What Professors Still Wear

#whatprofessorswear

It’s been a while since I wrote a What Professors Wear blog post. Thanks to my friend Lu for the reminder! Like all of you I’m hella busy and spend so much time on my electronic devices. This has made me feel reluctant to devote time to my blog. Sheesh, I haven’t blogged in almost two months!

To be honest, I haven’t devoted much attention to my fashion either! But there have been days where I said, “hey, I can do more than simply put on pants and a top!” In this post I’ll share some of those days.

There were days where I put on some earrings. Psst: they’re clip-ons.

On the left you see some long dangly earrings with a black turtleneck. Barely trying there, right? But I put on earrings. I guess the red glasses and lipstick count as accessorizing? On the right you see that I tried a lot harder that day. I call this look, “You might as well face it. You’re addicted to love.” If you don’t know the reference here, are we even friends? 🙂 I also call this look “lumberjack chic.” The shirt is the lumberjack part. The earrings, hair, make up, and earrings are the chic.

Other days, I added to necklace to show how little I was trying. 😀

Notice the non-bright clothing above and how much my hair has faded in two months.

Looking through my pics showed me that I wore black shirts a lot this semester. Dunno why. Anyway, below is a pic of me wearing a black MK lightweight sweatshirt to an online academic conference! 😀 Next to it you see a pic of me wearing ANOTHER black shirt, but at least I put on a colorful scarf.

I did wear some bright colors this semester!

See! Turquoise and cherry red!

I also wore two Magnus collars my niece and sister gave me last year. One is a flower collar, the other a cat collar. By the way, Magnus has a lot of other designs. Thanks to my friend Jessie for introducing me to this co. years ago.

I wore that cat collar in honor of teaching Poe’s “The Black Cat.” No, I did not wear black on that day!

I also gotta share this image of my favorite accessory: the book I edited.

I hope you enjoyed this walk down memory lane with me. Probably the most interested element was seeing how different my hair looks every day. The shirt I wear, the light in the room, the lipstick, how I wear my hair (down, parted this way, parted that way, up, etc.) seems to affect the color and vibrancy.

Can’t wait to get my hair colored again after I get my second vaccine. I’m gonna change it up!

The Sweatshirt Dress

#whatprofessorswear

I finally did it. I finally bought a sweatshirt dress! I have wanted one of these for a long time. I like to wear dresses sometimes, but I love to wear sweatshirts. Why not combine them? It’s a mashup, y’all!

Last year on Black Friday (which, I repeat, is like a week long now), I bought this dress from the Gap Factory store online and got it on a deep discount:

Sweatshirt Dress

This dress is super comfortable and comes in four colors. I love this color: it’s called “beach plum.” I don’t know if such a thing exists–beach plum?–but I like it.

I also love that this dress has POCKETS. I know, right?! Pockets!

But the best part–and pockets are already the tops–is that this dress comes in petite, regular, and tall lengths! I got a tall dress, and when I sit down the bottom does not come up near my booty! This is amazing.

I might go buy some more. Maybe one in every color? 😀

Bright and Cozy First Day of Classes

#whatprofessorswear

It’s January 26, 2011, and the sun is out in my neck of the woods, which means that it’s a cold day in Maine. What better way to warm up than by putting on some sweats, right? Well, I’m teaching online today, so I shouldn’t be wearing a sweatshirt. Sweatpants–no problem; sweatshirt–not really teaching attire for me. I’m one who enjoys dressing up for class, but today I decided to wear a sweatshirt anyway!

Not exactly. I’m wearing my new Big Bird yellow, “cozy snood sweatshirt” from the Banana Republic factory store.

Cozy Snood Sweatshirt

I got this item on a deep discount during Black Friday (which was really a week at the end of November). Here’s the model wearing the shirt:

Cozy Snood Sweatshirt

She looks so happy and relaxed. Cargo pants? Cowl neck sweatshirt? Yeah, she’s ready to sit in her house for months on end and chill.

Oh, wait. She’s going out for a run or a walk:

Cozy Snood Sweatshirt

I’m ready to sit here on Zoom and teach:

Zoom teaching and bright colors go together like peanut butter and jelly. The first day of class is definitely a wake up and get excited about the semester kind of day.

As you can see I’m also showing off my new hair color–supposedly “Midnight Amethyst.” I normally go to the hairdresser to have her color my hair, but with COVID on the rise I decided to try my own fashion color dye. This was a first for me, and the color turned out kind of blue-purple. I guess blue is the midnight and purple is the amethyst. Anyway, it doesn’t look like the color on the box, but that’s OK.

Also: I didn’t do fish face or duck face when I took my selfie.

