When Becca Kufrin said “yes” to Garrett Yrigoyen’s proposal on the finale of The Bachelorette, my first thought was: of course. Of course, in this trash-fire year that is 2018, even our most precious reality show cannot escape the grasp of the conservative ideologies. But for fans of The Bachelorette, it’s more than a reality show — it’s a lens through which we can view our own relationships and the mistakes we make along the way. The results of this season, which ended with Yrigoyen and Kufrin’s engagement, should serve as a reminder to find out the political views of our potential partners.
Starting with the first date.
If you missed it, I’m referring to the scandal surrounding Yrigoyen’s social media habits. In May, former Bachelor contestant Ashley Spivey tweeted screenshots of photos Yrigoyen “liked” on Instagram. He double-tapped transphobic memes, and others that chastised young boys for using makeup and accused Parkland school-shooting survivor David Hogg of being a “crisis actor.” One particularly charming Yrigoyen “like” was of a meme that encouraged the idea of throwing immigrant children over the border — literally.
After the scandal broke, Yrigoyen deleted his Instagram account, started a new one, and apologized. His explanation?
“My Instagram ‘likes’ were not a true reflection of me and my morals.”
That might be true, but in 2018, social media “likes” are interpreted as endorsements — especially for someone in the public eye.
Kufrin’s social media use, however, paints a completely different picture. Among several political Instagram posts, a recent photo shows her trekking through the snow at a Minnesota Women’s March, holding a sign that reads “Keep Your Politics Away From My Lady Bits.”
Of course, all we as viewers and fans can do with this information is make assumptions. Kufrin’s social media shares imply that she leans progressive, while Yrigoyen’s “likes” align him with bigoted viewpoints. This difference made it frustrating to watch Kufrin accept Yrigoyen’s proposal. Kufrin told Glamour that she discussed politics with some of the contestants, but viewers don’t know when or in how much detail, as the show didn’t air any of it. One would have to assume that Kufrin knew where Yrigoyen stood before becoming his fiancé. She also defended his actions when the news broke mid-season, telling E! News, “Everyone’s entitled to their own opinions.” At that point, the pair was already engaged.
I have to believe that if she could do it all over again, she would have asked about his views a lot sooner. So why, like Kufrin, do so many of us leave politics out of the early stages of relationships?
According to Singles in America, an annual study conducted by Match, 54 percent of singles in 2017 considered it important to know a potential partner’s political views. But less than a quarter of respondents said they were willing to ask about those views…