What Reality TV Says About Us

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S1: Let’s it.

S2: Welcome to the Waves Slate’s podcast about gender feminism and why you certainly are not here to make friends. Every episode you get a new pair of feminists. You talk about the thing we can’t get off our minds. And today you’ve got me a former waver Marcia talon. I’m a historian of African American life and culture and author of the book franchise The Golden Arches in Black America. And I’m here today with fellow writer and academic Danielle Lindemann, author of the new book True Story What Reality TV Says About US.

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S3: Thanks so much for having me.

S2: Professor Lindemann, if I may. Throughout the book, you introduce readers to the heavy hitters of sociology. You’ve got Durkheim, you’ve got FICO, you’ve got Mills, and the heavy hitters of reality TV. We’ve got Kim, we’ve got Snooki, we’ve got Honey Boo-Boo. What sparked your interest in conducting what I imagine are your two great intellectual loves.

S3: Or you imagine correctly? So I’ve been teaching a course at Lehigh University called Sociology of Reality TV for a few years now, in which we pair episodes of reality TV with, you know, these heavy hitters in sociology. It’s a pretty popular course, obviously, because it’s reality TV. A lot of students want to take it. And I always thought that I could turn it into a pretty interesting book. So that was sort of the seed of the idea for the book.

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S2: So as a sociologist, you have written about a number of topics, including commuter marriages, the sexual practices of American people. What is it about reality TV that you think is such a helpful lens for understanding sociology?

S3: Yeah, so it’s kind of interesting because I have written on quite an array of topics and it’s kind of like one of those, like Sesame Street things, like what do these three things have in common? So in general, I say I’m a sociologist of what we call deviance, which is a loaded term, but it just really means in sociology, it just means behavior that falls outside the norm. And we often argue that, paradoxically, by looking at people who engage in atypical behaviors, we can better understand a society more generally. So I’ve done this in a few different arenas, but when it comes to reality TV, we can sort of look at people on reality TV and say, Well, these are like wacky, zany, outrageous people. They have nothing to do with us. Right? But actually, it’s by looking at these extremes, at these caricatures, that we really can better understand kind of fundamental elements of American society.

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S2: We’re going to take a break here. But when we come back, we’ll get into all things reality TV. Hey Waves listeners, if you’re loving the show and want to hear more, subscribe to our feet. New episodes come out every Thursday morning. While you’re there, check out other episodes, too. You’ll find discussions about gender violence, romance novels and even edible arrangements. Welcome back to the Waves. I’m here with Danielle Lindemann. One of the things I love in the book, and I think we’re maybe of the same generation because our touch points of reality TV are very similar. But you in many ways narrate your life story with the reality shows that impressed upon you a sense of normalcy and excitement through the years. And I could completely relate. So when my husband and I watched a lot of my super sweet 16 and our early courtship, and every time I think of an overindulged teenager crying because they wanted a white BMW and not a silver one, it kind of gets me choked up. Like, it’s a strange thing that reminds me about a certain period of time. Happy birthday.

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S3: That’s your guidance.

S2: To say, Oh D watch me.

S3: Do my thing. I don’t like I.

S4: Don’t like going over there not to get my body. They don’t want you in the car. You want to be such an idiot.

S2: I think you talked about the first time you really got into the real world. And so when you think about reality TV and what it’s done to shift or inform our cultural sensibilities, you know, how do we understand it as marking different periods of time in the kind of cultural imagination broadly?

S3: Oh, that’s interesting. You know what? I was actually just thinking about this earlier. You know, I think we like to think of things as linear, right? And in reality, they’re not. So, I mean, we can say like they’re you know, there are different periods in reality TV and there’s like the pre Kardashian period and post Kardashian period. But in actuality, you know, I think, you know, it’s very post-modernist to say, but like everything old is new again and everything old from reality TV gets recycled again. You know, now there are shows on Netflix that build themself as social experiments, which was something that happened, you know, in the early 2000s as well. I’m not necessarily sure that I could even sort of pinpoint sort of different era. I think there have been patterns in the types of reality TV that we’ve seen, but then it always, you know, it’s like a like the fashions from the nineties, right? It always gets like boomerang back.

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S2: Do you look on campus and your students look like you did in the nineties?

S3: They dress the way that I dressed when I was when I first encountered reality TV.

