Feminism in Film, TV & The Real World

I was home sick last week, which means I spent a lot of time watching Gilmore Girls reruns, Downton Abbey, and both Princess Diaries movies.  Have you ever noticed how all of parliament in The Princess Diaries 2 is male?  (Maybe you haven’t seen it enough to notice – I forgive if that’s the case.)  After a plea, and parliamentary move to end the rule that a female must marry to rule (no such rule applies to men), it would appear as though Parliament suddenly becomes even in it’s male to female ratio.

Just for fun, check out this take, a complete opposite of what I’d say about the movie.

Equality doesn’t come that easy.  Sure it’s easy to say in the 21st century any country who doesn’t allow women in government and expects female rulers to marry could easily turn over such rules, but change at any time is hard fought for.  Downton Abbey shows the struggles for equality at various levels.

Lady Sybil is the obvious example, and as one of my favorite characters on TV, I had to take a minute to rave about her.  To stand your ground and voice your opinion about the need to for women to have the vote, knowing your entire family and any dinner guests you may have will likely disagree with you, is courageous.  She also voices that women should have a place in politics, and that women can expect more from life than to wait to be married off to ensure proper status of the family.  Her act of getting involved in politics and trying to work to earn the vote is a great display of the times, the struggle, and early feminism.

While many in the fight would not have been of her social status, Sybil is a great example of how these battles have involved women from all walks of life.  What I appreciate most is the show of the work to make it happen.  The work, the struggle is not something often shown, and Downton Abbey does a great job of portraying women working to make things happen for them, taking charge of their situations in life and creating their own futures.

Sometimes we forget how hard it was to get where we are.  When times get tough, like this year has been for women’s rights, it’s important to remember we’ve been here before.  And we’ve successfully come together and made change happen, and made lives better for women everywhere.  The news from day to day can be discouraging, but each time we’ve taken on a challenge together, and we’ll be able to do it again.  Sometimes it just takes a break and too much thought about what’s on TV to make you realize it.  Easy doesn’t happen in the real world.  Keep fighting, stand your ground and speak your mind.

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