More Tips for Watching The Bachelor (from Two Ladies Who Have)

Marianne and Kate are the Lady Academics’ “veteran” Bachelor franchise viewers/apologists: Kate has been watching since Kaitlyn’s season, and Marianne since JoJo’s.


Marianne: Suspend your disbelief, and your third-wave feminism. Also, treat the contestants like characters in a fable!

Kate: Know your tropes, however reductive (villain! slut! crazy girl! keeper – that’s you, Vanessa!). Watch UnREAL for help with this. Appreciate the work that the producers do to make this happen!

Marianne: Treat this as a veeeery specific breed of travel documentary. These peeps get to visit beautiful, exotic destinations (or sometimes they get stuck with Milwaukee). Make mental notes about which Mexican beaches are sexiest for ur next sprang break. Also, I enjoy carefully observing all of the minor instances of PDA to try to determine whose chemistry is natural and whose is forced. Watch the hands! You can apply your new sleuthing abilities to judge relationships out in the real world, helping you distinguish between creeps and soulm8s 😉

Kate: Believe that this is real love, or at least, that the people on the show are feeling real love! The Bachelor is an intense and alcohol-fueled environment that produces these feelings. And not just love! I do think that the show inspires real friendships among some of the women. It’s just like study abroad! You might not have been friends with or have had feelings for these people otherwise, but these things happen when you’re stuck together.

Both ladies: Let yourself fall in love with Nick, because it makes it more fun. He’s cut (says Marianne) and an amazing skater (says Kate). His beard is good. He’s a fox. (Nick, call us.)

Tips for Watching The Bachelor (from a Lady Who Never Has)

I am fairly confident that I have only seen The Bachelor once before in my life, namely one Galentine’s day in Germany (the night before I was to take a romantic trip to London in order to have one last hurrah with my very-soon-to-be-ex…he had the flu, I had a cold sore. At least the Harry Potter studio tour was dope.) My memory of it is clearly blurry and it was the German version anyway, so, moral of the story: I’ve never seen The Bachelor, and I’ve certainly never viewed it regularly before.

When Kate and Marianne suggested weekly viewing parties, I’ll admit I said yes because I’m all about take-out (and spending time with those twos, duh), but I have found myself pulled in. I am not so much enthralled, however, that I don’t yell at Marianne’s TV in regular intervals, so here are some tips on how to survive The Bachelor if you just don’t care:

1. Take your friends’ advice and treat it as an exercise in cultural anthropology (because the shit these ladies say is out of this world and fully outside the realm of rational thought.)

2. Don’t think too hard about the implications behind the surprising number of teachers among the contestants.

3. Ignore the blonde white woman declaring how romantic the southern plantation is as the women of color stand by silently.

4. Focus on Nick’s thighs, especially when he shakes his groove thang and or goes roller-blading.

5. Revel in Corinne. Just take it all in. #freeRaquel

6. Admire Nick’s beard.

7. Recognize that you’re being a condescending bitch.

8. Gaze at Nick’s chest.

9. In all seriousness, check yourself before you wreck yourself: I have to actively keep myself from slut-shaming the women on this show, partially because of the way the show is edited but mostly because of my complicated relationships to sex and gender, and I have to remember that these are grown women who are in full agency of themselves who may or may not believe that a reality TV show in which thirty women compete for an engagement to a single man is the way they will find their love. Yes, they offer themselves up to praise, ridicule, and genuine criticism by appearing on national TV, but that in no way legitimizes my sexist judgement of them. It may just be a TV show and I may have way too much fun making catty remarks about it, but I and others should remain critical and self-reflective while watching in order to avoid contributing to the already toxic environment women find themselves in on a daily basis.

10. Trust the process (and Nick’s CrossFit routine.)



The Unbearable Like-ness of Bae-ing: Werner Herzog

The Unbearable Like-ness of Bae-ing is a semi-regular column where we write about whatever baes we like at present. We will not apologize for the name.

Right now I’m taking a course on Werner Herzog, who is possibly my favorite figure in German cinema – not necessarily for his movies, but for his pop culture presence. He has inspired a parody Twitter account. He was in an episode of Parks and Rec. Paul F. Tompkins does a regular impression of him. His documentary filmmaking, and filmmaker persona, are parodied in The Penguins of Madagascar. Most Germanists I know can do a pretty serviceable impression of him: just say some stuff about the brutality of nature and the chaos of existence in a vaguely Bavarian accent, and you’re good.

