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Door County Cherry

S01.E06: Swish

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If he didn’t want to ejaculate in her, isn’t he strong enough to move her off of him? She’s tiny. Once he realized what was happening couldn’t he have moved her?

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On 12/26/2020 at 9:44 AM, ouinason said:

Simon definitely lied.  He could have told her the truth, but he didn't.  He could have corrected her when she brought up how upset she was for him that he was "unable" to have children, but he didn't.  He knew perfectly well that she had no clue whatsoever about sex, and he used that innocence to his advantage and treated her like a dim child (which is creepy as hell since he was doing it to manipulate her sexually).

Daphne took agency away from her husband.  She figured out his true motives and she absolutly did something violating of his wishes.  She could have confronted him.  She could have asked him about it.  But she didn't.  She decided to hurt him back instead.

 

In the game of "who's the asshole" they both win.

I agree with you here. His wording was intentionally vague to lead her to believe that he was physically incapable of having children. My Mom (who’s been my tv companion through this pandemic) asked “did he have mumps after puberty?”(they did know then that some boys were sterile after surviving intense fevers, no sperm). She- an educated Ob/Gyn for 42 years wasn’t sure if he meant “biologically incapable” or “Childfree”, with 21st century knowledge. So yes I understand why Daphne was confused and felt lied to! Simon knew full well that Daphne didn’t understand the exact mechanics of conception, he should’ve told her the truth. 
 

Given that he had more knowledge the situation played word games I consider him more the asshole here. 
 

But yes why don’t people talk to each other????

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19 minutes ago, toomuchtv said:

If he didn’t want to ejaculate in her, isn’t he strong enough to move her off of him? She’s tiny. Once he realized what was happening couldn’t he have moved her?

Without hurting her...? I don't think sex works that way. 

14 minutes ago, Scarlett45 said:

Given that he had more knowledge the situation played word games I consider him more the asshole here. 

Very much sure that no amount of lies justifies being raped. If their genders were reversed, people won't even be arguing this. 

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In the moment when traumatic and distressing things are happening, people can also freeze up and become overwhelmed by the situation. The actor portrays Simon as in shock, so much so that he regresses to the stutter from his abusive childhood. So it is clearly portrayed as an extremely disturbing event for him. And he's left reeling by the end. His body language around Daphne also changes after that, as if he is constantly wating for her to do something again and walking on eggshells around her.

So some of the writing and the acting doesn't treat it as a joke. But then the script doesn't want to properly acknowledge it either. It's just an endless trainwreck. Another factor is that Regé-Jean Page just gives a superior performance to Phoebe Dynevor IMO, often transcending the writing. So while Daphne sort of stays this cartoon character who does something bad without giving her layers (that the script also denies her, of course), Simon has a more three-dimensional reaction to what is happening around him and to him, probably exceeding what the script wants to give him.

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2 hours ago, toomuchtv said:

If he didn’t want to ejaculate in her, isn’t he strong enough to move her off of him? She’s tiny. Once he realized what was happening couldn’t he have moved her?

I was surprised he didn't as soon as she got on top of him.  Because his knowing when he's about to come and when to pull out is something he needs complete control over.  She should have stopped when he said "wait" but I'm surprised he let himself get right to the brink before saying something--especially since they never explicitly talked about it before. 

He's strong enough to pull her off but I can see how he might not have had the strength at that exact moment. 

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5 hours ago, Door County Cherry said:

I was surprised he didn't as soon as she got on top of him.  Because his knowing when he's about to come and when to pull out is something he needs complete control over.  She should have stopped when he said "wait" but I'm surprised he let himself get right to the brink before saying something--especially since they never explicitly talked about it before. 

He's strong enough to pull her off but I can see how he might not have had the strength at that exact moment. 

I'm well aware you don't actually mean it this way.. But someone could cynically look at ur post and ask of your saying its Simon's fault that Daphne tried to force him into fatherhood by stealing his seed... Just saying

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10 hours ago, Katsullivan said:

Without hurting her...? I don't think sex works that way. 