So, I’m curious to see how this color washes out. I’ll post some updates. For now, I am enjoying the dark color. I’ve always had light colored hair (until it fell out), and now I’m experimenting with different colors. I thought I might hate the dark color on me, but I’m enjoying it!

I’m also feeling good about this color combo: canary yellow + midnight amethyst + plum lips = win!

I hope you enjoyed your first day back in the classroom–whatever that means for you.

Pearls for Kamala

#whatprofessorswear #pearlsforkamala

This is a fashion blog post, and you might have thought I would talk about what people were wearing at the inauguration. After all, ABC decided that we needed to know which designers Biden and Harris were wearing. But I’m not. Today I am interested in the symbolic.

On this historic day, I join hundreds of thousands of women who are are wearing pearls to honor the inauguration of our new U.S. vice-president, Kamala Harris. This fashion statement is encouraged by Hope Aloaye, seen below wearing her pearls before inauguration day:

Hope Aloaye shows off her pearls ahead of Inauguration Day.

“I wanted a group that was inclusive because we already have so many other things that are so divisive in this country, especially right now,” Aloaye explained in an interview, so she created a Facebook page. She’s not alone in turning to social media and creating groups to encourage people to dress like Kamala on this inauguration day. The “Chucks and Pearls Day” Facebook group has over 90,000 members! Check out the group’s moderator Felicia Cheek getting ready for today:

Felicia Cheek gets ready for Inauguration Day 2021 by wearing a "Chucks and Pearls" T-shirt, sneakers and a pearl necklace.

I am wearing my mother-in-law’s mother’s pearls today. I only wear these pearls on special occasions, and today is certainly one of those! Some of my friends are wearing their pearls too!

Today is a day of celebration. It marks the first time a woman has become vice-president, and I’m so pleased that she is the woman who is our new vice-president.

I first felt a personal connection with Kamala Harris during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings. I applauded her direct questioning and refusal to back down: “I’m asking you a very direct question. Yes or no?”

PHOTO: Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., questions President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, on the third day of his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing, Sept. 6, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

I think she became a personal hero for many of us in the U.S. during that time. She stood up for us against a man who was accused by multiple women of being a rapist and yet had the support of so many people to gain the honor of being appointed to the Supreme Court. It was a dark time for many of us, but Harris’s determination offered a glimmer of hope.

Today Kamala Harris makes history, and she makes us proud. Oh, and she wore some pearls. 🙂 Harris has a penchant for wearing pearls, as shown here.

They are symbolic for the sorority Harris joined in college, Alpha Kappa Alpha, which was the first sorority founded at Howard University by women of color. The founders and incorporators are known as the Twenty Pearls, too.

Why the color Kamala Harris is wearing is significant - CNN Video

Just look at those pearls!

Even with a mask on you can see her smile. I finally have real hope after four years of hopelessness!


P.S. If you want to learn more about gemstone symbology, read on. I like to read these kinds of things, and I love to wear pearl jewelry (even fake pearls–y’all know about my pearl tie, right?)

Bridgerton, Episode 8

The End | Black and white aesthetic, Black and white photo wall, Black and  white picture wall

Here we are, dear reader, at the end of Bridgerton, season 1. Did it end the way I expected? In some ways, but not in all. In this post I’ll address the expected and unexpected denouement of your beloved show.

Expected: Of course, I expected Daphne and Simon to turn this marriage around and enter happily-ever-after mode. If they had not resolved their marital conflicts by the end of episode 8 I would have expected a season 2 where that would have occurred. Of course, I’m also expecting a second season. Aren’t you? Though I expect we won’t see as much of Daphne and Simon humping. I’m sure the actors will be glad of that. It looks exhausting!

Unexpected: I was not expecting for the show to fast-forward nine months in a split second near the end of the episode and show us Daphne giving birth to a boy. Why not save that for season 2? Give us a chance to anticipate something. Geez. Unless we’re done with Daphne and Simon, which would explain why that plot line is wrapped up in this episode so quickly.

Bridgerton: Season 1/ Episode 8 "After The Rain" [Finale] – Recap/ Review  (with Spoilers)

Expected: Marina’s tea concoction did not abort her baby. It would have been too easy. For the tea to work, I would have expected it to kill Marina (which was a question I had at the end of episode 7) and show the world why you don’t try to abort a fetus. I’m not saying I support or do not support a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy; I’m just saying that it could have been a lesson for young female viewers. Instead, Marina lives, and she is still with child.

Unexpected: Baby daddy George’s brother showed up not only to tell Marina that George is dead, but also to ask for Marina’s hand in marriage. While at first she (expected) rejected him (after all she thought she wasn’t pregnant anymore), she later accepted his offer because she needs someone to care for her and her baby. She did “the right thing,” at the expense of her happiness. Let’s hope the brother isn’t such a bad guy, though.

