Bridgerton’s Secrets

As a fan of Shonda Rimes and all that she embodies, I had to catch Bridgerton, the new series on Netflix, produced by Shondaland.

Ah, the romance, the gowns, the scenery, the diversity, and JULIE ANDREW’S voice as Lady Whistledown narrating the story’s latest revelations and scandals! What more could you ask for?

One topic of the show that has caught my attention is how sex, in relation to women, is handled during that time period.

Obviously, in the time period of the show, a woman’s worth was based on many external factors, meaning: family status, beauty, and her virtue…

AKA, her virginity.

Only a respectable woman will wait for her deflowering to be on her wedding night.

Any sooner, or in the wrong way, and she has been defiled, bringing shame upon her family.

An act that is so natural, is defined as acceptable under one light, and dirty under another.

Daphne Bridgerton, the main character, starts the show with her being introduced into society in order to get married. Her dream is to start her own family one day.

But she knows nothing about sex, or even how babies are made!

Right before her wedding to the Duke, her mother attempts to have a conversation with her about “martial relations” but the words “vagina” and “penis” never get said out loud.

Any hint of what sex is, Daphne gets from the Duke.

And she had to ask her maid exactly how she can become pregnant.

In another part of the show, Daphne’s younger sister, Eloise, conspires with her best friend, Penelope, trying to figure out how babies are made, so that they don’t end up in a situation like Marina Thompson (who is pregnant, but isn’t married or engaged or being courted).

This show hints at how sex is kept hidden from women until the very last second. Or even when it’s too late.

I’m not shocked to find out that sex was a taboo topic in those days.

What this show has made me reflect on is how sex is STILL a taboo today. We haven’t been able to move on from double standards, feeling embarrassed or shameful when sex is brought up. Not to mention, all the false facts out there that many people believe.

Learning to deconstruct thoughts and feelings about sex and then build them back up again is no small feat. Especially when it’s a whole society that needs to do it.

But if we start individually, and then with loved ones, it can eventually happen.

What has been your favorite part about Bridgerton?

Giving Myself Away

Sometimes I think about what my wedding day would be like. I have one of those boards on Pinterest filled with flower and place setting ideas, dress and ring inspiration.

But one thing that I’ve thought about is who I would have walk me down the aisle.

Naturally, I used to think, well of course I would have my dad do it. That’s tradition. Maybe I would even have my mom there too, to give me away.

But after reading All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation by Rebecca Traister and going to a wedding recently, it started to not feel right to me.

In the past, marriages have been strategic to join families and assets. Usually, the bride-to-be had no say about whether or not they wanted to get married to that person in the first place.

And the act of “giving the bride away” to the groom, still implies that her parents (or whoever is chosen that usually has a parental/fraternal role) has an ownership over her. She wouldn’t be here, marrying this man, if she didn’t have some form of approval from someone else.

But when I decide to marry someone, I want to show that this is 100% MY decision.

Of course, because I have a strong relationship with my family, I would hope that they and my future fiancé would get along.

But I don’t want someone to be “giving me away” to my future husband. When the officiator asks, “who gives this woman to be married to this man”, I don’t want anyone else to say “I do” but me.

I haven’t told my parents about this, mainly my dad. I wonder if he would be sad that I wouldn’t want him to be by my side and I feel nervous about when the time comes to tell him. But I have faith that he would understand when I explain why.

One spark of hope I had was when I watched the season finale of The Bold Type. Sutton and Richard were going to get married and Sutton decided not to have her mother walk her down the aisle. She wanted to show that she was making this decision on her own. It felt good to see someone make that decision on her own as well.

The best twist was when Richard ended up walking down the aisle to her instead! It honestly made me tear up – and inspired me to write this post.

Do you have any traditions that you would want to keep or get rid of for your wedding day?