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Weighing in on ‘Irish Bachelorette’

Stephen Fox | Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Hi, students of Notre Dame (or Observer readers),
I’ve never written one of these before, but I thought that a joke with some of my friends turned into some ideas that I wanted to share with you all, so I appreciate your understanding and patience with me.
On Monday, I tuned in to NDtv for the first time since my last “Rudy” craving and watched “Irish Bachelorette.” I thought it was hilarious. Some of those guys were really funny, and the production and entertainment value were great.
Afterward, my friends and I jokingly began a support group for one of the contestants who, unfortunately, lost, and I failed to do any of my actual work for the evening.
Here’s why I am taking up some of your time: I think we have to be really careful about understanding how we think about this show and its potential effects on our community. I think it’s hilarious and entertaining – and it encourages me to trivialize my relationships with women into a competition. I don’t think anyone should take life too seriously, but unfortunately, relationships can often be sources of real pain in people’s lives. People struggle immensely with rejection and love lost, and I don’t think this show does justice to how relationships actually (or ideally) work. I am particularly concerned with how someone truly struggling with these issues may feel as a result of the values promulgated by this series.
I appreciate your patience, and understand that by no means am I any sort of relationship guru. I’m not a gender studies major, and I often slip up on this sort of thing. But it is scary to me that we thought it was okay to portray an acceptable start to a relationship as similar to a young lady choosing meat at a butcher shop. I believe that as Notre Dame men and women, we deserve better in our relationships.
So yes, I will most likely tune in again next week, but part of me is hoping that it all turns out to be some sort of giant social experiment or something. Like “Lost” or whatever – I never really understood that show.

Stephen Fox
off campus
Nov. 5