To be honest, much of what occurred in this episode was unexpected (at least for me), so what remains of this post will focus on the unexpected.

I did not expect Mr. Bird Brain Featherington to get killed. He definitely did the bookies dirty, but I kinda expected them to steal all his money and rough him up as a warning never to do it again. At the close of the episode, we are to believe that Mr. F is dead. What will become of his family now? Will Marina show them some kindness and give them some money? 😀 Nah.

What about the poor eldest Bridgerton brother–man, that guy has been suffering this entire season. I felt sorry for him in this last episode because he was willing to destroy his reputation for love. He “burns” for that singer, and he was willing to take her to his sister’s ball! That’s major, y’all! How scandalous would that have been? His dear mama would’ve dropped dead on site. But Siena shunned him and his flowers and chose to stay with that other unnamed dude. Why? Because she had to look out for #1. She had to know that Anthony would dump her again after that night, or if he didn’t she would have to become like all of those other stuck-up ladies, and she really didn’t want that. She was really sick of getting her heart broken. She deserves better. So poor Anthony threw down the flowers and skipped the ball. At the end of the episode he hinted that he will search for a viscountess soon. Hints for season 2, yeah?

The most expected-yet-unexpected event in episode 8 was the big reveal: Who is Lady Whisteldown? For a few episodes, my husband was convinced that it was Eloise. I didn’t think so, but the show did a good job of suggesting that it was. I mean, come on, she carried a little notebook on her wrist everywhere. My hubs thought that she was faking shock and surprise at all the Whistledown stuff all season, but I was convinced that Julie Andrews (who voices the Whistledown narrative) was going to appear and delight us all. NOPE! Penelope is Lady W? Huh?

Bridgerton' Episode 8 Recap: "After The Rain" (Season 1 Finale on Netflix)

So Eloise explained rationally that Lady W couldn’t be a servant, and even though she offered a good explanation for why it could have been the modiste (I actually liked this theory a lot), we learned that brother #2 had been with her that night, so it couldn’t be her. (Side note: is this brother not gay?) Who was left? Lady D would have been a great choice, but alas no. Penelope is our writer. Really? That seems highly unlikely.

Unless Penelope has a dual personality (dissociative identity disorder), this role does not fit what we’ve seen of her in the show–we’ve seen her in public, yes, but in private she also doesn’t seem to have the kind of personality that would befit a Whistledown. I’m sure many of you are sitting here thinking, but wait, you can be nice and sweet to people but a viper in print. You can take on a persona. That’s what being an author is about. I’ll grant you those objections to my claim.

Indeed, I could totally get onboard with a character having a side not shared with all that know her, but it still seems to me that she would have shared being Lady W with Eloise. Ah, maybe you’re thinking that Penelope just wanted something all for herself and that’s why this has all been a secret. There are a ton of theories floating around the internet, even some that suggest she was trying to prop up the Bridgertons because she loves Collin, or because her bestie is a Bridgerton. Maybe. Doesn’t seem too plausible to me. The only plausible theory would be that the wallflower was sick and tired of all of the marriage market shit and wanted to stick it to everyone of polite society, including the queen. Still, I stand behind my argument that this is a gimmick and so out of character for Penelope.

Another thing–who’s paying for the printing of these zines? We know that the Featheringtons are broke as hell, so where’s the money coming from for the printings? Eloise’s idea that Lady W must be a rich, old widow would have explained this. How is Penelope paying for this?

As with the big reveal of the Hastings baby, I don’t think it was the smartest idea to reveal the identity of Whistledown at the end of this episode. Give the viewers something to chew on as they wait for season 2. Draw this out a bit more. Ending the season with Daphne and Simon having sex with ejaculation (in the body, not the sheets) was enough. It was enough to satisfy the viewer. That happy ending was enough! The pacing was all off when the episode fast-forwarded and then flashed back to reveal Penelope as Lady W. Meh.

So Bridgerton is done, at least series 1, and we can now all find something else to entertain our fancies. I never finished season 3 of The Crown. I guess I’ll go do that now.

Adieu!

Bridgerton, Episode 7

After watching episode 7, I said to my partner, “This episode was so boring. I don’t feel like writing about it.” He had a lot of things to say, so I suggested that he write the post, and he did! So, dear reader, I give you a guest blog post on Bridgerton by Mr. B.:

Bridgerton' Episode 7 Recap: "Oceans Apart" (on Netflix)

Ah, episode 7, the beginning of the end. This episode begins with a passion fueled performance of Beethoven’s Sonata 21 by Daphne on pianoforte repeatedly interrupted by the Duke’s gun shots (is there a metaphor here?). She totally rocks this piece and it is clear that sexual tension does wonders for her piano playing. This scene reminds me of siblings trying to annoy each other while pretending they are not annoyed, another testament to this young couple’s immaturity.

