Special Topics: Women's Studies
Professor Soyoung Park
A Bachelor's Reality
I am going to be perfectly honest and say that, yes, I have watched the show, The Bachelor, in passing. At the time, I did not understand the implications behind the bizarre antics of the reality series; however, I was not entirely naive. I realized, with no help whatsoever, that whatever was going on was indeed one-hundred-percent disgusting. A major issue concerns the women in the series and how they are degraded and treated as if they are means to an end- more specifically, the women of color.
As mentioned by Rachel E. Dubrofsky in The Bachelor: Whiteness in the Harem, presents the following: "The very form of The Bachelor neutralizes the dire of white men for women of color as a means of preparing for union with their ultimate partners, white women" (Dubrofsky, 369). A prime example of this behavior in The Bachelor series is Karin's, an African American woman, treatment through the show's producers and editors. "That she remained on the show for so long perhaps indicates some interaction with Bob, yet the focus was on Bob's interactions with other women, never her" (Dubrofsky, 373). The article goes further to explain that Karin had little screen time, even though the (white) women made noticeable comments about their interactions with her. In fact, the role of colored women in the series seems to be little more than a catalyst to further dramatize the emotion of (white) women and as an object for the (white) man's personal, selfish pleasure. "The Bachelor is particularly disturbing. Here again women of color fulfill the time worn roles of satisfying the sexual desires of white men and taking care of white men (by highlighting the inappropriate and potentially dangerous behaviors of white women who want to marry white men)" (Dubrofsky, 379).
In sum, whiteness is a powerful force that dominates the entire premises of the series. A (white) man is supposed to find the beautiful (white) woman of his dreams. Heaven forbid that he chooses something from the established "norm of society", but it's just fine and dandy if he indulges himself in his own personal harem of "exotic" women.