The best thing about The Bachelorette is the subversion of the stereotype.
Women across the country who just couldn’t – and wouldn’t – watch The Bachelor have tuned in to witness men grovelling and competing for a woman. It’s a nice change from seeing women compete for a cardboard cut-out bloke. The male contestants on The Bachelorette are, well, loveable. Most are, sweet, funny, kind and even a little emotionally vulnerable.
And there’s a certain something that unites them all.
The way they stand – hands folded in front of their manhoods, the way they walk – solidly upon the earth, the way they talk ‘bro code’ and ‘mate’ and ‘goodonya’, the way they pat each other on the bum and rub each other on the head.
They are so goddam Aussie.
If you doubt it, ask yourself this: is there another culture where men slap each other on the bum as a sign of affection?
For mine, Hugh Jackman is the ultimate Aussie bloke - but I know many men would disagree, because Jackman plays on Broadway, and we still seem to like our blokes tough and rugged and boofy.
This week Kyle Sandilands mocked a contestant on The Block for crying in disappointment. Our new Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, made a 'goose' of himself trying to act all matey and knowledgeable about rugby league. Worse still, a puerile gossip columnist penned an offensive post urging Jesinta Campbell to postpone her wedding because her boyfriend Buddy Franklin admitted his vulnerability and mental illness.
Clearly there's a disconnect between the ideal rugged bloke and the emotional complexity of reality. There's a lot of discomfort when Australian men wear their heart on their sleeve or don't fit the 'image'.
Rebecca Huntley says Australia is a sexually segregated society - just witness the average BBQ and you'll know what she means.
You can hear the discussion here on iTunes and below on Soundcloud (as usual there is a language warning)
In direct contrast, Rebecca reviews a book about the hyper feminine world of the women who live in New York's Upper East Side. The Primates of Park Avenue tells stories of startling aggression with handbags as weapons.
Plus we reveal the TV show about politics that best portrays reality and the perfect song as you approach a mid-life crisis (hint: it's the same one you may have enjoyed as you went through your quarter-life crisis), and Alys Gagnon talks about reconnecting with her husband.
She gives the best piece of advice we've ever heard about long term relationships.