Duplicity is a major theme in this show, and it is present at many levels. Daphne calls out Simon for it in this episode but his is just the tip of the iceberg. There is the thing and the appearance of the thing and in the world of Bridgerton appearance matters most. The Whistledown pamphlet acts as the great equalizer by which the truth is made public – a threat to power that the queen decides she must extinguish even while reveling in it.

The perfect marriage is fundamentally duplicitous. In public men must maintain the appearance of control and provide for and protect their helpless wives and daughters.  But in private, the women run the show and clean up the messes made by their male counterparts. Maintaining this charade requires significant effort which is probably why the general’s wife tells Daphne that a far away husband is the best possible scenario.

Daphne is right to be so angry at her mom for keeping her in the dark about life and sex, but neglects to recognize the values she instilled. This world has prepared her to be a starry eyed blank slate, cheery and utterly naïve. Fortunately, she is a “quick study” as Lady Danbury points out. I do wonder what she thinks “matters most” that her mom neglected to tell her though. Ironically, Daphne’s naiveté is what allows her to so naturally break down the female roles of private power and public dependence. She does not know what she cannot do (e.g. force a man to take responsibility for his actions) and so, like Whistledown, threatens the duplicitous nature of this society.

While the ladies are drinking, gambling, and having fun at Lady D’s married women only party, Simon and Anthony get in a testosterone fueled punching match complete with a body slam into a breakaway table. The injuries give Simon the opportunity to lie to Daphne about their source, proving that while he may not have technically lied about his progeny issue, he certainly is willing to lie about other things. In any case he does finally open up to Daphne about his reasons for not wanting kids. She sees the ridiculousness of it but calling out the vow as such doesn’t help matters. She doesn’t know much about the emotional scars Simon’s dad left on him or consider how much the deathbed vow means to him. If she just listened with an open heart and helped Simon heal from his tortured relationship with his father, then perhaps it would bring them closer.

Bridgerton: Season 1/ Episode 7 "Oceans Apart" – Recap/ Review (with  Spoilers)

Daphne and Simon still can’t seem to get over their own insecurities about deserving each other’s love. I suppose it is too much to expect that a few days of fornicating could change these characters, but I had hoped they would grow in respect for themselves and each other after marriage. What strikes me about these two more than anything is that they have everything they need to live an incredibly happy and fulfilling life together, if they would only get out of their own way, relax a little, and practice communicating effectively (perhaps what “matters most?”).

Daphne has been raised with the express purpose of producing a child and wants to fulfill that purpose as soon as possible it seems. Little does she know that waiting a few years would probably be pretty enjoyable and give her some time to learn the ropes of Duchess-dom without also learning to be a mom. The Duke wants to keep the vow to end his father’s line, an act of revenge against a man who, while utterly despicable to the point of being almost comical – Mr. “All I want in life is an heir but god forbid my son has to overcome a mild speech impediment” – also happens to be dead. The Duke’s vow is only hurting himself and the people he cares about and as he has already given in to marriage, the other shoe will drop eventually. The Duke’s prized pull out method is not known for being an effective way of preventing pregnancy and after a few years of wedded bliss Daphne would get inevitably get pregnant and Simon would be like, “Ah, what the hell, life is good.”

Misty is right that the men in this show are awful. Colin is “good and decent” but fails in the rules of the man’s world. Marina’s story turns into a real tragedy. My favorite character is Eloise who wants nothing to do with the marriage market and instead wants to get an education. Perhaps with her brother Benedict’s help she may even be able to escape the system and become, oh I don’t know, a writer?

So, there you have it, dear reader, your bloggeress needed to put down the pen (er, stop typing) for an episode. With one episode left, and one blog post remaining, we’ll see what there is left to say. Will the final episode clear up all matters? Is Marina dead? Is Benedict (so that’s his name) gay? Will Eloise really go on the market? Will Anthony ever actually get over himself? Will Colin realize that Penelope is his love match? What is going to happen with Will and Mr. Featherington? Will Mrs. Featherington ever get back into proper society? Will Simon and Daphne make up and have a lot more sex? Will we ever find out who Lady Whistedown is? So many questions surely will remain unanswered. Till then……..

Bridgerton season 1, episode 7 recap - what happened in "Oceans Apart"?

