For the past 13 years, ABC has aired a combined 30 seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. It’s a risky premise for a primetime television show, having one man or woman date 20-25 people of the opposite sex at a time to find true love.
The current season of The Bachelorette has been a roller coaster. First there were two bachelorettes but one was eliminated via a vote to determine who the men liked more. Then there was an alleged romance between two of the men, villains came to the surface, an old, and controversial, contestant came back, and now Kaitlyn is trying to deal with the aftermath of being intimate with a contestant weeks before the “fantasy suite”.
Kaitlyn has been unapologetic about how important she thinks a physical connection needs to be in a relationship. We’ve seen her kiss pretty much every guy in the house, after all. But I don’t think we should be so critical of her tactics. Yes it’s sort of mind boggling to wrap your head around dating that many people at the same time, but this is what everyone on the show signed up for. She has a very limited amount of time to get to know everyone, so it’s necessary to press fast forward in her relationships.
Even one of the contestants, who fortunately left the show, was critical of Kaitlyn’s approach. He offended her by saying that she wasn’t in this to find love, she just wanted to make out with a bunch of guys. Can you imagine having to sit through someone basically calling you a slut on national TV?
What inspired me to write this article was the backlash that Kaitlyn has gotten from sleeping with one of the contestants. Ultimately it’s not up to us to decide what she should do or tell her how to feel. She’s a grown woman living in 2015, she’s allowed to create her own rules.
During the last season of The Bachelor, Chris did something that none of the past Bachelors have done. He kissed a contestant on the very first night of their journey. This created a bit of a stir in the show’s fanbase and in the media but we quickly got over it. Clearly they had a pretty serious and immediate connection.
I realize that the extent to which Chris and Kaitlyn were intimate with their respective partners is different, but I wonder if we’d be so quick to judge if Chris had gone as far as Kaitlyn did.
The Bachelor franchise has always been a concept that has pushed the boundaries, but the way I see it is, this is Kaitlyn’s road to find her husband and she’ll go about it in the manner that she sees fit. If you don’t agree with her actions, you don’t need to watch the show. It’s important to empower women to live their lives by their rules, not tear them down because they had a natural connection with someone and acted on it.
For more on strong modern women, I recommend these articles: Improving the World, One Tampon at a Time, Smart Movies: Mad Max: Fury Road, Taylor Swift vs. Streaming, and This Woman is Dedicated to Helping Every Girl Accomplish Her Dreams.