
“I’ve always put my job first, but at the end of the day I come home by myself and I’m lonely.
“If I don’t have someone to come home to at the end of the day, then what’s the point of everything else?”
And then, this from Sophie Monk in her most recent promo for her upcoming season:
“I’m so lucky to do what I do, but the one thing you do sacrifice is a really healthy, good relationship — that’s one thing I regret. Is that I feel like I chose my career and you can’t really have both.”
Interestingly, put the men who have starred on The Bachelor on the stand and they will rarely justify why they’re there, why they are single at any given age and the reasons they may be looking for love.
They’re just…there. And they rarely apologise for it or the circumstances that led there.
The narrative around the women is loud and clear. That women can't have both. That if they're single and looking for love, they took their career too seriously. If they're in love and not looking around, perhaps they didn't invest in work enough.
The Bachelorettes don't need to apologise for their careers. Yes it's possible to have both a career and a relationship.
And sometimes, there's no need to justify why you found yourself looking for love at any point in your life.
The world works in funny ways. Maybe they weren't ways you liked. Maybe they were, but only for a time.
Love the Bachelor? Feel the need to debrief after it airs? You need to listen to Bach Chat.
This is not be the message we want young girls to hear. It's a message that puts a career in one hand and a relationship in the other, and asks them to choose.
Sophie Monk, Georgia Love or any Bacheloretts for that matter, don't have to apologise for their careers.
They're all smart and successful and driven women. And that's a good thing.
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