This season’s historic Bachelorette continues to surprise me. Rachel’s charm, wit and intelligence is delightful, and her ability to be sweet, but when necessary, direct and vulnerable makes her all the way real. We saw that spectrum of her emotions last night, when one contestant was outed as a cad.
Did he really just act like he didn’t know WHO this woman was?!
Recall Demario, an executive recruiter in Century City, say that he was in this to claim his wife, Rachel, and that it was a foregone conclusion that she would be picking him? Welp..that didn’t quite play out that way, especially when an ex came to the high school basketball game to inform Rachel that Demario hadn’t formally broken things off with her while still wooing Rachel to wifehood. The scene was classic and tragic, the wronged woman showing proof of recent romantic texts and calling Demario a piece of excreta, all while Demario stumbled and bumbled through excuse after lie, all while Rachel looked on, blank faced.
When she did reply, she was very direct, decisive, and firm. Say said to Demario, “What you’re saying doesn’t make sense,” and then later told him to get the f#@k out of there. She walked out of the gym, clearly upset, and then went into the locker room to speak to the other remaining contestants. Fighting back tears, she gave an ultimatum: If you have a girlfriend and you’re just here to be on television, let me know because I’m not here to play games.
At the end of the show, and despite Rachel telling him to leave, Demario shows back up at the mansion, asking to speak with Rachel because he felt like he had been treated unfairly, and expressed outrage that someone sullied his good name.
Oh. My. God. He was serious. He has a girlfriend on the side, makes boldface ridiculous and laughable lies and excuses, and HE’S the victim? How freaking typical.
Check out the play by play on our live hangout last night
Hate to say it, but Demario is a byproduct of the deifying of successful black men in the community, who have so many dating choices that they often exploit their position, dating multiple people, juggling a harem of women, and never settling down. We’ve all seen a Demario in the black community. We recognize him. We also recognize his narcissism, and inability to see how his actions impact others, while his only concern is how he APPEARS to others. His absolute inability to respect Rachel’s boundaries and try to insist that no own “dismisses” him speaks to a gigantic ego. This is the monster you create when the imbalance of marriageable black men is so lopsided.
As I reflect on all this, I’m reminded of what Ralph Richard Banks wrote in his book, Is Marriage for White People said about how black women can effectively counteract this imbalance by opening up their dating options, because doing so levels the playing field, giving them more choices and thus, less tolerance for this kind of bullshit. Rachel was able to flip her hair and walk away because she knew she had slew of other men checking for her. She didn’t fight for that man, cat fight with the girl to prove her “dedication,” accept the possibility of having the share him, or abandon her self respect.
Because with choices comes power.
With power comes respect.