The Canadian Bachelor is a Jerk

Wow! I am watching the second episode of the Bachelor Canada. Oh Vey!

Way back when, I used to watch The Bachelor because of the over-the-top sleazy reality factor but it finally got to the point where it was too much for me. I stopped watching about 3 years ago. But they started this new one in Canada and I thought I would just take a look at it to see if it might be fun - maybe a little better than the American one.

It is much worse!

Nevermind the overbearing product placements (do we really need a 15 second shot of a bachelorette making herself a coffee in the Bosch coffee machine or the 3 minute scene of all of them shaving their legs with the razors and shaving cream they were given?) and the obviously fake rivalry between them before they even met each other, plus the fact that these women are so intent on being the one even before they've laid eyes on this guy, let's talk about this guy.

The bachelor,a professional football player, so far has about as much personality as a piece of wonder bread. Now he may not actually be like that, but they overproduce this show so much that you don't get a chance to see who the people actually are. He just looks like a typical hunk who actually has no confidence at all, even though he's placed in a situation where he's supposed to be uber-confident.

In this second show, he flies 8 of the women (they are rarely called women, they are almost always called girls) to New Orleans. There, he springs on them that they are going to get a burlesque lesson and are going to perform for him. WTELF? It's very telling of who he is that he would not understand how incredibly innappropriate this is. Now I get that this may have been the producers' idea but really, this guy should know better. For many women, this is difficult and way out of their comfort zone. His excuse was that he wants a woman who will just go with whatever's thrown at her and roll with it. That makes sense to me. But this is not the way to do it. This is not just going up in a hot air balloon or playing some football. This is something that involves your personal values around sex and intimacy, and your body confidence. And it's something that's not really meant to be done in front of just one person that you don't know at all, because you've been commanded to do so.

What is so utterly awesome about burlesque is that even though the performers seem like they are in a position traditionally thought of as weak for women (in skimpy clothes, using their sexuality for attention), they are actually coming at it from a position of power. It's a tease because the performer has all the control. She will let you think that you are gonna get something but she will be the one to decide exactly what it is and when you will get it - and usually you don't get anything except the fantasy. It's looks like she all there just for you but the thing is, you actually can't have her. She just wants you to think you can. It's an awesome mindfuck and it's a lovely art form.

But this 'go dress up and learn a routine and perform it for me'shit completely subverts the spirit of burlesque. He's the one in control telling them to do things - and there were some of them that were not at all comfortable doing it.

It's unfair and actually cruel of him to put them in that position. What do you do if you don't want to do it? Refuse to do it and look like a narf who doesn't know how to have fun - and probably give up your chance at a rose? Or do something that feels totally wrong for you and give the impression that you are someone quite other than who you are? It's messed up.

One of the women is a pastor at a youth church who's made a big deal about her morals around sex and relationships. This was very uncomfortable for her. I think it's pretty clear that this is the main reason they did it. They put her on that outing and made that the activity because they knew she would freak out. Freak out she did. Rightfully so. It's just mean to force her into that situation for no really good reason. But of course, she was a trooper and she did it. I do respect that she did it in a way that was more cheeky than it was seductive. She tried to do it in a way that was more her. And she got the rose! Oh great! She was willing to come out of her comfort zone and push herself. Good for her! No, she was willing to do something that is mostly against her morals because a good-looking rich man told her to do it. Not cool.

Even on the second outing, it was just mean and unfair. He had the women race cars to win a date with him. Again, he wants to see who can roll with it. But this is not how you do that on a date. You don't shove somebody into a race car and see if she can handle it. You ask her if she'd be willing to go race car driving with you. Then you ask her if she wants to drive or if she wants you to drive and you get in the car with her. You experience that together. The fun of doing those crazy things on a date is not watching the other person freak out, it's trying it together and working through it together. Otherwise you're just being an arse.

This is why I stopped watching the show. I just can't stand the concept of women shamelessly competing with each other for the attention of a man they barely know. It's so one-sided. The women always want him desperately and he's the one who chooses. Never do you see the women really evaluating whether they are even interested in him or not. It's always just a given that they will want a good-looking rich man. Oh, that and the fact that there's only one representation of physical beauty on those shows - ever. White, impossibly thin, and conventionally pretty - with lots of make-up and fancy dresses. Nope, pretty sure I won't be able to go back.