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'The Bachelorette': Jennifer Weiner on its lessons for girls

Best-selling author Jennifer Weiner (The Next Best Thing) is the mother of two girls—and a huge fan of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. Here, she explains what her kids have learned from the very unfeminist franchise.

Last week, my 4-year-old wandered into my closet and plucked my highest pair of heels off the shelf.

Oh, cute! I thought. She’s playing dress-up! I watched as Phoebe chose another pair of heels, then, after careful consideration, her hot-pink Hello Kitty suitcase. “Phoebe,” I inquired, “are you ­running away from home?”

“No,” she said, hoisting the ­highest heels. “I am packing these for when I go to be on the program The ­Bachelor. And these,” she said, showing me the second pair, “are in case another lady forgets her shoes.”

Well, I thought, after I’d lifted my jaw off the floor, at least she’s a good sharer!

When you are, as I am, a devotee 
 of trashy reality television and the mother of young girls, you will have some ’splaining to do. What kind of feminist lets her daughter watch a show that reinforces the worst in ­gender norms and sexist expectations?

The truth is, The Bachelor and
 The Bachelorette offer teachable moments about how the media—
and the world—work. As single mom Emily Maynard’s Bachelorette season comes to a close, here’s some of what my girls and I have learned. READ FULL STORY

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