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!
  • Law professor Dan Markel waited a shocking 19 minutes for an ambulance as he lay dying after being ambushed in his driveway. Read the stunning 911 transcript as neighbor pleaded for help.
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • 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.