"Why you can be a feminist and still watch The (goddamn) Bachelor."

Excuse me, but this week a man named Michael Mann (yes that’s his actual name) called me a fraud.

“So, you’re a feminist who loves The Bachelor,” he wrote for The Daily Telegraph. “Really, you’re a fraud.”

“There’s no female solidarity to be found in The Bachelor,” he argues. “Check your membership to the sisterhood at the red carpet, this is a catfight all the way. And when we watch it, we’re complicit.”

Firstly, I missed the part where female solidarity and feminism became synonymous. I’ve never read a piece of feminist literature that insists every person with a vagina sits in a circle, giving each other compliments and bonding over their chromosomal makeup. I can attest to the fact that some women absolutely suck, but that knowledge doesn’t make me any less of a feminist.

LISTEN: Is there a feminist argument for watching The Bachelor? You bet. Post continues below. 

My argument for why you can be a feminist and still watch The Bachelor has precisely nothing to do with ‘choice’. I’m sick of the often cited and rarely interrogated feminist slogan “feminism is just about choice”. No, it’s not. Not every choice is a feminist choice, and reducing feminism to ‘A WOMAN CAN DO WHATEVER SHE WANTS’ is as lazy as it is flawed.

Last I checked, feminism is about politics. It’s about widespread social and economic change. It’s about women believing they are equal to men, and currently, it would appear, we are not.


Within that definition, I fail to see the fine print about what we are and are not allowed to watch at 7:30pm on a Wednesday night.

I can watch The Bachelor and still be a feminist, because you, Michael Mann, can watch a fight between Floyd Mayweather versus Conor McGregor and not be charged with assault.

Channel 10.

Just as watching Game of Thrones does not make you a rapist, and watching The Walking Dead does not mean you're 'complicit' in the invasion of flesh eating zombies, watching The Bachelor says very, very little about my politics.

If only it were as simple as reducing an entire human being and what they believed in to what channel they select when they come home from work.

In all my consumption of feminist history, I've never come across a suffragette holding a sign that said "Liberate us from sub par reality television!" I wish we lived in a world where what television show we're addicted to was the greatest and most pressing feminist dilemma.

I wish.

Image via Channel 10.

Watching something does not mean you support every premise, every story line and every character. But for some reason, if you call yourself a feminist, you're held to a different standard to just about everyone else.

Men can watch rugby league, fishing, Star Trek and Top Gear, without ever having to reflect on their politics. It is only the feminists who are expected to be politically consistent at all times.

I enjoy The Bachelor because it's escapism. It's voyeuristic. It offers a masterclass in psychology.

Me when it comes to feminism and The Bachelor. Image via Giphy.

It starts conversations about feminism and what it means to be a woman in 2017.

As Clem Bastow writes, "A world in which feminists are expected to opt out of any art that is 'problematic' is a hell I want no part of."

I'm not interested in policing what women watch or read or even do in private. I am not the God of feminism, and sorry to say, neither is Mr. Mann.

Watch The Bachelor. Or don't. The feminist police have better things to do.

You can listen to the full episode of Mamamia Out Loud, here.