Wednesday, December 30, 2020

"That Scene" from Bridgerton

I've been having thoughts and so I'm writing them down. There's a lot of dicussion about 'that scene' from Bridgerton so it's almost impossible not to be having thoughts. 

Personally, I like to think of it as an AITA (Am I The Asshole) Reddit post and I keep coming up with the same answer - Equally the Asshole. Though... him more so. But because of her actions, equally. 

Let's start off as if she'd written to AITA - 


Dear AITA, 

Before my husband and I were married, he knew that my fondest wish, that my ONLY view of the future, was to have children. In fact, he initially refused to marry me because of this. Upon discovering his reason was that he cannot have children, I decided I loved him enough that I was willing to sacrifice that dream and marry him anyway. After all, he should not be punished for being incapable and we loved each other. 

It pained me immensely and it hurts as everyone asks about when we'll start our family, and the clear expectation that we will because they know what's what I've always wanted - as well as it being expected of me because of his need for an heir - but I keep his secret and my pain hidden away. It's no one's business but ours. 

After weeks of being married and becoming accustomed to the new future I had chosen, it felt like he began to pull away from me. We live out in the country now, away from all my friends and family, and are surrounded by his staff and people loyal to him. I am doing my best, but I keep making mistakes and a lot of them don't seem to like me very much. He's had less time to spend with me. 

Because of that, I was able to discover that he lied to me. It is not that he cannot have children. He has chosen not to. When I confronted him about it, he said he thought I loved him enough, that he would be enough for me. Am I the asshole?


At this point, I'm pretty sure people would screaming about that lying, gaslighting son of a bitch, and asking if she needed money to escape her situation. 

Now, add in her actions to the letter - 

It is not that he cannot have children. He has chosen not to. 

At first I could not believe it, so I pushed the issue and in the middle of love making, ensured that he finished inside me without protection. He's angry at me for taking his choice away from him. Am I the asshole?


Now, my reaction is "yeah, what you did was wrong, but I get it... and wtf he's mad at you taking his choice away? What about him taking YOUR choice away?! He married you under false pretenses!" 

Daphne never gets to make an informed choice about her future because Simon lied to her from the beginning. A lot of people are getting hung up on her taking his reproductive rights away from him, but he did it to her as well (and not saying it's right when EITHER of them does it, but just pointing out that they both made choices for each other and it's not all her doing it to him). 

Because of the time period - escape is not possible. 

In every way, HE has the power. 

Legally - she's his property and there's no way she'd be able to get a divorce on her own (literally)
Socially - he's a duke and far more powerful than her and her family. 
Financially - again, he's a duke and has lots of $$$$. 
Physically - I mean, especially in the tv show, like she's tiny. In the book I pictured her quite a bit more sturdy, honestly lol. 
Geographically - they're on his lands and far, far away from any meaningful support for her
Knowledge - he's the only one with a sex education AND he's also well aware of exactly how naive she is and he uses that against her

What if he wrote to AITA about the same situation? 


Dear AITA,

Before my wife and I were married, I initially refused to marry her because I knew the thing she wanted most in her future was children. I swore an oath to never have children, to spite my dead father who abused me since that was all he wanted, and so I told her I cannot have them. She chose to marry me anyway.

She knows almost nothing about sex and so it was very easy to keep from having sex that would result in pregnancy.

After weeks of being happily married, she figured out what I was doing and tricked me into having sex with her in a way that makes pregnancy possible. Now I'm fucking pissed at her because she stole my sperm without my consent. She's mad at me because she says I tricked her into marrying me. AITA?


I think the answer would be a resounding YES DUDE, but with many people saying "yeah, she also shouldn't have done that, but YES you're def an asshole." 

So, in summation - Daphne was lied to, tricked, and kept completely in the dark. She was removed from everything familiar to her, thrust into a living situation where she had very little support, and her days revolved around her husband who eventually began doing his own thing (understandable, but he doesn't do much to help her settle in or advise her so she doesn't make missteps). She found out she'd been married under false pretenses, having never been able to make an informed choice about her future, and that her husband used her ignorance against her. 

Does that make what she did right? 

Of course not.  (At least not by modern standards.)

But do I understand why girl went off her rocker even if I don't approve of it? 


And I would be a lot more gentle with her than I would with him if they were friends coming to me for advice. He would get a lot of yelling about how he's a stupid, selfish asshole and he needs to make it up to her somehow. She would get gentle "Your feelings are absolutely valid, he's a stupid selfish asshole... but you do know you shouldn't have done that last thing, right? I mean, I get why it happened, but you shouldn't have done it."

As for "Well, what if he forced her to take his sperm and she didn't want it?" 

I don't know that a case can be made for a fair turnabout. In both situations, no matter who is doing it, because of the time period, their respective social standings, and geography, he is always the one with all the power in every way. So if he did it to her, yeah I'd feel differently about it than I do about her doing it to him, unless ALL of that context was removed and altered so that she was the one with all the power. In which case, if he was a naive, powerless, spouse who had been lied to, tricked, and had their dream broken, yeah, I'd be pretty sympathetic to him. 

1 comment :

  1. I really agree with you Golden Angel, she should not have done it with out his consent, but he should not have been deceiving her. He can try to hair split and say that he was not actually lying, but the Duke certainly knew that he was decieving her and he knew that he was taking advantage of her lack of knowledge about sex which he was also perfectly well aware of.
    I think the Duke should get over his whole I took a Vow to Spite My Father and just tell himself I refuse to let my dead unlamented father make me miserable for the rest of my life and get over the vow thing. I think that is really stupid, his father's opinions don't matter any more.

    Anyway I am on her side as she should not be denied the chance to have kids, not every woman get blessed that way even if they do have sex in such a way as to hopefully get pregnant. Also who is to say that she could have more than one child when she might want more than one, lots of women would like to have more than one if they could.