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Never, ever is the girl who most blatantly offers her sexuality the winner.On tamer shows like the Bachelor, never is the woman who pursues and declares her love before he's declared his the winner.What is surprising, to me at least, is that the show's finale managed to both promote and condemn female sexuality AT THE SAME TIME. Suffice it to say, the show casts Bret Michaels as an object of rock 'n' roll desire, and Taya and Mindy were the final two women competing to be his "Rock of Love" (commence eye-rolling… In order to get to know the women as best he could before making his final choice, Bret took each one of them out one last solo dinner date.
It may have been a bit low-brow for some tastes, but it was honest (and kind of hilarious).
In the end, though, the "virtuous", hard-to-get woman was rewarded with the prize that the other, "looser" women were urged to use their sexuality to win.
Our culture is more sexualized than ever, but the double standard persists.
What I find interesting is that heterosexual female DESIRE is usually ignored, even in media that is targeted towards women. I also notice that sex in the media is always signified by a female body.
I'm a psychotherapist and when I see the women being overtly sexual to win Brett's attention, I wonder how many of them are acting out psychological disorders, were sexually abused as children, etc. I don't see this as a show that celebrates or even demonstrates healthy feminist sexuality, but rather exploits women with low self-esteem to appeal to our train wreck mentality.
Ironically, the only redeeming feature of these dating reality shows is, I think, the realistic portrayal of who is eventually selected.
I never thought I'd say this, but I think I'd prefer vagina shots.
My brother and I watched the finale together, and we were talking about how with the way the show is set up, it's almost as if 'spend the night with Bret!
While Bret told the camera that he respects all of the women he's been with and Taya's choice not to sleep with him had nothing to do with his final decision to pick her, he followed up that line by saying, "but I can't stop thinking about her." Of course, there was also ample footage of Taya calling Mindy a slut and a whore for spending the night in Bret's room, even though everything about the show and its premise encouraged her to do just that if she wanted to win.
I guess it all comes down to the age-old, frustrating, Madonna-Whore archetype.
It doesn't matter if WE want to have sex (since according to these types of media representations, we never do), we have to make a guy wait for it if we want him to stick around afterward.