Last Night’s Bachelor In Paradise Was Painfully Misogynistic

Photo: Paul Hebert/ABC.
“Scraps.” That’s what Daniel Maguire, the self-proclaimed “Canadian wolf,” called Lacey Mark to her face on Tuesday night’s episode of Bachelor in Paradise. He probably thought he was being funny. Nope. He sat there, eroding Lacey’s self-confidence as she tried to form a connection with him after he’d just arrived in Paradise. It was just one of several instances of extreme misogyny — most involving Daniel — that occurred on last night’s episode. These incidents are indicative of a larger trend of what happens when the men are given the power to hand out roses on the show.
After Matt Munson shocked everyone by going home in the previous episode, BiP had a trick up its sleeve. It pulled Daniel out of the shadows, and he swooped in, making two Trump jokes along the way. Chris Harrison then told Daniel he only had a little bit of time to make the rounds meeting women before having to choose one on whom to bestow his rose. Lacey rushed over to speak to him first.
She was thrilled that Daniel had arrived in Paradise, because to her, he’s the perfect man. “He’s smart. He’s witty. I can do my laundry on his washboard abs,” she noted in a voiceover.
Daniel, unfortunately, saw Lacey’s tactics as desperate, and he wasn’t afraid to tell her so. He also didn’t shy away from a terrible comparison for his current situation.
“You thought you were going home… Are you going home?” he mock-teased, knowing that he had the power in the exchange because he had a rose to give out; a rose that would keep one woman there for another day. Lacey explained that everyone had paired off save for three women, to which Daniel responded, “Wow, so I’m left with the scraps … You show up in Paradise a week in or so, and it’s like a club at 2 a.m. The girls look like they got a 5 o’clock shadow already. The hair extensions are coming out; they got a broken heel. I gotta sink my teeth in leftover scraps.”
Lacey awkwardly laughed it off, but you could tell that her heart was sinking. “I don’t think Daniel’s interested in me,” she confessed to the camera.
Daniel then talked to Christen Whitney, and in his next to-camera interview, he said, “I don’t know much about Christen other than she’s a virgin. It’s always nice to date a virgin because then you get to have some experience besides some STDs.”
The disappointing conversation continued. Christen explained that, seeing as they both showed up late in Paradise, they needed to go “balls to the wall” to make the most of their time and establish a connection with another contestant. “You can play with my balls all you want,” was Daniel’s response. Christen laughed awkwardly.
“All these girls seem desperate for a rose. I want a girl who’s not desperate for a rose, but desperate for my [bleeped word one can only assume was 'dick'],” Daniel said a little bit later after he’d met Jasmine Goode, the third woman trying to get his rose that night.
He gave the rose to Lacey.
During another interaction later in the episode, Christen mentioned how it wouldn’t be Paradise without some Canadian bacon. “You eat Canadian bacon? I thought you were a virgin,” was Daniel’s completely tone-deaf response. Christen looked sheepish, and explained that she was referring to the food, not what’s “under [Daniel’s] trunks.” Glad she had to take the time to elaborate for a man who was talking down to her and pretending she’d been making a sexual innuendo.
Off on another couch, Dean Unglert and Kristina Schulman were having yet another awkward heart-to-heart, which turned into a game of Truth or Dare. Kristina dared Dean to get a boner right there. “All right, give me a boner,” he responded. Kristina didn’t move to do anything, so he goaded her, “You’re not gonna touch it at all or anything?” He was unsuccessful in his mission.
It’s deeply ingrained misogynistic attitudes that allow the men of Bachelor in Paradise to speak to women this way. Lacey, Christen, and Jasmine had to sit there while Daniel talked down to them, calling them leftovers and desperate. He was basically negging them in the completely outdated and embarrassing way that Mystery used to do on The Pickup Artist, and Neil Strauss suggested in The Game. The men feel like the women owe them something, when really the women are just reaching out, trying to establish a connection. It’s disappointing that ABC would air this kind of language towards women in 2017. Sure, it might just be one or two male contestants speaking this way, but words are powerful. When female viewers see and hear their onscreen counterparts being spoken to this way, it perpetuates the ideology that it’s okay to make women feel lesser than, because through it all, we still live in a disappointingly patriarchal society.
At the end of the day, the women of Bachelor in Paradise don’t owe the men anything, and seeing this kind of behavior on television sets everyone back decades in terms of retrogressive attitudes towards women. The show is set up in a way that allows this type of talk to be encouraged, giving men the "advantage" when they have roses to hand out. Unfortunately, Bachelor in Paradise hit a ratings high last night, meaning millions of people tuned in. What a shame.
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