Bridgerton, Episode 6

How many meanings could one word have? This episode is named “Swish.” Let’s look at all the ways one might swish:

swish | swiSH | 

verb 1 [no object, with adverbial of direction] move with a hissing or rushing sound: a car swished by. • [with object] cause to move with a hissing or rushing sound: a girl came in, swishing her long skirts. • aim a swinging blow at something: he swished at a bramble with a piece of stick. 2 [with object] Basketball sink (a shot) without the ball touching the backboard or rim. 

noun 1 a hissing or rustling sound: he could hear the swish of a distant car. • a rapid swinging movement: the cow gave a swish of its tail. 2 Basketball, informal a shot that goes through the basket without touching the backboard or rim. 3 North American offensive an effeminate male homosexual. 

adjective informal British impressively smart and fashionable: dinner at a swish hotel. 2 US offensive (of a man) effeminate. ORIGIN mid 18th century: imitative.

(Apple Dictionary)

Well, I did not know the offensive term or the fashionable definition. My understanding of “swish” has always been to move with rushing sound (or just the sound itself) or to aim a swinging blow at something (or simply the movement itself). I was also familiar with the basketball image, for I like to watch basketball. (Go, Spurs, go!) But that definition might be the one we actually need to pay attention to in this episode of Bridgerton:

a shot that goes through the basket without touching the backboard or rim

Yes, this is the episode where we see Simon and Daphne humping every five minutes. When they first started shagging in the episode my partner and I laughed and said, ha, a sex montage! Indeed, we had no idea that it was actually going to be a sex montage. While some viewers might have gotten all hot and bothered by the sex scenes–so. much. humping–I found it kind of awkward because it seemed so impersonal and detached. It felt a little robotic for my liking.

Yes, Daphne is getting a lot of pleasure, but it feels like a fraud because we know the whole time that while she has given herself over to intercourse, he really hasn’t. He’s on guard: can’t let that sperm escape and set up shop in Daphne’s body!

Bridgerton: 10 Thirsty Romance Scenes, Ranked - Paste

Now that Daphne is a sex veteran, though, she’s catching on to the feeling that something is amiss. Indeed, why does dear Simon pull out at the end of every sexcapade? As I said before, Daphne doesn’t know shit about sex, but she knows that something ain’t right here, so she eventually asks the wonderful maid, Rose, who tells her (off screen) all about how one actually makes babies.

Swish! Simon’s shot is going through the basket, but his penetration isn’t really touching the backboard or rim. Once Daphne figures this out, she decides to test her theory–which is that Simon can do more than swish. She learns that he does not have erectile dysfunction. He has prideful dysfunction!

Netflix's Bridgerton splits viewers and creates controversy over the male  rape scene - Eminetra.co.uk

The scene in which Daphne pins Simon to the bed and forces him to ejaculate inside her has been called a “rape scene that is not a rape scene”–that was a spoiler I saw on the internet without knowing which episode it would be in and what it would look like. I’m not sure all viewers would agree, but Daphne doesn’t give the duke much of a choice but to slam dunk it. Then she tells him off, as she should, for lying to her, and he, of course, says he never lied. Right. He said he “cannot” have children when he really meant “will not.” Those are two different things Daphne tells him, and she’s right! You can’t help but feel for this poor girl. I mean, the duke already broke his vow to his dad–he married–he might as well just give it up and sire some heirs. Maybe he already has.

But this episode probably wasn’t called “Swish” because of all of this. No, it’s a reference to Lady Featherington’s instructions to Marina to swish in her new gown before attending an important dinner with the Bridgertons. I gotta say, I have mixed feelings about Marina. I mean, I do get why she is looking to find a baby daddy quickly, and Collin’s a decent chap, so why not? But I don’t see how she’s gonna have a decent life once he finds out she has been keeping this secret and set her cap at him because she wanted to cover up the secret. On the other hand, I kinda respect her for looking out for herself and her unborn child. She does feel bad about taking Penelope’s beau away from her, but it’s more like a sorry not sorry kind of thing. Poor Pen does everything she can to thwart Marina’s intentions, but Marina’s swishing has everyone fooled (except the Featheringtons).

It’s interesting that by the end of this episode, Pen has told Eloise what happened and then the next day Lady Whistledown has shared Marina’s secret. I wonder how she knew! 🙂

Yours truly,

Lady Whatshername

Bridgerton, Episode 5

Happy New Year! On New Year’s Eve I watched episode 5 of Bridgerton, and there were some fireworks for sure! Lots of explosions.

This episode…where should I begin? I’ll start by saying that if I complain about something in an episode it is surely going to be addressed in the next one.

Last time I questioned when George III’s madness would find its way into the show, and in episode 5 we saw that. I suggested that one of the Bridgerton brothers was gay and that we’d see signs of this in future episodes, and voila the artist is caught by brother #2 (who is so unimportant to me that I can’t even bother remembering his name) in flagrante delicto with a man. We also learn in this episode that the artist Granville is married (to a woman) and that brother #2 is totally fine with keeping his secret. Why? Because I’m guessing he knows he’ll be the artist’s next lover. What else? Hmm. In this episode Marina alluded to the fact that old geezer guy sizer her up like a commodity. Surely there are other things that I questioned that have been verified or resolved.

