) This season of Rock of Love Bus kicked off with some vagina shots on top of a bar, so it shouldn't surprise us that it ended with some sex and gender weirdness as well. I will spare those of you non-fans the details of the show's premise and what happened prior to the finale, but if you are so inclined you can find most of that info here.
What is surprising, to me at least, is that the show's finale managed to both promote and condemn female sexuality AT THE SAME TIME. Suffice it to say, the show casts Bret Michaels as an object of rock 'n' roll desire, and Taya and Mindy were the final two women competing to be his "Rock of Love" (commence eye-rolling… In order to get to know the women as best he could before making his final choice, Bret took each one of them out one last solo dinner date.
The 3 seasons each feature (approximately) 20 women competing to be Michaels' girlfriend.
Each week the women face challenges, the winner of which gets to go on a date with Michaels.
I guess it all comes down to the age-old, frustrating, Madonna-Whore archetype.
Bret is a "rock star" who has supposedly been with tons of hot women and just can't get enough overt sexuality from his female counterparts.
Mindy, the midwestern sweetheart who Bret feared was prone to mood swings (another stereotype for your bingo card), chose to spend the night in Bret's room at the end of the date and they presumably had sex. However, the show framed Mindy as a total slut for giving it up to Bret, and in the end he chose the virtuous Taya to be the bandana to his hair extensions instead of Mindy.
On the other hand, Taya, the too-good-to-be-true Penthouse model, told Bret she'd rather not spend the night with him at the end of her respective date. This all coming from a man who has spend the past three months (or 22 years, depending on how you look at it) talking about how much he loves sex with women, and strippers, and threesomes, and porn, and, you get the picture. Leading up to the series finale, my feminist hackles were raised during Rock of Love Bus because Bret (and the contestants on the show, and the producers, and VH1, etc.) encouraged women to use their sexuality to get attention and compete with one another.
Not only was it a challenge to care whether it was Taya or Mindy (the two final contestants) who won Bret's cowboy-hat loving heart in the end, but the episode broke some new and unsettling ground when it came to reinforcing sex and gender-based stereotypes.
(You thought they had already broken all of the available ground and then some, didn't you?
As soon as you give up your one valuable asset (your vagina), that's it.