It doesn't make it better, but it does make you wonder. 

By Lia Beck
Feb 26, 2019 @ 12:15 pm
ABC

The idea of asking a woman’s father for her hand in marriage is antiquated and unnecessary to some, but on Monday night’s hometowns episode of The Bachelor, it was Bachelor Colton Underwood’s mission. He visited four different homes in four different American cities and introduced himself to moms, dads, and siblings in order to get four different families’ approval before maybe proposing to their loved one — you know, if he ends up loving her more than the three other women he’s dating. 

But while the episode showed a near obsession with getting the father’s permission — and sent Twitter into a tailspin —, according to Colton, we didn’t see everything.

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After the episode aired, Colton responded to a tweet from Huffington Post reporter Emma Gray that reads, “STOP ASKING MALE PARENTAL FIGURES FOR *PERMISSION* TO MARRY A WOMAN”. In turn, Colton tweeted, “These are my values and beliefs. These women are independent and can clearly make decisions on their own, however, It’s a respect thing. I can only pray that if I have a daughter the man that asks her to marry her has a conversation with me first.”

Then, another fan of the show wrote, “Why not ask their moms too then?” to which Colton responded, “SPOILER ALERT: I did”.

Ignoring the fact that Colton low key used "spoiler alert" improperly, let's focus on the key point here: Colton asked both mothers and fathers for their daughter’s hand in marriage, but Colton is saying we never got to see the scenes where he asked the contestants' mothers. Instead, the entire two hours is focused on the fact that Colton desperately needs all four fathers’ blessing or he won’t know what to do with himself. Sure, Colton got to know the moms and repeatedly said how important family, as a whole, is to him, but the main conversations shown were tense ones between Colton and the skeptical dads.

Of course, one could argue that it's not Colton’s fault that ABC edited out him asking each of the four moms for permission. Maybe the producers intentionally took a "traditional" approach — after all, the entire premise of the show, one where an earnest man selects his bride from within a thunderdome of competing women, is just as antiquated as the idea of a man needing a father to give away his daughter.

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Additionally, asking both mom and dad is not necessarily a win for feminism and a woman's right to make autonomous choices — in an ideal world, Colton wouldn't be asking anyone but the woman herself. And no matter how you feel about the parental blessing thing, it’s ridiculous within the context of this show. The guy is asking four families about marrying their daughter and cannot actually tell them if he’ll end up with her. If this tradition actually means so much to someone, how can that not water it down to the point where it doesn’t even matter? I say, if you must get the blessing, take a page out of Ben Higgins’ book and call the parents right before the proposal.

 

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