I’m officially ending my hiatus. Here’s what to expect.
A few things in upcoming blogs will include: that Bachelorette fiasco, an explanation of my new favorite joke, “Simone de Memoir,” a couple of book reviews, stupid things customers do in the bookstore, my thoughts on the Sudan protests, and my argument for the long overdue impeachment of Donald Trump.
But first, I’ve just been told that Designated Survivor will not return for a fourth season. Any recommendations as to what I should get wine drunk and political about next are welcome– and please don’t say the Mueller testimony cause I’ve already watched that and gave it 2 stars on Rotten Tomatoes.
Anyway, let’s get right into whatever happened Monday night.
Now, listen, before we get into this, you should know I was not always this way.
I used to scoff at the Bachelor, the Bachelorette, and all its spin-offs in much the same way you’re probably scoffing right now.
But my sisters and my mom all derive a lot of pleasure from seeing how much better we are than everybody on all these shows, so I figured I’d give it a try this season.
And oh, what a season to try.
For those who aren’t aware or don’t care, the talk of the town lately has been Luke P., whose behavior is borderline abusive toward Hannah and supra-borderline psychopathic toward the men. Gaslighting, pathologically lying, weaponizing Christianity–– it’s like watching colonization in action. Because that’s exactly what Luke tried to do all season. He tried to colonize Hannah, the dates, the show itself. And he was successful.
A lot of the three people who read this might be like, “I don’t care,” and that’s great, you probably won’t even after I’m done explaining why you should. But Luke P., whom I have started referring to as “Him and his whole deal,” in my head, represents two important trends in the American social fabric.
The first, is the increasingly radical conservatism of religion. Luke’s crowning achievement was his last night on the show, in which he tried to explain to Hannah that sex is only okay within the bounds of marriage, and that if she was guilty of premarital (which I always accidentally type “premartial” which strikes me as hilarious) sex, then he would absent himself from the relationship.
In my mind, his idea– to convey to Hannah his values regarding sex– wasn’t a bad one, if a little anachronistic and very rude. Like, I get that he just wants her to know his needs. Maybe he should’ve brought that up earlier, before Hannah threw Mike’s heart in the dirt (UGH).
But the way he conveyed his needs, as per usual with Luke, sounded a lot less like “These are my needs,” and a lot more like “You are a slut and I want to leave you.” And then, when Hannah rightly pointed out that his comments hurt her deeply, Luke tried to tell her she was wrong. Which, if you’re not aware, is kind of the definition of gaslighting.
Anyway, enough exposition. Luke’s justification was that their faith required abstention from sex until marriage. But the faith requires us first and foremost to love our neighbor, and not to judge them. Now, my friend Lauren, who actually reads my blog, to my deep embarrassment, thinks he wasn’t judging her, but I disagree.
That he was willing to walk away from their relationship if she had committed a sin in his eyes is judgment. And regardless, he hurt her deeply by using her own faith to make her feel shame.
Which is something a lot of extreme conservative religious people do, knowingly or not, to others who are maybe not quite as religious or even non-religious. And it’s extremely harmful both to any evangelization efforts, and to the image of religious people who aren’t crazy (like me).
Even after all of that, if I was even a smidge willing to budge on that night, Luke P. actually said “The man should guide the woman in the relationship,” and ended all hope for himself. I thought it was hilarious considering my parents’ relationship as co-operators of the spiritual life in our family. And it obviously begs the question: what if there are two women in the relationship? Or two men? Or one or both partners don’t identify within the binary? What then? The fact that I’m not alone in asking this question gives me hope.
That brings me to the next trend that this episode highlighted: the backlash Luke P. received revealed that most men, whether to gain points with women or out of genuine belief, don’t agree with him. In the Era of Me Too, the show of support for women and against Luke P.’s comments is encouraging, even if it’s performative.
It still doesn’t make me want to marry a man, but hey, at least I can still look a few in the eye and know they’re on my side.
Anyway, that’s that on that. Was this more pressing than the Sudanese protests? Absolutely not. Will my conscience allow me to delay writing about it? Tune in a couple days from now to find out.