Bachelor in Paradise has some pretty well-defined traditions. There’s the tongue-in-cheek intros, the B-roll of crabs scuttling along the beach and, of course, a whole lot of margarita-fuelled hookups, breakups and makeups. It’s a ride. But in Season 6, there seems to be a new storytelling staple and we are not here for it.
We first saw it in episode three, when Blake and Dylan went full cave man and fought over Hannah like she was a piece of meat. As Vulture‘s Ali Barthwell put it, “Is there any better image to describe the issues with The Bachelor Entertainment Universe, and quite frankly our Earth, than Blake and Dylan standing next to Hannah G, debating which one of them is going to talk to her … without asking her whom she wants to talk to? Can we find a better metaphor to explain what exactly the patriarchy is than two guys in linen shorts trying to figure out the appropriate schedule for a woman to speak to them?” Good Q! Seems the answer was pretty simple, but in case we didn’t get it the first time around, the following night, Bachelor in Paradise repeated nearly the same exact scenario, this time with the Christian-Nicole-Clay love triangle. Once again, we watched men debate what a woman wants amongst themselves, rather than asking her directly. The only difference was that this time, there was a piñata involved.
Watching this scenario play out one time was frustrating, two times was infuriating and three times? Well, apparently third time is a charm, because this scenario was recently set up yet again—but this time we finally got to see this misogynistic behaviour get shut down the way it should have from the get go.
In episode nine, we returned to yet another chapter of the ongoing (and frankly tedious) feud between John Paul Jones and Derek. After what felt like a single conversation, John Paul Jones latched onto tight to the idea of being with Tayshia. But rather than, oh I don’t know, spending time with her on the beach, JPJ headed straight for Derek and unleashed a whole lot of nonsense on him, stating accusations about Derek’s past as facts while also acknowledging that he had no way to back up his claims. While hurling insults and baseless accusations at Bachelor Nation’s Jim Halpert, JPJ followed in the sandy footsteps of Blake, Dylan and Christian.
“You’re not the right guy for Tayshia, just being honest with you,” said JPJ.
And Derek responded the way that all those before him should have:
“You don’t get to decide that,” said Derek. “She gets to decide that, not you.”
CAN I GET AN AMEN?
What was particularly striking about this interaction was that it was—technically—between the two men. (I say technically because, Tayshia and other cast members were watching from a distance, and let’s not forget, an entire camera crew was capturing this entire interaction.) But to me, that made Derek’s response even better. Respecting women, whether there are women around or not, is true respect. And thanks to Derek, we *finally* got to see that on Bachelor in Paradise.