11 Progressive Things That Have Happened On 'The Bachelor' & 'The Bachelorette'

ABC/Paul Hebert

In many ways, The Bachelor and The Bachelorette seem a bit like they're stuck in an antiquated time period. Men still ask women's fathers for permission to date their daughters, and the men still propose to women on The Bachelorette — when it's the woman's decision in the first place. But that doesn't mean the shows are completely traditional — there are still a number of progressive things that have happened on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. The times are changing, and contestants seem to be recognizing that more and more.

Of course, The Bachelor and The Bachelorette still have a long way to go. There's not much body diversity on the shows, and the contestants are still largely white. But there has been progress, and that's worth pointing out. Contestants are having more meaningful conversations about difficult topics, women are calling men out on their problematic statements, and Jacqueline even admitted she didn't want to move to Arie's hometown. (Why does moving to the star's hometown always seem to be a condition of winning the show?). Here are some of the most forward-thinking things that have happened within the Bachelor franchise recently — here's hoping the trend will continue.


When Becca Called Jean Blanc Out On His Mixed Messages

ABC/Paul Hebert

Jean Blanc told Becca he was falling in love with her, only to suggest shortly afterward that he'd only said that because it was what she wanted to hear. Becca called him out on it, and she made it clear to the other guys that she wasn't going to take any disrespect.


When Rachel Shut Down Racism In The Best Way

After Rachel Lindsay's season of The Bachelorette started, fans discovered that contestant Lee Garrett had reportedly sent some offensive tweets. So when former Bachelor contestant Leah Block sent an insensitive tweet of her own — which she's since apologized for — Rachel didn't take it lightly. The Bachelor doesn't have a great history of featuring non-white contestants, but it looks like that's changing, thanks to people like Rachel, the first black Bachelorette.


When Jacqueline Left 'The Bachelor' To Work On Her Ph.D.

Paul Hebert/ABC

Jacqueline sent herself home during Arie Luyendyk Jr.'s Bachelor season. She revealed to Kendall that other people were "more sure" of their relationships with Arie than she was. And when she talked to Arie, Jacqueline hinted that she might not be ready to move to Arie's home state. "I'm worried I'm going to end up in Scottsdale, with you, married, and wonder, how did I get here?" Jacqueline said to Arie. That probably wasn't easy for him to hear, but it's respectable that she put herself first in this case.


When Tia Brought Up Religion During A Conversation With Arie

ABC/Craig Sjodin

For as much as The Bachelor is about finding true love, logistical things like faith don't often make their way into the show's conversations. But Tia overcame that, talking to Arie about what their relationship might look like off the show, if they didn't share the same religious views. It's never an easy conversation to have. So it's nice that The Bachelor showed a little of what they said about the topic, since many real-life couples have probably had similar conversations.


When Ashley Spivey Called Out Garrett Yrigoyen's Tweets

Spivey, a former Bachelor contestant herself, shared Twitter screenshots showcasing some of the controversial Instagram posts Yrigoyen had allegedly liked. (Yrigoyen later issued an apology via Instagram.)

Even though she's a member of Bachelor Nation, Spivey knows the franchise still has a ways to go, and she wants to be a part of the change. That's pretty progressive in its own right.


When 'Bachelor' Contestants' Parents Say The Decision Up To Their Daughters

When Arie took contestants on hometown dates, a common thread emerged among the women's parents when he asked for their permission if he were to propose to their daughters. Many of the parents didn't seem thrilled at the prospect of a Bachelor engagement, but told Arie that they respected their daughters' decisions.

In a way, those conversations were an argument in favor of not asking family members for engagement permissions. The Bachelor contestants are adults, and they're capable of making their own decisions, a fact some of their family members emphasized. So why continue the "asking for permission" thing at all?


When Andi Dorfman Told Juan Pablo She Didn't Love Him

Usually, Bachelor contestants are sent home, so it's noteworthy when people leave the show of their own accord. Not only did Andi Dorfman tell Juan Pablo she wasn't in love with him, but she also outlined exactly why his constant "It's okay" litany bothered her. Admitting she didn't love him took guts, and Andi won herself a lot of fans after this conversation.


When Clare Gave Juan Pablo A Piece Of Her Mind

Not to be outdone by Andi, Clare let Juan Pablo know how she really felt about his behavior during his Bachelor season. She called him out on his sexist behavior, saying she "lost respect" for him after their last date. He responded to her statements by saying, "I'm glad I didn't pick her" as Clare walked away with Chris Harrison.


When Rachel Took Nick To Her Church On Her Hometown Date

Hometown dates can be hit or miss, especially in terms of the activities contestants choose for them. But when Rachel took Nick to her predominantly black church, it sparked a larger conversation about race between the two of them.


When Brad Womack Didn't Choose A Winner

It's pretty controversial not to choose either of the finalists on The Bachelor. After all, fans have been watching these relationships build all season. Even though Brad's decision broke with Bachelor tradition, though, it was kinder of him to follow his heart, rather than string one of the women along just for the sake fo the finale. Brad went on to have a second season of The Bachelor, where he did choose a contestant at the end, but this finale was still a major shocker.


When Ali Fedotowsky Chose Her Career

Like Jacqueline on Arie's season, Ali left The Bachelor of her own accord, because of her professional ambitions. As Insider noted, Ali left Jake so she wouldn't lose her job, which was a pretty brave decision on her part.

The Bachelor and The Bachelorette may be traditional, but they're not totally stuck in their ways. The franchise really has changed over time, and things can only get better as time goes on.