tv

The one thing The Bachelorette has that The Bachelor doesn't.

We’re only two episodes into The Bachelorette, and we’ve seen something we almost never see on The Bachelor

The Bro-code.

And that’s not just because there’s only one ‘bro’ on The Bachelor, so it would be a bit weird if he formed his own code.

I’m talking about that unspoken, respectful understanding between men that while you’re in a pretty weird situation (one where you’re literally competing for the attention of a woman), you’re not going to step on each other’s toes to win. It’s the code men seem share that says that even though you’re rivals, you can still be friends.

We saw it early on in Wednesday night’s episode with the (frankly, quite bizarre) friendship of Aaron and Rhys.

It was as though Georgia wasn’t even… there.

The two hit it off so quickly and gushed about each other’s awesomeness so much that it was actually a turn-off for Georgia, who genuinely started to wonder whether they wanted her to leave.

I'll... I'll leave you to it then. Image via Channel 10.

Then - there was the moment Jake was sitting next to Georgia, and Courtney wanted a moment with her.

So Jake got up, gave his seat to Courtney, and walked away. Then Courtney got the 'first impression rose' and Jake WASN'T EVEN THAT MAD.

Sure, comparisons can be drawn to The Bachelor. Alex and Nikki's friendship, for instance. I really respected how no matter how much attention Nikki was receiving from Richie, Alex continued to reiterate what a great, fun person Nikki was and how she could see why Richie would choose her.

ADVERTISEMENT

But this wasn't the norm. For the most part, we were shown female contestants who were quick to demonise their competitors. They were shown describing other women as "too bogan," "too quiet," or "not his type," and every season there seem to be at least a few who insist they're not on the show to make friends.

Although once the show is over, things are a very different story.

MY BACHIE BABES | ????????

A photo posted by Keira Maguire ???????? (@keiramaguire) on

Ultimately it would seem, from analysing a reality TV show that was most definitely never intended to be analysed, that there isn't a 'girl-code' like there is a 'bro-code.'

Why? Why don't we see female friendships on The Bachelor like we see male friendships on The Bachelorette?

Why do the men appear to band together while the women tear each other apart?

Because of this distinction, the men also appear to have a whole lot more fun. They're always laughing and cheering each other on, while the women just stare at each other like this:

You better watch yourself GURL. Image via Giphy.
ADVERTISEMENT

But, really, it shouldn't be surprising. With both shows, what we're seeing isn't reality. We're watching a produced, over-exaggerated, non-organic representation of how people behave, and it's inevitably edited through a lens of gender norms and stereotypes. As it happens, The Bachelor isn't the only show on TV where women aren't portrayed as friends.

In fact, television and movies in general suck at presenting women as anything other than rivals or one-dimensional objects. That's why in 1985 Alison Bechdel struck a chord with what is now known as the Bechdel test - a set of conditions to assess the active presence of women in pop culture, and to draw attention to gender inequality.

Bechdel's conditions were:

1. The movie/TV show has to have at least two women in it.

2. Who talk to each other.

3. About something other than a man.

Wowwww The Bachelor reallllly doesn't pass that test. WHAT A SURPRISE.

BUT if you reverse the sexes in the rule, The Bachelorette passed on its first night.

My issue is that women are just as funny and friendly with each other as men are - but that's rarely reflected on television. Instead, we get the same, tired stereotypes over and over again.

I want to see women crushing on each other like Aaron and Rhys. I want to see women laughing with each other and supporting each other and building each other up.

Because that's what happens in real life, every single day.

ADVERTISEMENT

Click through to see the men still in the running for Georgia's heart.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT