chantalI'm not exaggerating in the slightest when I say that last night's premiere of The Bachelor was like nails on a chalkboard: Ladies were (once again) inexplicably falling all over Brad Womack; Rebecca -- a self-professed "Manscaper" -- was waxing the hair off his wrist; one woman tried to impress him with fangs.

But by far the lamest moment of the show was when 30-year-old Chantal O'Brien slapped Womack across the face -- (she claims) on behalf of scorned women everywhere:

I watched your season and I have something for you. It's not from me; it's from every woman in America.

Appalled fans and non-fans who just happened to stumble on the scene by mistake wonder if perhaps Chantal will go the way of Teen Mom's Amber Portwood -- which is to say that she will be slapped (heh) with a felony domestic violence charge after displaying violent behavior on TV against her baby's father ... but not if Gloria Allred has anything to do with it!

The high-profile attorney told TMZ that the two reality show incidences are completely different because Amber's situation involved "multiple violent and physical fights in the presence of their baby daughter" while Chantal's was an "isolated incident." As such, Allred doesn't think Chantal should prosecuted for criminal battery, and dismisses the face slap a "promotional vehicle" for the show.

And, even the victim of the attack is in agreement. Here's Womack's response to Chantal's rather violent message:

I think Chantal was just trying to make a statement about my past behavior and make a strong first impression, which she did. I think what Chantal did was a light-hearted gesture which I took as such. I do not condone violence in any relationship, nor would I keep someone around who I felt truly wished to do me harm.

It's always been a pet peeve of mine in romantic comedies when a female character slaps a male character for getting out of line just because they can get away with it. Now I have to watch it on reality TV? It's not just that I think violence is wrong; it's also that I think there are more productive and humane (not to mention interesting, if we're talking about entertainment) ways of expressing anger. And for me there's a gigantic disconnect between dumping two women on a trashy reality show and HITTING. I just don't get it.

And does anyone else notice the irony of women's rights advocate Gloria Allred speaking out about the slap on The Bachelor but remaining mum about the fact that the entire premise of the show is sending a horrible message to women everywhere? (Yeah, I didn't think so.)

Do you think Chantal should have slapped Brad Womack?

 

Image via ABC