Ashley's 'Bachelor' Crazy Act Doomed This Season

We finally lost Ashley S. on the last episode of The Bachelor , which has been terrible for women so far this season. Speculating about whether or not Ashley S. is really "crazy" is just one of the many things that's rubbing me the wrong way about this year's Bachelor season. I also really don't appreciate how much slut-shaming and division that's going on this year in addition to the show's usual diversity problems. Ashley S. acting "crazy" was almost a gateway drug to the rest of the season's bad behavior.

This season, the ladies are divided up, each categorized as something stereotypical, and forced to compete amongst themselves for the prize of getting an engagement with a guy they barely know. Sure, that is technically the premise of every season of the Bachelor, but this year, it almost seems like these women aren't aware of how the cameras are portraying them. The entire experience feels rather strange and callous and it's bringing out the worst in the women in a way we haven't seen on this show in a long time. This is not good, ladies.

There's the whole virgin discussion, which opened up the high-school mentality argument that "dudes prefer virgins" — shudder. Then there was rampant talk of some girls being "sluts" because they're comfortable with being naked around Chris, which is just patently unfair. No matter how you slice it — whether you're looking at The Bachelor's editing or the things some of these women are saying — this might be one of the worst portrayals of women we've seen on this show in a long time.

And here's why:

Exploiting "Craziness"

The Bachelor series loves its maybe-crazies. And when they show up with some self-awareness, they can be a lot of fun when it's lighthearted. But Ashley S. and her onion obsession felt a little different. If she is for real, she may not really be well-adjusted enough to appear on television. If she's not for real, then that act was just plain mean.

The "Corn or Bust" Premise

The constant corn product placement is just weird, but if it wasn't surrounded by so much awfulness, I'd normally be loving it. This year, it serves as a reminder that the ultimate prize is a woman giving up everything in her life to move to Iowa and live in Chris' tiny town, something that I guess is non-negotiable. Somehow this sacrifice is supposed to go down after knowing one another for just a few weeks while competing on national TV, and that sounds pretty insane to me.

The Forced Virgin Stuff

It's totally fine to be an adult virgin by choice. And Chris Soules isn't exactly a playa pimp, even as far as Bachelors go, so he doesn't seem to have expectations that the first have a certain level of sexual experience. But all of Ashley I.'s worrying about disclosing that she's never had sex before and the others' shocked comments about how Chris will love taking her virginity were nothing short of gross.

The Forced "Good Girls" Vs. "Sluts" Stuff

I can't stand how the premise is forcing the less sexually explicit women to compete with the ones who are more comfortable with getting naked or showing skin. You don't have to choose between being comfortable with your body and not having sex. Sex positivity means all women of all different experience levels getting respect, not modest people shaking their fingers at ones who don't care about modesty.

Image: ABC (screengrab)