How about the fact that the duke does a 180 in this episode. He can’t marry, he says, one episode before, and by the middle of episode 5 he’s hitched. He’s confessed his affection for Daphne to the Queen in public, but not to Daphne directly, and then he avoided her for days before their marriage and at the wedding reception. Sheesh. This guy.

Everything in this episode was pointing toward the wedding night. We have all the hints about how Daphne and Simon are going to make excellent babies–which makes Daphne cry because she thinks Simon has a physical inability to have children (oh ho ho no, girlie, just wait til you find out why). Daphne’s own mother gives the worst birds and the bees talk on her wedding day about what happens on wedding nights. Dear, do you remember our dogs who had puppies, well, that’s all you need to know. Everyone in this show is so daft when it comes to sex.

As the duke and now duchess travel to an inn for the night–ew–instead of his estate, Daphne is appalled to find that he has booked separate rooms. Why? Well, they each believe that the other person can’t stand them and wants to be alone. OMG. I yelled at the TV: “He needs to fucking grow up!” These two are infuriating–but he more than she. She is just doing her best in such a stupid world, and he is a part of the reason the world is so stupid. Patriarchy.

I had to laugh at the writing in this episode. I mean, come on, “I burn” is a pretty silly way to tell someone you love them passionately and want to have sex with them. As each of the two lovebirds exchanges their “I burn” vows–a true wedding ceremony here–they can’t help but grope each other. Finally. Fireworks! Of course, she has to be undressed first. Unwrap the present, which is literally tied up in a corset! Then he drops his drawers eventually so that she can see his package (alas, the viewer does not), and then they have have an orgasmic first sexual encounter which includes his insistence that she touch herself and then his words of warning, “This might hurt at first” (or something to that effect). She seemed fine, though. “How are you feeling?” he says afterward. “Wonderful!” (I gotta admit, this sex scene lasted a little longer than I expected, and a lot of the focus was on Daphne’s face; she seemed to be having a much better time than the duke was.)

Bridgerton' Episode 5 Recap: "The Duke and I" (on Netflix)

But there’s one more thing that we need to address, and that’s something Daphne doesn’t quite understand: the duke’s pull-out method. You see, Daphne don’t know diddly squat about sex, so she has no idea that he’s not ejaculating inside of her because he is trying to avoid impregnating her. Wow. He pulls out, rolls over, jerks off, and she’s none the wiser. O-M-G. This guy. No wonder he wasn’t enjoying the sex. He was too worried about his sperms’ journey.

So, I’ve got a few more episodes to suffer through–and I will get through them–and I’m curious to see when Daphne will find out about the duke’s attempts to thwart her dreams of becoming a mother because he’s too damned proud and is still trying to uphold a stupid vendetta against his dead daddy. 🙂

Toodles!

Bridgerton, Episode 4

Bridgerton: 10 Thirsty Romance Scenes, Ranked - Paste

Get ready for the yelling! Not the characters’ yelling. Mine. I found myself super frustrated while watching episode 4–more frustrated by this episode than any of the others thus far. Why? Better question might be what is there not to yell at? 😀

Funny thing is that I’m not the only one. When I Googled “Bridgerton episode 4” the first article that popped up was this Vulture.com piece called “Bridgerton Recap: Garden Body Party,” and the first words of the article: “Reader: I yelled.” I haven’t read the article yet, but I bet it points out the same things. 🙂

Here’s my list of frustrations, and please let me know if you share any of these:

  1. Remember how I said in my post about episode 1 that the series seems to suggest that this version of Regency England is colorblind, but I see signs of that not being true? Well, in episode 4 we learn that I was right. While I enjoy being right, I really don’t get why this scene with Lady Danbury and Hastings was thrown into episode 4. Like, the placement of it here doesn’t make sense to me, and then the reason behind it is even worse.

    The actors all do a great job with the parts, but I don’t think the logic in the writing holds up. For instance, in the scene in question Lady Danbury says that things used to be different socially, racially. She suggests that white people did not see people of color as equals; oh, no, the white people looked down on the Black people, but then miraculously everything changed when King George chose Charlotte, clearly a woman of color in this alternate universe, for his wife because of L-O-V-E. Then, everything fell into place, and the races were equal, and people of color were given titles of nobility, and it seems that everyone forgot about skin color. After all, Anthony and Simon were besties at college, right?

    The timeline for this social change, which is completely absent from the conversation, would suggest that two generations (at most three) of nobles of color would actually have benefited from the king and queen’s egalitarian culture. That would mean that old Hastings could have been given a title, and his son could be the second duke–maybe this was something that was explained in the second episode; maybe not. Could that be why the old duke freaked out about his son’s stutter? Could this be why it’s so harsh for the new duke to not want an heir–what an honor to have had the title bestowed upon his father, and then the duke wants to end it all?

