Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Easy come, easy go in the harem

Laken Litman reviews the third episode of the new Bachelor:

I’ve watched ABC’s The Bachelor and The Bachelorette on and off for most of my life and I’ve never seen so much kissing. At least not this early in the season. It’s only Week 3 and Chris has made out with nearly everyone. In this week’s episode, he kissed at least eight different women by my count. That is too many women. Usually, the bachelor or bachelorette will wait and save their kisses until they know they really like someone. But that doesn’t seem to be happening here.

The best part was when sweet Mackenzie, who is only 21 and received the first kiss from Chris in Week 2, approached him and asked why he’s kissing so many of the girls. He basically said, “I don’t know.” Classic.

It’s a game show. You have to stay ahead of the competition to stay in the game. The girls can’t be choosy. There’s no pre-introduction sorting of eligible men vying for their affections, as there would be in the traditional dating world or even the bar scene. Welcome to the harem. The normal rules don’t apply.

As for the bachelor, like any man, he desires all the girls, with few exceptions. He’ll go as far as the girls will let him, unless his morals override his desire. But we know the prerogative falls on the woman to set the terms of the relationship. She’s the one who pays for sex with the toll it takes on her body, her reputation, and her desirability. If marriage is her goal, it’s in her interest to stay classy and to guard her heart.

A smart contestant wouldn’t participate in this reckless race to the bottom. Instead she would separate herself from the pack by pricing herself higher than the other girls. Whether it’s true or not, we assume what has a higher price has a higher value.


“Why are you kissing everyone else, too?” she asks Chris, who would be well within his rights to respond, “Because I’m the Bachelor, bitch. If you don’t like it, learn to love it!” But Chris the Farmer is nothing if not polite, so he tries to explain: Kissing, you know, is like, part of relationship, and it’s just, like, part of putting myself out there, and stuff. Anyhow, you wanna make out? No? Okay, well let me see if Becca’s available...

But nope, Becca won’t kiss Chris, because she normally wouldn’t move that fast and she’s trying to keep things normal even thought they’re in a totally abnormal situation etc. etc. etc. And you know what? He LOVES it. Becca gets the date rose.

Easy come, easy go, the bachelor may have thought of the girls who had already consented to making out. If Becca keeps it up, she might make it to the final rose ceremony.

On another “reality” TV series, modesty, either calculated or natural, doomed sensible Bikinis waitress Jessica. She valued herself higher than the simple flesh Bikinis hired her to titillate customers with. She knew taking a Bikinis job would hurt her reputation, but she needed something to pay the bills until a better opportunity in her field, logistics, came along.

Unfortunately she told this to the disguised Bikinis CEO filming an episode of Undercover Boss. By covering up for the film crew, she tacitly admitted her reluctance to being known as “that Bikinis girl” to TV viewers, including potential employers and potential husbands. In an age where everyone’s personal history is posted and archived on the Internet forever, can you fault her decision?

In short Jessica priced herself out of a job. The CEO fired her for her lack of enthusiasm to willfully diminish her professional and marital value. Only girls willing to be objectified need apply. That’s the brutality, the “empowerment,” and the disposability of persons inherent in the flesh game.

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