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How Eloise Bridgerton perfectly incapsulates the shows flaws and best attributes

Outspoken, spirited and independent, Eloise Bridgerton (played by Claudia Jessie) is a far more compelling character than all her siblings combined.

How Eloise Bridgerton perfectly incapsulates the shows flaws and best attributes

Claudia Jessie as Eloise Bridgerton in Netfix's 'Bridgerton'

Curtsey of Netflix

Editor's Note: This article contains spoilers.

There's something to be said about a heroine who chooses to separate from societal norms and make her own way in life. In my opinion, it makes for a more interesting story. This is not the case with the protagonist at the epicenter of Netflix's latest drama, 'Bridgerton'. One would argue Daphne Bridgerton, the eldest of the Bridgerton clan, is as far from a heroine as one can get.

Throughout the series, Daphne spends the majority of her time either worrying about marriage or having children. Apart from playing the piano, Daphne offers minimal interest in anything unrelating to matrimonial affairs. In fact, Daphne is so obsessed with conforming to traditional norms, when her husband, The Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page) refuses to give her children, she forces him to ejaculate inside her in a scene that can only be described as rape.

Not only does the scene showcase Daphne's manipulative demeanor, but it also sheds light on a different narrative of non-consensual sex. One can only imagine how Jane Austen would react to such a heroine. We can thank Hollywood's romanticization regarding toxic and abusive relationships.

But all is not lost for the Bridgerton crew. Where Daphne lacks depth, her sister Eloise surely makes up for in spades.

Outspoken, spirited and independent, Eloise Bridgerton (played by Claudia Jessie) is a far more compelling character than her eldest sister. Eager to make her own way in the world, Eloise spends more time mocking London society than finding a suitable husband to take care of her. She smokes cigarettes in secret, engages in suggestive banter with her brothers and dreams of attending university instead of playing house.

What makes Eloise so captivating is her defiance of social norms. Although the majority of women in the series are solely focused on procuring a husband, Eloise rejects the concept in every way. This kind of mentality is empowering for modern audiences, especially during a post #TimesUp era.

In fact, if it weren't for Eloise's storyline, I might've lost interest after the first episode. Ok, I'm not going to lie: the steamy sex scenes weren't bad either. Although the show is interesting enough, the storyline is predictable in regards to its main character. We have a heroine searching for love, only to end up with a broodingly handsome Duke, securing both a husband and a title.


What irritated me about the overall series is how the strongest, most compelling female characters are perceived as sidekicks or worse: dishonorable. Case and point: Sienna Rosso (played by Sabrina Bartlett). Sienna is an accomplished opera singer who lives her life according to her own rules. Despite being in love with Anthony Bridgeton (Jonathan Bailey), Siena refuses him to continue stringing her along. In the finale, Siena finally ends things with Anthony, inevitably prioritizing her self-respect over her feelings for him.

An empowering character like Siena should be celebrated. Instead, she is depicted as a prostitute and deemed improper. The same can be said for Madam Delacroix, the dressmaker who owns her own dress shop. These were the stories I was most interested in. Stories consisting of powerful, yet complex women who refuse to fit into the role society created for them.

Yet, it was Daphne's boring portrayal of securing a husband that managed to become the focal point of the show. Why are we still telling these patriarchal stories? Don't get me wrong, motherhood and marriage are beautiful blessings. However, they shouldn't be synonymous with a woman's overall worth.

Women are multifaceted creatures who have the ability to achieve anything in life. Hopefully the writers create more opportunity for Eloise during the next season; giving viewers a heroine women not only root for, but relate to.

Children have a place on the frontlines of the culture wars

What Should We Do When the Culture Wars Invade Our Children’s Lives?

Children have a place on the frontlines of the culture wars
Front windshield and lights of a traditional yellow school bus.
Photo by Thomas Park on Unsplash

You know when there’s a controversy whether to include both sides to the Holocaust in a Texas school district, the culture wars have once again invaded the children’s lives. Similarly, in Southern Pennsylvania, books by people of color were banned (or per the official Central York School statement: “frozen” for an entire year.)

These discussions by the school boards are impacted by the bills passed in government, as in the case of House Bill 3979 requiring public school teachers to present various points of view when teaching about current events and social issues. Often, the impulse to clutch pearls and to “think of the children” is a rhetorical device to further political causes. As the larger climate in a racialized society such as the United States grapple with a history of slavery and the fight for racial justice--with the most current iteration being the black lives matter protests in the summer of 2020--what the children learn in schools have become a new battleground for those who land on opposing sides of this culture war.

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Why I don’t always expect my children to be completely truthful

Personally, I don’t expect the kids to always be completely truthful. Sometimes their truth bombs can be very unwelcome

Why I don’t always expect my children to be completely truthful

It's 7 am on a Wednesday.

My five-year-old bursts into our room like a whirlwind, and I blearily say good morning and remind him that he's going into school dressed in his onesie and wellies for a "wild rumpus day."

He replied, "Yes, I know. Don't forget we need to bring in sausages for the party".

Suddenly I'm wide awake and interrogating him; "What sausages? What party? What do you mean we're bringing sausages?!" I have a vague memory of going into school as a kid with sausage rolls or cheese and pineapple sticks for end-of-year parties, but I didn't think that was still a thing.

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