Sisterhood Blog

In Defense of Andi Dorfman, Jewish 'Bachelorette'

By Lilit Marcus

  • Print
  • Share Share

ABC

Andi Dorfman, the next star of ABC’s reality dating show “The Bachelorette,” is many things. She’s a prosecutor in Atlanta. She’s a fan favorite who took a guy to a date at a gun range. And she’s Jewish.

“The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette”’s casting process has roots in the Old Testament, with each series leading to the next. A rejected hopeful who catches on with the audience will be promoted from supporting role to lead. Bachelor Sean begat Bachelorette Desiree, who begat Bachelor Juan Pablo, who begat Bachelorette Andi.

However, “fan favorite” is a relative term, and regular viewers of the show (they’re known as Bachelor Nation) have already gone online to weigh in on Dorfman’s coronation as the next Bachelorette. Some of the criticism makes sense — “She was mean to Juan Pablo, and I don’t want her to be mean to the guys who come on the show” — but some of it has a distinctly harsher tone.

“She’s kind of obnoxious,” wrote one critic, lobbing a complaint that comes up whenever a woman, Jewish or otherwise, says anything that differentiates her from a doormat. “I think the male contestants prefer blonde Bachelorettes,” wrote another. Another dubbed her “a brat.”. Several compared Dorfman to Grumpy Cat, complaining that her mouth points downward too much.

In other words, some people on the Internet would really like Dorfman to be less Jewish if she expects anyone to fall in love with her on national television.

Yet it’s these stereotypically “Jewish” traits of bossiness and determination that made Dorfman popular with The Bachelor audience to begin with. When she reached the final three, she stormed off the show and told off the star, Juan Pablo Galavis. Dorfman said that during their alone time in the show’s “Fantasy Suite,” Galavis admitted that she was his fourth-place he pick but kept her over a single mother because it would be inappropriate to have sex with a woman who had a child.

On a show where women often talk about how they’ll die if they don’t make it through to the next round (in Bachelor parlance, “accept this rose”), Dorfman decided a rose wasn’t worth the trouble and bailed of her own volition. On an anti-feminist show, it was an explicitly feminist act.

Until then, Dorfman had been a somewhat forgettable contestant — but her kiss-off of a Bachelor who seems to be unpopular with both viewers and producers made her a breakout star. However, it sounds like a lot of people prefer Dorfman’s tough prosecutor persona in smaller doses.

Though Dorfman is the first Jewish Bachelorette, she isn’t the first Jewish contestant in the show’s history. Bachelor Jason Mesnick, best known for proposing to one woman in the series finale and then later dumping her on live TV to be with the runner-up instead, is of Jewish heritage but doesn’t identify religiously. His now-wife, Molly Malaney, is Catholic.

And a previous Bachelorette, Ashley Hebert, fell in love and later married her pick from the show, JP Rosenbaum. During their televised courtship, Ashley met JP’s family, who showed her embarrassing pictures from their son’s bar mitzvah. When they married — in a lavish ceremony paid for by ABC and aired live — they had an interfaith ceremony.

Here are some words that were not used to describe Mesnick or Rosenbaum: Bossy. Obnoxious. Bitchy. Grumpy Cat. Mesnick was roundly — and deservedly — criticized for dumping his fiancée on live TV, but he was judged for his actions, not for the way his smile may or may not have looked or what color his hair was.

In her tirade against Galavis, Dorfman complained that he hadn’t tried to get to know her as a person, that he hadn’t asked any questions about her political or religious beliefs. This could simply mean that Dorfman found Galavis shallow, but it hints at what kind of woman Dorfman is – and what kind of a Bachelorette she could be.

Although the show’s stars usually have very little input into who gets cast as their potential love interests, it would be interesting to watch Dorfman choose men who are also passionate about their beliefs. And that may also mean that she’s interested in finding a Jewish spouse, or at least one who is willing to have frank and honest conversation about religion and compatibility. In other words? Dorfman seems to want a real man. I just hope that she can find him in a sea of stunt-casted male models.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Juan Pablo Galavis, Jewish, Andi Dorfman, "The Bachelorette", "The Bachelor"

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Israelis are taking up the #IceBucketChallenge — with hummus.
  • In WWI, Jews fought for Britain. So why were they treated as outsiders?
  • According to a new poll, 75% of Israeli Jews oppose intermarriage.
  • Will Lubavitcher Rabbi Moshe Wiener be the next Met Council CEO?
  • Angelina Jolie changed everything — but not just for the better:
  • Prime Suspect? Prime Minister.
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.