The Bachelor, a reality-TV classic, was founded on a sexist idea: a large group of women would vie for the affection of one man as he eliminated them one by one each week.
The franchise made progress when The Bachelorette came out the next year, but since then, not much has changed. You'd think that, after 11 seasons, something would be done about all the slut-shaming targeted at the women. However, this season of The Bachelorette has been, undeniably, the most sexist.
For the first time in the show's history, the men were able to pick who the Bachelorette would be. So, instead of giving the power to either Kaitlyn Bristowe or Britt Nilsson, two contestants in the most recent season of The Bachelor, it was handed to the men. Yet again. The show went right back to square one.
Then, later in the season, after making the conscious decision to have sex with a contestant, Nick Viall, before the "Fantasy suites" — an unwritten no-no — Bristowe may have been feeling emotional, fearing the backlash that would come from the other contestants, but she owned her choice. She didn't call it a mistake.
But the majority of the men on the show were appalled by her actions. The egotistical Princeton grad called her shallow and said she's only here "to make out with a bunch of dudes on TV." Then, in the notorious "Men Tell All" episode last night, Corey described her decisions as "disgraceful."
The show's host Chris Harrison deemed this season the "most controversial" because Bristowe broke this unspoken rule. (But is it really that controversial? A woman having sex with a man she's seeing non-exclusively? I don't think so ...) But, apparently, those on social media were horrified, even disgusted, by her.
So, last night, the show redeemed itself at least somewhat by exposing all the cyberbullying Bristowe had been subject to throughout this season. She received thousands of hate comments — even death threats. As she teared up, Chris Harrison read aloud shocking tweets like, “Kaitlyn is a selfish whore with no morals and a pathetic excuse for a human being!! She should just crawl in a hole and die. I hope fans break her spirit so our kids can see that whoring behavior isn’t rewarded."
Though it may have been difficult to hear, it was important that we understand the kind of vitriol she's received and how it affects her. Some may argue that "she signed up for this," but come on, no one signs up for death threats or public degradation. She had sex before any other Bachelorette (supposedly) had. Whoop-dee-doo. She is a role model not in spite of but because she didn't apologize for it. So put down your blazing guns and for goodness' sake, move on with your lives.