The most offensive part of Monday's Bachelor was the treatment Jillian Anderson received both on the show and off. Bachelor contestant Jillian showed off her strength during a group date challenge, and immediately social media took to calling her a man. I've felt pretty bad for the news producer this whole season. The Bachelor editing team covered her bottom half with a black censor bar all season, a fellow contestant made rude comments about her body hair, and now she has everyone calling her a man just because she's strong.
It's evident that Jillian is proud of her body and her strength. She's dedicated to going to the gym and working out, and that helped her in the physical challenges this season. But it didn't keep her from being mocked for that strength. Her fellow competitors laughed at how she excelled during the group date mud run. "She should be wearing a tux instead of a dress," Carly told the camera. "She's a man," she continued, as if we didn't get the joke.
But here's the thing: that's not funny. Why can't a woman be strong without being mocked for being too manly? It wasn't just her fellow contestants who made the comparison, though. That talk was rampant on Twitter, even amongst members of the Bachelor family, like JP Rosenbaum and Jaclyn Swartz.
And of course Twitter in general joined in, declaring Jillian's gender for her and making it a really negative thing.
It's pretty offensive that, in those people's eyes, Jillian can't be strong and a woman. It's 2015. Can't we move on from thinking all women have to be weak damsels in distress? Jillian works hard for her body, and she's proud of herself (as evidenced by her date talk with Chris, which was basically 100 percent about working out). Why can't she be ripped without having her gender called into question?
Chris Soules ended up sending Jillian home, and maybe that's for the best. She didn't deserve the continual mockery at the hands of the other women, the editing team, or the public. Now she can get back to her life and her gym and hopefully meet someone who respects a strong woman — because Jillian has a right to be loved for her femininity and her rockin' ripped body.