    The love-conquers-all argument, though, pleaaaaase. We all know that it’s a bunch of BS. Kings don’t marry for love. Neither do would-be-queens. They marry for political alliances. On top of that, even if George III (whose mental problems the show seems to not have addressed thus far unless I missed it) did have feelings for Charlotte, if she were Black and he white and the world were as racist then as it is now–it certainly was–he never would have married her. He would have found a white royal to marry. So the notion that he could overlook her race, or loved her because of it, and then that the two of them changed the social attitudes about race and that their subjects accepted it so quickly and moved on is unbelievable.

    If we follow the model of reality, here’s what I would expect to find: he marries a Black queen, his subjects turn on him, they fabricate some plot to dethrone him, and he probably gets his head chopped off. That’s what happened to Charles I because he and his Catholic wife liked to party, and in recent history contemporary to the time of the show France’s Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette met the same fate (too much cake?). Love has nothing to do with marriage in this high-class world, whether you’re king or lord. You can only marry for love if you are of a middling-class or poor, and even then not so much. OK, I could rant about this all day. I’ll stop. I hope this doesn’t sound like I don’t think a woman of color should be queen because I do. I just don’t think this show is going about this in a realistic way–you can’t have it both ways with the fictional queen’s race not mattering and mattering at the same time. Even if the show’s creators have drawn on the idea that the real Queen Charlotte did have African ancestry.

  2. Here’s another thing that bothers me: the fact that we need an artist orgy scene. Whatever. You know someone was like, hey, we need some nipples in this episode. We haven’t had any full frontals yet. Hmm, how about an artist orgy scene? It’s actually not something that shocked or surprised me. It just felt like a gimmick, and it was boring, too. I thought brother #2 was gay, actually. Maybe he is and we’ll find that out later.

  3. Another frustration: male egos AGAIN. I am at a point in the series where I can’t stand any of these dudes. The Bridgertons, aka The Jonas Brothers (a friend called them this), are annoying AF–all of them–but especially Lord Anthony Bridgerton, who is in love with a singer but won’t marry her (although he will have sex with her aplenty) because of her lower class. Mr. Featherington (aka, Mr. Bird Brain–I came up with this one) has gambled away his daughters’ dowries, thus thwarting their positions on the marriage market and thus dooming them all. What a pig! The old geezer who wants to marry Marina and sized her up in a scene like one would a horse or a soon-to-be enslaved person really pisses me off. (For real, people abducted from Africa and sent west were inspected publicly like Marina was in the family living room.) That guy needs to go die and save us all some grief.

    Then there’s our hero, Simon, Duke of Hastings, who knew that kissing a girl in a garden would ruin her but did it anyway, and when he was found out simply stated, “I cannot.” He cannot marry the girl he loves? Why the hell not? Not because of class. Not because he’s already married. No, it seems that he can’t marry her because he made a vow of revenge against his father never to have an heir. Oh, OK. He’s gonna let Daphne be ruined for male pride. Nice one, dude.

    And let us not forget that we have to have a duel for this show to do its thang. There was duel foreshadowing a couple of times before the gauntlet was dropped on Hastings. I dunno about you, but it seems to me that Lord B just wanted to shoot someone. He got his chance when an “affair of honor” caused him to challenge his now former best friend. How dare you ruin my sister! A duel! Lo, a duel would actually let him leave England with his mistress and shirk his responsibility as eldest son. Win! Unless he dies in the duel. Lose! Eh, this scene felt contrived. I mean, Hastings has his gun pointed in the air–not gonna shoot–and Bridgerton still shoots at him? Wtf? Luckily (?), Daphne rode into the middle of a gun fight, stopped the duel, didn’t get shot, and…well…was told by our hero for a second time that she will not be getting married to Hastings. Damn, girl! But wait, she declares that they are marrying. End scene and episode.

    The Prussian prince actually doesn’t seem so bad compared to these dopes!

eat my guts — jealous anthony bridgerton yelling at his sister's...

I think that’s enough to address for now. I yelled a lot of “what?!”s at the TV. I shook my head and smirked. My husband actually said he doesn’t know if he can continue to keep watching, but I know he will. Bridgerton is a wreck, and we’re all rubberneckers.

See you next time when I talk about episode 5!

Bridgerton, Episode 3

Let’s talk about young women’s bodies. After all, from episodes 1-3 the Bridgerton creators have been forcing us to look upon them as commodities. Indeed, this is supposed to be a reflection of the marriage market, which puts us as viewers in the position of potential suitors, I guess. Well, we have bought into this, right? We enjoy looking at beautiful bodies, regardless of the sex, but we also enjoy criticizing bodies, especially those that break the stereotypical mold.

