The Bitchelor Episode 1 - Not A Feminist Fairy Story

#TheBachelorNZ #DoucheDate

After months of promos and promises the big day, or should I say date, is here. I’m so excited I could just nap. Never the less I am prepared. I have Quick Eze, foil bags and a bucket at hand. I’m as ready as I will ever be to watch twenty one women compete for the affections of one man ….someone pass the antacids.

Tonight the show finally begins by revealing who the New Zealand Bachelor is. Apparently people (I have not met any of these people) have been wild with excitement. We have of course in New Zealand a glut of Prince-like men with millions of dollars unable to find that perfect woman. It must have been so hard to narrow it down to just one. Who will it be, this man/ philosopher king/ hero/ god/ Adonis that will embrace his given right to pick and choose between twenty one women?
It’s Arthur. Awesome.

Arthur is some guy who flogs diet food and he works out. It looks like he works lot a lot. He probably works out when he isn’t reading, engaging in politics, philanthropy or volunteering. He is fit. He is passionate about fitness. He studied Health Science. This could be really useful as he should be able to roughly calculate the women’s BMI as they arrive.

When asked what he’s looking for he sounds super reasonable. He is looking for someone fun, with a a great sense of humour, who looks after herself and who is “not too terrible to look at.” It’s also important that she be able to get on with his Dad, his Mum and his six sisters. This should be a piece of piss then, but I am starting to think this Prince of the Paleo deserves a far larger pool to choose from. Why only twenty one?????????

What is made clear within the first hour is that Arthur is not looking for a woman at all. He is looking for a lady. If you aren’t clear what a lady is let me give you a quick rundown. A lady isn’t a real thing, it is a whole lot of arbitrary rules and conventions that dictate how women should behave, to better suit the needs of men gods like Arthur.

Ladies should be small and feminine. They should wear frocks, they have long hair, they sip champagne from flutes and they should be looking to catch themselves a husband. Ladies should be nice. At all times. Ladies are what men like Arthur want to marry.

I could be wrong but did Arthur arrive at the Bachelor Pad in a Suzuki Swift? Not that I’m judging.
The rest of the show was spent introducing us to the ladies that will now compete for the attentions of our Paleo Prince. They introduce them to us and then start the process of framing them into every damaging female stereotype that is not ladylike. The scheming, the manipulative, the mad, the sad and the bad. For those struggling with the narrative just listen for the jaws music so you can spot the ones who are being framed as villains.

There is one fact you should be aware. The 21 women willing to put themselves forward to be publicly scrutinised, mocked and humiliated all the while allowing the producers to reduce them to the worst stereotypes of what it is to be a woman are being paid. Their living costs are reimbursed and daily rate increases the longer they stay in the house. Whatever they are being paid, I hope by the end they think it’s enough.

There is no doubt the cost of this show will be greater than some of them anticipate. Not just for them but for all of us.

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