Opinion | Bros, Let’s watch ‘The Bachelor’

By Adam Gorcyca, Columnist

Since its debut in 2002, “The Bachelor” has captivated millions of Americans as they tune in to see the latest blossoming romances and cruel betrayals. Yet even after 26 seasons of electrifying entertainment, “The Bachelor” has still failed to capture male attention.

YouGov discovered in a 2020 poll that 77% of Bachelor Nation is composed of women, highlighting the strong gender disparity in viewers.

Negative societal pressure deters some men from shows like “The Bachelor” by convincing them that viewing dating programs will magically strip them of their manhood. This type of thinking is not just hypocritical, but also harmful to men.

Influencers like Andrew Tate, who shame men for engaging in what they deem feminine activities, are simultaneously promoting a lifestyle of independence and confidence. They encourage men to ignore the outside world and stop at nothing to pursue their entrepreneurial passions.

Yet, in a show of utter hypocrisy, many men are shamed and mocked for engaging with interests that fall outside of the predetermined bubble of masculinity.

This is utter hypocrisy.

The mixed messaging and abasing from influencers can lead to men feeling isolated from society and their male peers, leaving them without a community to find emotional refuge in. With social isolation often leading to depression and consistently high male suicide rates, there is no room for this harmful rhetoric. 

Men should never feel ashamed of watching “The Bachelor,” because when it comes down to it, it’s downright entertaining. The latest season was ranked as one of the top shows for ABC’s 18-49 demographic, proving that the show has raw entertainment value and power in American culture.

This entertainment value is primarily drawn from the formula of the show, which pits a large group of women against each other to fight for the heart of one man. By forcing the contestants into direct competition, the show design inherently cultivates an atmosphere of hostility and drama.

While this setup is commonly viewed as trashy, mean spirited and even emotionally harmful, there’s no doubt it’s entertaining. The series has seen a litany of drama-filled moments that keep the audience on the edge of their seats.

Who could forget the time Colton, bachelor of season 23, hopped a fence, shoved past a cameraman and escaped into the streets of Portugal after being denied by Cassie, sending production into an absolute frenzy? Or how about the time Rozlyn was kicked from the mansion after the discovery of her on-set affair with a producer?

It’s a tragedy that today’s society pressures men away from experiencing these gut-wrenching moments and encourages them to take pride in just that.

Not only does “The Bachelor” provide hundreds of hours of entertainment value, but it also showcases a strong sense of community.

While most focus on the relationship between the bachelor and the show’s contestants, the relationships between the women are just as central to the show. Despite a setup intentionally designed to turn these women against each other, they find a way to form deep bonds.

One powerful example of this is the friendship formed between season 26 runner-ups Rachel Recchia and Gabby Windey. Throughout the season Rachel and Gabby confided in each other about their times spent with Clayton, the bachelor of season 26, their doubts about other contestants’ intentions and their lives outside of the show.

Their friendship endured despite attempts from the production team to stir up drama by having Clayton dismissively break up with both women simultaneously. This move was not received well by the two women or the viewers and eventually led to the very first season of “The Bachelorette” featuring two bachelorettes. 

Rachel and Gabby’s season of “The Bachelorette” continued to showcase their thriving friendship while they navigated their own batch of suitors.

Seeing these women form meaningful friendships despite the show’s competitive nature serves as a positive example for viewers by providing a model of how to be emotionally vulnerable and trust others.

These examples are vital for men who have difficulty connecting with others in a deep and meaningful way because societal norms frequently push men away from these deeper connections.   

So remember, if you ever feel alone, there’s always room for you in Bachelor Nation.

 

Adam is a sophomore in LAS.

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