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S2: You know, one of the things that I think is so interesting when we talk about entertainment is just how segmented it is. And I think one of the reasons why people don’t take reality TV very seriously is because it’s features and marketed towards women. And so, you know, if it pivots around these ideas that are like ladies interests, relationships, wealth and consumerism, family dynamics, do you think that plays a role in the ways that we talk about reality TV or even in your decision to take reality TV seriously as an academic?

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S3: Sure. I mean, I truly believe that one of the reasons that we see reality TV as a guilty plea, I mean, there are a few different reasons, but one of the reasons is because it is gendered, right? It’s geared toward women viewers. It’s often women on the screen, right. Like The Real Housewives with female dominated casts. And yeah, you know, we tend to devalue cultural products related to women, right? We do that with movies. We do that with music. Right. Why not do that with reality TV? I mean, I think people often have a certain hostility about reality TV that, you know, it doesn’t really have any nutritional value to it. Right? You can’t really get anything from it. But first of all, I think that’s wrong and hopefully I dispel that myth in my book. But also, even if that were true, there are a lot of things like that, right? Like there’s no nutritional value from sports, but people watch it and they enjoy it and they get something out of it. But we don’t go around calling football a guilty pleasure. It’s interesting to think about why, and I think one of the reasons why is because, again, that’s something that’s gendered masculine, right?

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S2: What do you think this idea of like, you know, the guilty pleasure, is it because we’re looking into the personal lives of people you know, we don’t know? Or is the guilt the kind of joy from the Michigan? Because I feel like the more disastrous a show, the more popular it is.

S3: Joy from the Michigan. I like that. Yeah, I think. Well, there’s a guilt, right. Because we’re also watching people who are doing outrageous things. Right. Things that are socially deviant, things that wouldn’t polite people in polite society generally do not do. Right. Like peeing on a pregnancy test in front of a camera. Right. And so I think part of that is we feel kind of contaminated by that, that illicit behavior, certainly. But I do think a large part of it is also this gender element.

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S2: I’m glad you brought up the peeing the pregnancy test, because I actually I have a few shows that like you see stuff like that. And what’s interesting about reality television, if you’re looking at, you know, your housewives, there’s always this sense that there is a boundary which is kind of strange. So, you know, some people will say, I don’t let people film in my bedroom. I believe the Countess Luann de Lesseps of New York said that for many years, like there are certain parts of our lives you won’t see or like when people have minor children that who.

S3: Are just not there, they’re just.

S2: Not there but are referred to. And that’s you. Sonja Morgan Like, there are these ways that even within this kind of ruthless entity, there’s rules of engagement. What do you make of the ways that reality television production kind of sets their own standards or like the line that’s drawn when someone gets kicked off of a show versus someone’s allowed to come back after acts of violence, for instance?

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S3: I can’t speak that intelligently to how those decisions kind of play out. I mainly I’m looking at reality TV, you know, from the consumption perspective. So looking at it like as text. But I think it’s interesting because those decisions oftentimes seem they don’t seem very consistent. Right. Usually related to, well, is that person bringing in an audience, right. That’s what it’s all about. Right. Like, is that person powerful enough to say slap someone and get away with it? Right. Or are they not just like in real life, right, where people in positions of power able to get away, things that people who are not are not able to get away with.

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S2: You know, throughout the book, this theme of power is so important in terms of the ways that reality television becomes this source of economic power, of, you know, kind of fame. And one of the things that comes out a lot in reality television today are the ways that women are able to create careers out of becoming personalities. I think that probably Kim Kardashian is, you know, the master class in that. And Kris Jenner facilitates that. You talk about Cardi B and her ability to platform. I think more people consider her a rapper than a reality TV star now or just all the housewives. I think Bethenny Frankel is probably the best example of monetizing that presence. How do you think of the ways that women particularly are able to become wealthy through this vehicle, how it shapes how we consume reality TV as well?

S3: It does tend to be women, right? Who are the ones who are pulling in the spawn con who because again, reality TV tends to be populated by women. So of course the people who are going to be successful are going to be women, usually, not always. Right. Donald Trump is another example. But yeah, I mean, I think it’s interesting, though, because the things that they’re becoming successful for often tend to be very gendered. Right. And I talk about this in the book, like with the Kardashians, if you look at their product lines, it tends to be lines that are sort of aligned with ideas of normative femininity. Right, like lip kits and make.

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S2: Up and body shapers.

S3: Bodies, literally. It was actually I was going to say it was body shapers. And then there’s someone like poor Rob who like can’t get a sock line.

S2: Oh, that was really sad.