My academic interest in Herzog focuses more on his collaborations with Klaus Kinski and the “insane” protagonists in Aguirre, the Wrath of God and Woyzeck. I wonder why Herzog put up with Kinski, a noted awful dude. At times, Herzog seems as crazy as Kinski, insisting on practical effects in his films that led to serious injury. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about. What I’m concerned with today is the fact that Werner Herzog is foxy as heck.

Exhibit A: Herzog filming Fitzcarraldo. Cool mustache, cool parrot.


Exhibit B: Herzog filming Aguirre, the Wrath of God, talking about the obscenity of the jungle. Tortured genius? Totally bonkers? Doesn’t matter, still hot.


Exhibit C: Herzog and his bear friend. Just kidding, that bear is not his friend, because in the faces of all bears there is “no kinship, no understanding, no mercy…only the overwhelming indifference of nature”. Bears are not your friends. Werner Herzog is not your friend. This is a key part of his appeal.


In conclusion: Werner Herzog makes a lot of fascinating movies that we should watch, celebrate, and interrogate. He is also bae. This has been The Unbearable Like-ness of Bae-ing: Werner Herzog.

Addendum: consider the degree to which a young Klaus Kinski looks like Sebastian Stan, a bae whom Amy, our resident Sebastian Stan stan, will profile in the near future.

Some Good Pop Culture Things That Are Getting Me Through Grad School

Grad school can at times be a stressful, sad, rage-inducing, isolating, and occasionally boring experience. I’m glad I have a great support system – my family, friends, cohort, mentors, and colleagues – to get me through it. Pop culture is a big part of my support system, too; it’s a good way to escape the world of academia, and sometimes finds its way into my research. Here is a list of some of the things that have, thus far, gotten me through my MA and PhD:

  • All of Tina Fey’s creations: 30 RockBossypantsUnbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Liz Lemon is my heroine, and by heroine I mean lady hero; I don’t want to inject her and listen to jazz. Someday I will find out why Tina thinks we’re the worst, but I’ll accept her judgement for now.
  • Mad Men, which features another personal heroine of mine, Peggy Olson. Say what you will about this scene being fan service, but I cheer/cry every time I see it.
  • The music of Kanye West, particularly The Life of Pablo. TLOP came out in the second semester of my PhD, at a time when I was feeling very sad, and it helped a lot. I also listen to Kanye every time I’m on a plane; his bravado somewhat alleviates my fear of flying.
  • Gilmore Girls, seasons 1-4 (before Rory starts making really dumb decisions). In my MA my friends and I would put it on in the background while we worked; now I watch it with my cat (named Lorelai). I probably will not watch the reboot. Gilmore Guys is also great, especially for driving in Nashville traffic.
  • This video and this video, staples for end-of-semester final paper writing.
  • You’re the Worst and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, hilarious shows featuring great depictions of women dealing with mental illness.
  • Les Miserables, which is really best as a singalong where you try to sing “Stars” worse than Russell Crowe. (It’s hard.) “I Dreamed A Dream” is also a relatable and melodramatic thing for grad students (read: me) to sing to themselves in the car.
  • Danger 5, an Australian comedy series discovered by my MA bestie’s husband. We binged it, we loved it, and we wrote a paper about it, making it possibly the most productive distraction ever.
  • Stranger Things, I guess, because it was a good source of prelims procrastination. (I still think it’s overhyped.)

Welcome to Lady Academics

Hello. We are ladies, and we are academics. This is a blog by and for ladies in academia.

What will we write about? Whatever we want: movie reviews, the imposter syndrome, makeup, not wearing makeup, going to conferences, publishing articles, being a cat lady, relationships in grad school, The Bachelor, great and terrible experiences teaching, Donald Trump, panic attacks, panic attacks about Donald Trump. And much, much more.

What can you write about? Whatever you want! If you are a woman in academia, we would love to publish your short pieces (non-academic pieces – this is no peer-reviewed journal!) on any aspect of life in and around the academy.

All too often – in the academy and outside of it – female voices are interrupted by, talked over, and drowned out by those of our male colleagues. This blog aims to champion women’s voices, whether loud or soft, by collecting and publishing work by as diverse an array of female academics as possible. We hope that you will enjoy taking part in this discourse.

-Amy, Kate, and Marianne, editors of Lady Academics