Don’t Think People Didn’t Notice The Sly Transphobia On ‘The Bachelorette’

We came back for The Bachelorette because we like abs and brutally judging people on telly. What we received instead was a lengthy episode dedicated to men trying to out-manly each other instead of trying to genuinely connect with Ali Oetjen.

While there were plenty of moments and plenty of awful men to get the people talking online – Paddy is the living embodiment of #NotAllMen – but the big one tonight is something that requires a little bit of unpacking. It was set up in a really fucked way by Network Ten (who have form on that matter, considering their history of queerbaiting this past year), but Oetjen’s response was truly awful.

If you want to be filled in on the rest of it, hit the link:

Ya ready?

Okay, let’s go.

We’re zeroing in here on Bill, the winner of the wild pink rose, and how he entered the mansion. He came in real nervous, with some reasonably subtle winner’s music. Ali immediately clocked him and his strong jaw as handsome.

I have a little confession to make about myself. I wasn’t actually born Bill. I was born something different. I was born actually-.” Then: ad break.

Turns out his name is legally David. Huh. What a confession. That’s not a confession, mate.

The implication here, done with the magic of a dramatic sting and a swift cut to an ad break for suspense, is that he’s about to reveal that he is trans. Hell, they thought Oetjen herself would read it that way – and she apparently did, doing a reaction to camera where she expresses relief that he’s “not a woman“.

This is pretty shitty for two reasons. First, the show is using the concept of transness as a cheap gimmick for drama. That sucks. Secondly, Ali’s suggestion that being a trans man would mean that he is a woman sucks even more. Trans men are men. It is literally that simple.

Well, yeah, Australia collectively fkn noticed the seemingly throwaway comment on The Bachelorette. And we’re fumin’.

Let’s talk tomorrow, shall we? Maybe we can get through one episode of The Bachelorette without a transphobic slur?