Stop using virginity as a plot device

Hannah Holliday | Cartoonist

This may come off a bit preachy, but maybe it should. I mean, come on, virginity as a plot device? Chris Harrison, you’re better than this.

Madison Prewett is the latest victim on the newest season of ABC’s “The Bachelor.” Before heading into fantasy suite-week, Madison let the bachelor, Peter Weber, know that if he slept with either of the other two women, she may not be able to continue because of her beliefs.

Victoria F. and Hannah Ann went into full attack mode, saying Madison was giving Peter an “ultimatum,” and that it wasn’t fair for her beliefs to get in their way. To top it all off, Chris Harrison and the producers roomed the three women together so they could know who didn’t come home each night.

Using someone’s values to alienate them is not the point of this show. It’s wrong to let the other women attack them for it, and it’s even worse to allow the person to believe their values are in the wrong because no one approves of them.

They all exploited her morals for more drama, and it isn’t the first time this series has gone out of its way to exclude the person wanting to save themselves for marriage. Colton, the last bachelor, had his entire season centered around his desire to hold onto that until he and his wife walked down the aisle. Luke P. didn’t exactly take the right approach on the issue in Hannah B.’s season, but nevertheless add him to the list of contestants whose values didn’t align with where the show was going.

Perhaps the oddest part of this conundrum is how far “Bachelor in Paradise” went out of its way to accommodate Demi and her values last season. She came out as bisexual on the show last season after dating Derek for a good amount of time, and rather than make her feel unwelcome, Chris Harrison invited her girlfriend from back home to the set and she ended up joining the cast. If you’re going to work so hard to let Demi feel heard and respected, why not do the same for Colton and Madison?

The argument can be made that people with these different sorts of values shouldn’t even come on the show. After all, it’s around 30 women vying for one man with a fantasy suite date waiting one week before he’s supposed to propose. None of that seems to align with the Christian values they are bringing to the table, so maybe it’s best if they just stay home.

No one is forcing you to go up on that stage and have a moral conflict. It’s entirely your choice, and you can’t expect people to abide by the same values you give yourself, but at the same time, if you do go, don’t let the others’ values corrupt your own.

Bachelor Nation needs to figure out what it intends to do about this. Using these moral questions to raise ratings feels wrong, and pinning it all on one party or the other isn’t a great solution either.