Bridgerton offers us such conforming and nonconforming bodies. Let’s start with the norms. While watching episode 3 with my partner, I was asked “Do they all have their boobs smashed like that and popping out over the top of the gown?” “Yes, they do,” I said. This is partially true for Bridgerton. If you played a smashed-boobs-popping-over-dress game, you’d be drunk within seconds of watching any episode. Of course any scene will include cleavage, but some of them show what appears to be outright torturous breasts. Take the opera singer, Siena’s décolletage. I was looking at it in episode 3 and thought that it looked utterly painful. How unnatural to force young, unmarried women to behave properly but require them to parade their breasts this way. Breasts for sale! Oh, sorry, it’s window shopping. You can look, but don’t touch…or if you touch don’t let anyone know.

Even our heroine Daphne is exposed in such a fashion. The only female characters not showing cleavage are Lady Danbury and Eloise. This is actually quite shocking, to be honest. I’ve seen a lot of period shows, and age does not prevent you from showing your cleavage. So what gives? I think it has something to do with women reclaiming their power. Lady Danbury doesn’t need anyone to define her, and Eloise doesn’t want a man to limit her.

Bridgerton season 1, episode 3 recap - what happened in "Art of the Swoon"?

Talk about (re)claiming your power…oh, oh, oh my god. Daphne found her groove in this episode, and I was shocked. I didn’t expect this, and as I watched this scene I laughed and said, “Well, this certainly isn’t Austen,” and thought about all those Janeites who must surely have been blushing. There’s only one thing truly off-limits when it comes to sex scenes in these kinds of shows–and that is women pleasuring themselves! Men and women having sex on screen is acceptable (for many viewers), same-sex sex is pushing the boundaries, male masturbation is taboo, too, but female onanism, well, that’s just forbidden. Women are not supposed to engage in autosexual activities, right? They are supposed to become wives, let their husbands have sex with them, and then have lots of babies. That’s how its supposed to be. Pleasure? Eh, that’s for men.

Not in Bridgerton! Young women enjoy sex in this show. That’s how we are introduced to Siena. We know Marina has had sex (cuz preggers). And now we know that Daphne can experience sexual pleasure…with herself! 🙂 The episode actually begins with what you might call a wet dream. Daphne has fallen for Simon Hastings, and she’s dreaming about him a lot. There are a few scenes in the first three episodes where we see the power of touch when they are dancing, and in scene three when their hands graze each other’s in the gallery. But this is all set up for Daphne touching herself.

Bridgerton Season 1 Episode 3 | Daphne And Simon - YouTube

What’s most interesting–to me–is not that she fondles herself, but that she had not thought to do that before Hastings instructs her–in public–how to do it. What a weird, uncomfortable scene. In a sense, he is acting as a friend, a guide in this scene (and in others), and what he’s really preaching here is women’s lib! He says something like, “It’s OK to touch yourself, you know.” Alas, poor Daphne seems to not have any concept (like her sister, Eloise, apparently) of what happens at night between a husband and a wife. Hastings has to address this, albeit indirectly, too. Sheesh! These girls need to read Fanny Hill! It’s an awkward scene, and the actress plays it well, when Hastings schools her about sexual pleasure and then turns and walks away. A good student, Daphne heeds the lesson well and gets an A+ that night. 🙂

I think this is an example of a nonconforming body–it shows viewers that young women can find their own pleasure. They don’t need a man to make that happen.

But there’s one more example I ask you to think about, and it’s one that’s neither shocking nor unexpected. This has to do with the size of women’s bodies. There are a few scenes in episodes 1-3 where viewers are asked to see how girls whose bodies are not deemed slender are made to feel like they are pariahs. There are a few references to eating cake–too much cake–and the size of Marina’s belly is called out in episode 3 when she is fitted for new clothes. But we expect that, right? She is being shamed for having sex outside of marriage.

Nicola Coughlan on the 'Bridgerton' Ending

Let us not forget in episode 1, though, that Penelope’s mother and sisters fat-shame her. It’s a quick moment, but it’s one that struck me, and upset me. It felt very modern to me. I know Austen made fun of girls’ bodies in her juvenilia, and I imagine within a household we might expect similar conversations to have taken place, but in a period show, bodies larger than a size 6 are not usually addressed. Rather, these bodies are the ones we don’t look at because they do not matter. Bridgerton has called these bodies to our attention, but I wish we could have just had Penelope be Penelope, not the “fat” sister.

I would love to see Penelope as a real love interest for a suitable suitor, not the girl who gets a pity dance (remember episode 1). Let’s do better. Maybe Bridgerton will do better in future episodes?