S3: I know. But he doesn’t have that like, well, of normative femininity to draw from. So I think Bethenny Frankel who, you know, cooking right. Is. Associated with women and femininity. So I think, yes, they have been able to do that successfully, oftentimes because they’re drawing on tropes and things and activities that are we see as coded as as feminine.

S2: Speaking of power and reality TV shows and I don’t know great decisions from my opinion, Donald Trump’s presidency, the election of a reality TV shows star to the presidency. Do you think that this changes the perception of reality TV? Do people see it as more powerful or like more frightening? Because in many ways, Donald Trump, even before The Apprentice, was always like playing himself on television sitcoms like in the nineties, he he was a character. And then reality TV kind of gave him a format. But what do you think the Trump presidency does in terms of people’s perception of the form?

S3: You know, it’s interesting because you would think in some ways it would legitimated. Right. In some ways, people would stop and say, oh, wait, no, we have to pay attention to this thing that we thought was just frivolous. That’s happening over here because, you know, majority of people are watching it. It’s a lot of the TV that they’re consuming. And look, it has real, tangible effects that we see in the world. But I haven’t seen that shift happening in academia otherwise. You know, I think I don’t know, for some reason people just don’t put that together and say, okay, well, then, you know, this thing happened, this momentous thing happened. You know, maybe they don’t think that it’s because of reality TV, but it’s at least partially because of reality TV. Right. Because that gave him a platform.

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S2: We’re going to take a break here. But if you want to hear more from Danielle Lindemann and myself and another topic, check out our Waves Plus segment is this feminist where today we’re debating whether The Bachelorette is feminist. Welcome back to the Waves. In the book, you arrange the chapters to look at the connection between the shows and what they show about us. And I love how you arrange it. You talk about the self couples, groups, families, childhood class, race, gender, sexuality, and your topic of expertise deviance. All of my favorite topics. I’m curious prior to the reality format. How do you think our society collectively came to understand these dynamics and concepts? So how has reality TV been an education for all of us?

S3: I don’t know if reality TV has been an education for all of us. I think it holds the potential to be educational. I think most people don’t view it that way, obviously. As we’ve discussed, again, I think most people kind of look at it and say a guilty pleasure for listening, that even if they like it right, they don’t necessarily look too deeply into it. But sort of one of the major arguments that I make in the book is that actually by showing us ourselves in this kind of amped up caricature and outrageous form, we can really better come to an understanding of ourselves. And sometimes that’s the, you know, the most negative things about ourselves, right? The inequalities that persist in society or racism or sexism or classism, materialism. Right. But at the same time, I think we can learn some really beautiful things about ourselves from watching reality TV. Reality TV is an incredibly diverse medium. And yes, sometimes that diversity takes the form of stereotypical representations. And, you know, we need to be attuned to that. But at the same time, it is has been historically more diverse than other forms of TV. So there are things that we can learn from reality TV that we wouldn’t have learned from the scripted television format. But if that answers your question.

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S2: Well, you know, I’m curious about this, because I think about, you know, my early generations, reality TV was talk shows. It was the Oprah show, people disclosing personal things. But in a really kind of tightly controlled format. But this issue of race and gender, I think, is really interesting because I used to watch I used to watch a lot of the Canadian wedding shows where like couples plan a wedding and either you, like, judge them for spending too much or they’re.

S3: Oh, yeah. Like for weddings. Yeah. Yes.

S2: And the reason I liked those shows is because there was a racially diverse cast that’s like one of the biggest draws where I could see people of a lot of backgrounds engaging in spending too much on a wedding. Or like one of the reasons why I liked House Hunters is because sometimes they start to have queer couples and they would have couples with multiracial, multiethnic families. And so there’s a way that, like reality TV sometimes is showing us a world we want to see the parts of the world that like exists around us. But I’m curious about, you know, what your thoughts are on some of the for lack of a better way of framing it, some of the racial reckoning that has happened on some of the reality shows, particularly Bravo, in trying to break away from all white casts and bring in, you know, people of color into these formats.

S3: I just want to touch on something that you said, though, which is really interesting to me, is that if you look at these shows, right? Yeah. Scripted shows do have interracial couples. They do have queer couples. But that’s like that’s their role in the show, right? That’s part of the story. It’s always like where an injury. But in house hunters, it’s not. We are an interracial couple. Look for house. We’re just a couple looking for a house. So they’re kind of unmarked in that way. It’s really interesting. But yeah, this moment of racial reckoning. Bravo, The Bachelor, right? Yeah. Is that going very well? No, that’s so good. Is it right about in the book? Right. These shows are like reflecting American society, which is incredibly racialized. It’s incredibly racially stratified. Right. Like the fact that on The Bachelor, it tends to be like middle class white people linking up with other middle class white people. Right. That’s that happens, right? Because with that, because these are the patterns that exist in American society, that that’s not to say that the show doesn’t have the moral obligation to diversify. Right. But they’re showing something that exists. Right. It’s not like that racism. It’s not like that stratification is just confined to the bachelor or just confined to the. Like there’s a reason, right? Obviously, that these are all white casts of housewives and then they’re the all black, the paternal mix of the world.

