Bachelor Finale Perpetuates a 'Toxic Myth'

Li Zhou says Colton Underwood pursuing Cassie Randolph after she dumped him is 'troubling'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 14, 2019 10:34 AM CDT
Colton Underwood, left, and Aly Raisman attend the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2017 launch event at Center415 on Feb. 16, 2017, in New York.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

(Newser) – While most of this season's finale of The Bachelor seemed hyperfocused on whether contender Colton Underwood lost his virginity, Li Zhou is now homing in on what was supposed to be the feel-good ending to the ABC reality show: Underwood dumping two remaining women and instead pursuing Cassie Randolph, who broke up with him earlier in the show. In the end, he got his girl, but as Zhou writes for Vox, he used a "familiar" tactic that isn't necessarily the best one, and one that's become "one of the most troubling tropes" in rom-coms. To wit: "The idea behind this approach simply involves a man wearing a woman down, despite her protests or expressions of disinterest, until she ultimately decides she's open to a relationship."

And that's essentially what Underwood did, chasing after Randolph despite her reservations about the relationship—a move that Zhou says feeds into the "toxic myth" that a woman's ambivalence or even outright disinterest is all just part of the "chase." Even host Chris Harrison warns Underwood at one point, after he expresses interest in continuing his quest for Randolph, that "what if the bottom line is she's just not that into you?" Underwood's response: "I feel like I can read people pretty well and I think she loves me and I think she's scared to admit that." It's a feeling Zhou takes issue with. "The idea that men need to go after women, simply because they know what's right for them—better than the women know themselves—sends the wrong message to pretty much everyone." Read the full piece. (The APA warned against "traditional masculinity.")

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