Are you still watching The Bachelor/Bachelorette? Or maybe you gave up on it when Juan Pablo slut shamed Claire Crawley, a contestant on his season. Or when Nick Viall slut-shamed Andi Dorfman, the then Bachelorette, and the franchise later made him The Bachelor. Or when the producers cast a contestant with a racist and sexist social media history on the season featuring the first black Bachelorette. Or when a sexual misconduct scandal on the set of Bachelor in Paradise called into question the safety precautions taken by producers on set. Or when it came to light that there is a bigot on the current season, which features the first openly liberal Bachelorette. Or how about most recently when it a current contestant was convicted of indecent assault and battery for groping a woman aboard a cruise ship?
Last week, news broke that Garrett Yrigoyen of The Bachelorette -- the recipient of the first impression rose, and likely winner of the season -- is an Instagram bigot. He liked posts which are racist, sexist, transphobic, anti-immigrant, and accuse the Parkland students of being crisis actors. He apologized, and maybe he really is learning and growing. I’m all for formerly bigoted people learning, growing and becoming less hateful. More likely, however, is that he’s apologizing because ABC told him this was not behavior becoming of their front runner. They have to cover their asses. He has to cover his ass. He wouldn’t have “learned” or “grown” if he wasn’t on national TV. Becca then defended him: “Everyone is entitled to their opinions.” This is true. And, if your opinions are hateful, vile, racist and bigoted, we’re allowed to call you out for those opinions and those who enable them.
As all the good citizens of Bachelor Nation know by now, the 4th season of “Bachelor in Paradise” has been suspended due to allegations of sexual misconduct on the third day of shooting. Details are still scant, but what is known is that a producer filed a third-party complaint after a sexual encounter between cast members Corinne Olympios (the “villain” of the most recent Bachelor season), and Demario Jackson (the “villain” of the current Bachelorette season, who was only just booted a couple weeks ago). The two had apparently been drinking throughout the first day of production, and at one point moved from the resort bar to the pool, where the sexual encounter occurred, with cameras rolling.
It is by sheer luck of birth that I was born a straight, cis, white woman in a middle class family. Yet because of this luck, the world bestows upon me certain gifts others are denied. Since the election, I have thought many times about how easy it would be to sink into my privilege. Turn off the TV, only look at interspecies animal friend videos on the Internet and live in sheer denial of what the world is becoming. I have that gift. Others do not. Feminists with privilege have the freedom to ignore how misogyny affects non-white women in greater and less addressed ways.
As someone who reads a lot and reads widely, I’m often asked why I read when I’m not in school. I loathe this question because is both tired and a little sad to me, but I’m willing to fight for bibliophiles everywhere and I’m ready with a list. I read for fun, I read to go to places I could never otherwise go, I read to learn more about humanity, I read to keep my mind fresh even though I’m not involved in higher learning, and on and on the list goes.