Has The Bachelorette Gone Too Far?

Courtesy: ABC/Rick Rowell

I am not a prude, but I found last night’s commentary by Bentley about Ashley Hebert on The Bachelorette to be offensive. Mind you, I don’t mind the fact that she kisses 25 guys, or that she might have sex with three different guys on three separate nights in the fantasy suites at the end of the season. But to let an obvious sexist like Bentley talk about her as if she were a piece of meat was not only demeaning to Ashley, but also to the viewing audience.

Bentley already made it clear on the premiere episode that he was hoping that Emily Maynard would be The Bachelorette and that Ashley wasn’t his “type.”  That said, it would have been the gentlemanly thing to do to not accept the rose. But, of course, each season of the dating show has to have its villain and Bentley is this season’s bad boy in spades.

For those of you who missed his comments, here is what he said: “She is obviously a beautiful girl. She has a great body, an amazing butt, rockin’ legs and having her tickle my (bleep) would be amazing. The competition makes it exciting. That is the extent of my interest. She is not my type.”

Of course, Ashley was warned about Bentley. She received a text from a former Bachelorette telling her that he was there “for the wrong reasons.” But she seems to be taken in by his pretty face. How a 26-year-old woman who was smart enough to become a dentist would fall for his game makes me wonder: Is she really that naive?

When I grew up, I was taught pretty is as pretty does. Bentley may be a great-looking guy, but he seems to me to be ugly inside. Not to mention superficial. In a promo for an upcoming episode, he talks about breaking her heart and then, in the next breath, says, “I hope my hair looks okay.” Maybe it was a joke. Maybe not, but again, you have to wonder how anyone can be that self-absorbed .

Courtesy: ABC/Craig Sjodin

Of course, Bentley is not completely to blame. The U.S. has become a culture where appearance is more important than substance. But that is a topic for another day.

My problem with The Bachelorette airing Bentley’s sexist comments is that it sends out the wrong message about how women should be treated. The courts are already full of sexual assault and date rape cases. Shows like The Bachelorette should try to serve as better role models for proper conduct between the sexes. Yes, it is entertainment, but for many, if it is OK for Bentley to trash talk Ashley, why not take it one step further in real life?

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