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S2: One of the things I find kind of fascinating about the racial turn in reality TV, the only cast that seem to like be able to do it without making a deal of it was Miami. And I think it’s because of the location.

S3: Yeah. I’m a model, but not always a model citizen. If you don’t like my smile.

S2: Then don’t look my way.

S3: My husband’s a top plastic surgeon in this town, and I’m his best creation.

S5: I may speak five languages, but my true language is independence.

S2: A lot of the women are of Cuban descent. They’re living in a very kind of Pan-American city. And so the inclusion of Haitian and Haitian-American cast members didn’t seem to do the same thing that it did. When, you know, Real Housewives of New York had a black cast member and everyone lost it like, no, I know.

S3: She was fascinating to me because New York City. I know it’s New York City. And then you’re like looking at them and you’re like, you’ve never heard of white fragility, ever. And you live in New York City. It’s but it just goes to show you can live in a diverse city. Right. But at the same time, be incredibly stratified. Right. In terms of where you are spatially, in terms of who you interact with.

S2: And, you know, the other kind of draw of reality TV that I think is also really important when you talk about some of these sociological ideas about power is social class. There are reality shows that show people with tremendous wealth. And then there’s the shows that are really about regular people. And it’s it’s kind of strange how both can be equally alluring if they’re framed in the right way. You know, I think of a show like 90 Day Fiance where a lot of people are very kind of working class people. And then occasionally they’re very wealthy people. And there’s these perceptions of, you know, the wealth of in the United States and, you know, the perceptions of a lack of wealth in other countries. How do you think reality TV has kind of engaged in our understanding of social class?

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S3: Oh, that’s such a great question. Yeah, I mean, reality TV, again, it takes us places. I think that scripted TV doesn’t take us. It takes us in some ways on a tour of the class system. You know, you mentioned regular people. You mention the rich. But I mean, also they show us working class people which who aren’t often seen on screen, they don’t often show us the very poor. And if they do, usually it’s in service to like the main character, like the Kardashians. Go volunteer to soup kitchen kind of thing. Right, exactly. Exactly. But I think, you know, I think they show us, right, not only the different like class statuses that exist that we all kind of already know about, I would hope. But also the kind of narratives that we tell about people in certain class statuses and the narratives that we use to kind of keep that class system kind of chugging along, right? That rich people are rich because they deserve to be in that position right there. But sitting behind a table, wearing a suit, barking orders or if not, or if they don’t deserve to be there. Right, because they’re women or they’re people of color. So people decide that they shouldn’t they shouldn’t be in that. Basically, they’re not white men. Right. And they don’t deserve to be in that place. Then we tell narratives about them being kind of buffoons, which, you know, I think is why you get a lot of those shows where it’s like elite kind of black women, but portraying them sometimes in buffoonish ways, where that you don’t see that kind of show about white men.

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S2: That’s so interesting. And like, you know, the other draw of reality TV is about relationships and couples, whether it’s courtship, whether couples in crisis. Well, I guess there’s shows now that are about people with children, even though I’m like, who’s going to watch this when you’re living it? I’m like, When.

S3: You’re living, it’s now.

S2: Yeah. No, I don’t watch reality shows with people with kids because I’m like, Wait, I could just be doing this myself. But all of this is to say that in your previous research you looked at dynamics of couples. What are some of the the couples stuff or the relationship stuff that is particularly appealing to audiences, do you think when they watch, you know, whether it’s The Bachelor or Love Is Blind, which season two kind of rocked my world?

