First let me say that this movie is a must see for …well…women…but I think a lot of men might enjoy it as well. It was a very thought provoking movie for me. It was sad on so many levels. It was almost laughable at what people thought was truly important during those times…for those of you unfamiliar with what this film is about it is the story of the Duchess of Devonshire. She is a direct relation to the late Princess Diana. She was basically given away by her mother at the age of 16 to the Duke of Devonshire whose sole reason for wanting to marry her was so that she could produce for him an heir to carry on his name. However, her mother told her that he was in love with her. And she, with her naive youthful heart believed her mother.
I don’t want to ruin the story for any of you who might want tosee this film but suffice it to say she married him for better or WORSE even to the point of raising his daughter that he had conceived with the maid as her own when the maid died.
What struck me about this film was the way that this young woman set aside her happiness, she did love another man at one point, in order to keep her children, and try to keep her family together. Her mother was on the side of an abusive husband who had raped her daughter, hurt her emotionally, and never once did she say she was sorry for what she had done. In fact she always contended that she had done what was best for her daughter, her daugthers duty was to do what her husband wanted no matter what it was and no matter what he did. He was the man….he was allowed to do all the horrible things he did.
The theme throughout the whole movie was the fight for freedom in the country of england and in America. They spoke of the freedom of slaves in America. They spoke of a mans right to vote. Quite frequently the Duchess would be asked by the politicians what her thoughts were and she would remark that freedom is an absolute. Either you are free or you aren’t. You can’t be partially free. Just like you can’t be partially dead. She was never free. She was a prisoner in her own home and a prisoner as a woman during those times in England when men were the rulers.
I know we have come a long way in society. Things have moved in a positive direction for women. We get to vote (by the way, in the upcoming election, I hope you are going to take advantage of that right!) and we do have a right to say no! But I know there are a lot of women out there who are still prisoners in their own homes and don’t know how to get out. they struggle every day with how to move forward. For those of us who have good lives, who sometimes have those struggles that are difficult and days when we don’t know if we have the strength to move, let’s remember those women who are truly in a prison, who are beaten and abused. The women who are manipulated, and scared, hurt and brutalized on a daily basis. Send up a prayer for them. I pray that god’s grace will be with them and one day they will find true freedom that is their right!