Sun, sand, coup: the cast of “Bachelor in Paradise” questions its power structure

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In the most recent episode of “Bachelor in Paradise,” several male cast members made a case for a cast member who was being abused. (Courtesy: Getty Images)

“The single person,” a historically anti-feminist franchise based on cat fights, champagne and a white-Christian-conservative majority public, may have just taken a feminist turn.

In its seventh season, “Bachelor in Paradiseinvites former competitors in a seaside resort in Mexico. here, power is less mobilized than “The Bachelor”. Instead of just one person distributing roses, the distribution of roses alternates between men and women every week.

The bad guys can stay – all they need is a rose. Men always behave badly, sometimes juggling several women at once, and escape the consequences. Take Dean Unglert kiss a girl and bring a birthday cake to another girl on the same day, or Joe Bailey, who strung another woman arriving at the beach with a girlfriend.

That is, until season seven becomes completely “Survivor”. In episode seven, a rare mobilization of power between the cast members to ban Chris Conran unfolded.

His crime? After dating Jessenia Cruz for several weeks, Chris’s girlfriend Alana Milne arrives at the beach. Within hours, she and Chris kiss on the dance floor in front of Jessenia. This love triangle story is the protocol of a franchise based on female competition: one man chooses a woman to offer his rose, while the other returns home in tears.

Except not this time.

As Alana and Chris go on a zipline date, whispers of dissatisfaction turn into a call to action, and not just from Jessenia’s friends. What is most shocking is the investment of two fan-favorite male members: Joe Amabile and Riley Christian. This type of gender inclusive coalition is fundamentally unknown in the “Bachelor” franchise, as much of the drama is highly stereotypical gender politics.

” This guy [Chris] is a bad actor, ”says Joe. “He’s a bastard.”

“Can we vote them off the island?” Jessenia asks, laughing. The camera lingers on Joe.

“Something has to be done,” he says. “I don’t want them here.”

Now it’s dark and Chris is coming back from his date. Despite his gentle defense that he “followed his heart”, it is clear that he is already lost.

“Do it again,” Joe said, interrupting Chris’ speech. “Do it again, because it really didn’t make sense. “

But again, what’s surprising is that it’s not Jessenia who expresses the most discontent – it’s her two male allies.

“I turned around and your tongue was in another woman’s throat right in front of her,” Riley said. “I believe you are a man without honor, without respect, without code.”

Then the hammer finally falls.

“Let’s all see us together, right out of here,” Riley said.

At the end of the night, Chris left.

I can’t help but wonder if he would have stayed if all the women had faced him instead. There is something to be said about two non-confrontational men who stand up for a friend they have no love interest in. They catalyzed a shift in institutional power, firing a bachelor when previously only a rose could. When men stand up for women, other men listen.

Does that mean “The Bachelor” will evolve into a feminist franchise? I do not think so. Previous attempts by producers to rename the franchise have ranged from disappointing, with the first sexually positive Bachelorette get historically low views, to catastrophic, with the winner of the first season of Black Bachelor have a history of white supremacy.

Still, I think this episode proved that the power shifts precipitated by cast members instead of producers have feminist potential. In order to protect the sanctity of the rose – which by “Bachelor” rules should be given with pure intent – celibates have stripped the rose of its power. Chris’ banishment completely defies the power of the rose. The consequences will follow. For a franchise determined to abide by the rules of rose donation and heteropatriarchy, this rule violation has ramifications.

And as a similar coalition unfolds in the next episode – this time directed at Brendan Morais – I can’t help but wonder about a new future for the franchise, where the cast members, to defend the premise. endearing series, unwittingly subvert the very institution. they try to defend themselves.

What happens when singles and singles decide roses shouldn’t hold power?

Eliza Powers PO ’25 is from New Orleans, Louisiana. She loves reality TV, Phoebe Bridgers, and finding the perfect avocado toast recipe.


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