S3: Yeah. I mean, I think it’s interesting because as zany as these shows are, they almost always hang their hat on love. Right? Like, that’s almost always seen as, like, the ultimate goal. And it’s oftentimes this like we call them awfulness love. So it’s like between people who are socially similar. So it’s often like people of the same roughly age, race, class status and you know, just like in life, we tend to think about like relationships, right? The ultimate goal being love and marriage. Not everybody all the time, but that’s still like a really dominant narrative, right? That if you’re going to be in a relationship, you have to be there for the right reasons, right in life and also on reality TV and the ultimate right reason being like, okay, this is a pathway to marriage. And yes, fewer people are getting married now. People are getting married later now. But by and large, a majority of people, large majority of people still get married at some point in their lives. So we still kind of continue to hang our hat on these ideals of love and marriage. And so interesting to me that even in the reality TV sphere where people are like dating in bunkers and where. Prosthetic noses, right. They really can’t get away from that idea of that being the ultimate goal, this sort of marital union dichotomous right to people. And that is centered around the idea of love, which is very historically and culturally specific, because that isn’t how how we’ve always thought of marriage, but it’s how we think of it today.

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S2: So before we head out, we want to give some recommendations. Professor Lindemann, what are you loving right now?

S3: So, you know, I’ve been asked this before and it’s really horrible because I by semester just finished. And when I’m teaching, I don’t have time to watch any reality TV. But I can tell you what I’m looking forward to watching, which is the number one show I get recommended is selling Sunset.

S2: Oh, my gosh, it’s bananas. I don’t understand anything that’s happening, but things are happening.

S3: But things are happening and it’s good, everyone tells me. And I think a lot of people like I’m like, I don’t care about real estate. They said, doesn’t matter. You don’t need to care about real estate.

S2: Everyone’s working and no one’s working. It’s the perfect show.

S3: I mean, yeah. So that’s number one on my list of something I hope to be loving in the immediate future.

S2: And so my other interest other than reality TV is kind of it’s I guess, cousin, which is true crime. I know it’s so problematic, but there are some people who do true crime really well. And I highly recommend a limited series podcast from Jillian Pensively of the true crime obsessed network called Let the Women Do the Work, which are thoughtful conversations about women who are advocates for the wrongly accused, who are storytellers of groups like indigenous women who are missing and murdered. She has an interview with Rabia Chaudry, who was then the advocate for Undone said from the serial podcast. It’s so it’s a really thoughtful podcast. Generally true crime obsessed is both funny and very thoughtful about the representations of true crime. And this special series from Jillian Pensively, Let the Women Do the work brings a lot of the quiet contemplation of what does it mean for women to really advocate in this space? And so I highly recommend that comes out every week. I love the conversations and I think that in many ways, you know, reality TV and true crime are marketed towards women, have this really kind of highly feminized type of storytelling. But people who are particularly politically minded or really thoughtful can really help us see the layers in it. And just like our guest today, Danielle Lindemann, author of the new book True Story What Reality TV Says About US.

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S1: That’s it.

S2: That’s our show. This week, the wave is produced by Shayna Roth. Shannon policies, our editorial director with Alicia montgomery providing oversight and moral support. We’d love to hear from you. Email us at the waves at slate.com. The waves will be back next week. Different hosts, different topics, same time and place. Thank you so much for being a Slate Plus member. And since you remember, you get a special bonus segment. And today, Danielle and I are going to be talking about reality TV and feminism. Danielle, as the expert in the room, is the bachelorette feminist.

S3: So interesting. So I thought the question was going to be, is the bachelor feminist? And I had a wholehearted no to that. So is the bachelorette feminist, though? That’s a good question. So I think ultimately I would have to say still no. I would love to have some amazingly witty argument for why we don’t think it’s feminist. But it is. But I think if you just sort of go to the core definition of what feminism is, right? It’s like it’s seeking equality for all genders. Right. And there’s no real equality on that show. I mean, yes, I guess the woman is in the driver’s seat. She’s in some ways in position of power. But at the same time, she’s kind of she kind of has to do gender in a particular way. She can’t stray off script in that sense. I mean, imagine if you had like a woman show up in like, I don’t know, short hair and a jumpsuit, God forbid.

S2: The show is so retrograde that when there is a bachelorette or a contestant with short hair, she’s considered edgy. There was a.

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S3: Like Becca Martinez. Yeah, it’s.

S2: Oh, I’m talking to my people. See, I. I give the context and I’m like, she won’t remember the name. Of course you would. Yeah. When Becca had short hair, she was incredibly femme, super attractive, conventional.

S3: Conventionally, so.

S2: Yeah, yeah. But she had short hair and no one knew what to do with this.

S3: Exactly. And then she, like, disappeared on a pot farm and they couldn’t find her? No, she was phenomenal. But then there was also the one where someone showed up in a jumpsuit instead of an evening gown. I am not sure what their name was, but that was like a scandal. Right? So really, I mean, and the men to write are also forced to do gender and very I mean, you know, I mean, not forced is the right word, but right. They all do gender in very conventional ways. And the most minor of transgressions. Right. Is, is is punished. They’re banished, they’re gone.

