Is “The Bachelor” a double standard?

by singlemomseeking on January 6, 2009

Do you think that Jason Mesnick looks like a monkey?

A cute one?

(I’m up way past my bedtime, can you tell?)

By now, you know that “The Bachelor” is also known as “the single dad from Seattle.” In case we forgot, this information was repeated at least 10 times during tonight’s premiere.

Yes, Jason Mesnick is the first-ever single parent on “The Bachelor.”

If you watched the the first episode, then you also know that four of the 25 bachelorettes are single moms. (Although we lost two single moms on the first night!)

My friend and incredible writer Heidi Raykeil, a.k.a. “Naughty Mommy” — whose second book, Love in the Time of Colic: The New Parent’s Guide to Getting it on Again, is due out this month — recently pointed out:

“Rachel, don’t you think people would be outraged and overly opinionated if it were a single mom leaving her kid for months to live in a bachelorette pad?”

“From here, it looks like a double standard: a single dad is cast as a sexy hero for looking for love with a kid, where you’ve been blasted time and again for being honest about your efforts. Am I missing something?”

Heidi knows.

She had my back when I wrote my first-ever post for national online media about trying to date as a single mom — for an editor at the Washington Post in its weekly “On Balance” column.

One reader wrote into say that I was “irresponsible in the first place by getting pregnant by her bipolar, alcoholic boyfriend.”

He went onto say: “Rachel is spending way too much energy on finding a boyfriend. What is wrong with this woman?”

Another reader called me a “loser.”

Yet another reader wanted to know: “How is getting knocked up out of wedlock by a bi-polar drunk a credential for giving Jewish people dating advice?”

You get the point.

So, what do you think?

Is there a double standard here as all these women and viewers go ga-ga over a dating single dad?

~~

Lastly, a correction: Jason Mesnick did not leave his son, Ty, back home during the entire show’s filming.

After watching last night, I learned that Jason’s three-year-old son did get to come down to Los Angeles with his dad, at least initially. His uncle — Jason’s brother — babysat when Daddy had dates.

I’d love to know what Jason told Ty as he left to go on his dating sprees. Maybe “Daddy is going to work now, I’ll be back in the morning.” Hmmm.

If you’re watching “The Bachelor” — or, even if you’re not — I’d love to hear your thoughts! You always have good ones.

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