S2: So I’m going to agree with you, but I’m going to offer some some questions because The Bachelorette is retrograde on one hand. But there’s something very fascinating about The Bachelor and Bachelorette, for that matter, because a few years ago, I went to a talk by a sociologist who studied polyamory, and she said that The Bachelor series is strange because it is providing an insight into multiple relationships and I guess ethical non-monogamy in a sense to like a middle-American audience. That part of the old Bachelor and Bachelorette format was they were a little bit discreet about talking about fantasy suites. Like it’s obvious they had sex before they made a decision on who they wanted. And then a few years ago, they kind of broke the seal and were like, We’re going to explain that sex is happening all the time in the fantasy suites, and that contributes to your decision on who you want your mate to be, that there is this kind of strange way that the franchise straddles very traditional and conventional ideas of courtship, but then it’s done in this kind of polyamorous light kind of bubble.

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S3: Hmm. Yeah, I can see that. Yeah, I mean, I can see that. I think it would be interesting, you know, in the sociologist May says it would be interesting to do a study if you looked at do people who consume that show have a broader view of not consensual non-monogamy? And we’re accepting that probably now, I don’t know if it’s and it’s hard to establish a causal link for like anything. Right. But is that show actually giving them giving more credence or broader cultural acceptance to consensual non non-monogamy? I would say probably not. I mean and even if you look at the sexual behavior that happens on the show, right, it is very the reactions to it are extremely gendered. Right. In terms of what people can kind of get away with and how they’re talked about on the show. So I don’t really see a lot of necessarily a lot of feminism in that.

S2: All absolutely not. And the other thing that I do think is particularly notable about some of the conversations in The Bachelor, it seems like there is a period of time for The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. This idea of this person’s a virgin. And so there is like that is what marks them is kind of interesting or different. And then there was the Colton fiasco that was just painful for some on so many levels. But you know that this person has not had sex and they have to still participate in this marketplace of like virtuous sexiness and and before the like secret is revealed. And it I mean, I don’t even know where to kind of place those dynamics anywhere in society. Do you think that the appeal of a reality show to find a mate. Supposed to. Kind of speak to a nostalgic sense of a simpler time of courtship. I don’t even know, like, what it’s pulling on. Exactly.

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S3: I think it is. I think it’s absolutely in some ways, it’s like a pacifier for a cultural anxiety is about, you know, about women gaining power, their relationships looking slightly different from the way that we thought that they maybe should look in the past. Right. And all of reality TV shows, I mean, this is like a central argument in my book, right, is that, you know, reality TV, we think of it as being outrageous and fringe and zany. But actually what it’s doing oftentimes is coming back to these very kind of conservative ideas about what a man should be, what a woman should be. Right. And, you know, like what certain types of people should be doing. And there are certain types of little boxes.

S2: Well, there’s some interesting transition that happens from the first day, which is just bananas, which is like anything for attention. And then the like, you know, the elimination rounds that are all about kind of these hypersexual situations and then the family visits turn it very, very conservative. There’s often a conversation with a dad or a brother. I’m always really impressed by the families that don’t participate. My husband and I decided our son ever goes on The Bachelor. We will be those people who do not.

S3: He’s not going to do it.

S2: Yeah, they’re going to be like, my mom and dad are very uncomfortable with all of this. They refuse and that he has to like, you know, go see friends. Those are just those are the conversations you need to have early in raising a child.

S3: I think that’s a point that’s valid.

S2: But all of that all of that is to say that it goes from this kind of idea of a kind of hedonistic world to one that is very, very traditional, and that ends with the most traditional act, which is a proposal.

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S3: I mean, is it a hit this? I guess so, yeah. I mean, they’re all like smooching various people on the first night. Yeah, but it’s still very like. It’s real formative. Yeah. It’s like, yeah, it’s, I mean, it’s like they’re looking higher up. Ultimate, ultimate goal, right. Is pairing up. It’s never like three of them decide they’re going to start a throw up. All right. That’s never going to happen.

S2: On the the first episode. That would be the best season. I mean.

S3: We get amazing ratings, but now.

S2: So now that we’ve declared that The Bachelorette is not feminist, is there something you’ve been dying to know if it’s feminist or not? We’d love to hear from you. Email us at the waves at Slate.com and.