Very much sure that no amount of lies justifies being raped. If their genders were reversed, people won't even be arguing this. 

Yes they would - as a rape SURVIVOR I almost am unable to read these as I can tell you that may be morally repugnant, it may be a lot of things but that was not rape.  And to call it that then diminishes the actual violence of real rape.  Sorry.

 

This was a consensual act of two parties with one having information that the other did not. Daphne had no idea men were not supposed to ejaculate inside her and in an opportunity decided to see if she was right.  Simon was a mornin by not explaining could not vs would not.  Call it anything you wish but the mis-use of the word R A P E is repugnant. (and this is a general statement not just to your individual post)

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28 minutes ago, Slakkie said:

Yes they would - as a rape SURVIVOR I almost am unable to read these as I can tell you that may be morally repugnant, it may be a lot of things but that was not rape.  And to call it that then diminishes the actual violence of real rape.  Sorry.

 

This was a consensual act of two parties with one having information that the other did not. Daphne had no idea men were not supposed to ejaculate inside her and in an opportunity decided to see if she was right.  Simon was a mornin by not explaining could not vs would not.  Call it anything you wish but the mis-use of the word R A P E is repugnant. (and this is a general statement not just to your individual post)

I like this post to support your position as a survivor. 

At the same time, I feel this is a very complicated and emotional issue, which has brightline rules for some and blurred edges for others. I find most respectful way to treat the issue is to define it as the victim does, by actions and response. Simon was angry and felt violated, but he did not respond by saying or indicated that she raped him. I support his right to feel angry and violated, but if he's not calling it rape, (and that denial of rape not being a trauma based reaction), I'm going to respect the character's stance on it.

I HATE these "oh so edgy" TV scenes for just this reason. 

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39 minutes ago, Slakkie said:

This was a consensual act of two parties with one having information that the other did not. Daphne had no idea men were not supposed to ejaculate inside her

I dunno what I would call it.. Terms can be explosive ao all I'll say is by the time Daphne did what she did... She knew at least that ejaculate equaled kids ( I doubt rose gave her a super in depth review of it all)  she knew that Simon wasn't doing that.. And instead pulling out... She knew that he was purposely doing it... She guessed right that he was vague with his wording on purpose visit a vis can't and won't... But what she could be clear in.. Because he was clear was that his future with her was at that point meant to be childless.. He was actively ( even tho pull out is an idiotic plan)  trying not to have kids... As soon as she was on top his demeanor changed he said wait and as soon as it was over he was hurt... Traumatized.. Stuttering asking her what she did... And she immediately said what happened was really his fault for lying to her.... 

So maybe rape isn't the right term.. But that was... Disturbing to say the least

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9 hours ago, katha said:

In the moment when traumatic and distressing things are happening, people can also freeze up and become overwhelmed by the situation. The actor portrays Simon as in shock, so much so that he regresses to the stutter from his abusive childhood. So it is clearly portrayed as an extremely disturbing event for him. And he's left reeling by the end. His body language around Daphne also changes after that, as if he is constantly wating for her to do something again and walking on eggshells around her.

So some of the writing and the acting doesn't treat it as a joke. But then the script doesn't want to properly acknowledge it either. It's just an endless trainwreck. Another factor is that Regé-Jean Page just gives a superior performance to Phoebe Dynevor IMO, often transcending the writing. So while Daphne sort of stays this cartoon character who does something bad without giving her layers (that the script also denies her, of course), Simon has a more three-dimensional reaction to what is happening around him and to him, probably exceeding what the script wants to give him.

Regé-Jean Page is an excellent actor and I could certainly see the multi-layered response in the character's eyes, his feelings of anger, violation, disappointment and shock. I dont think Phoebe is a poor actress, but she doesnt hold a candle to Rege- Jean in this scene.

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6 minutes ago, Scarlett45 said:

Regé-Jean Page is an excellent actor and I could certainly see the multi-layered response in the character's eyes, his feelings of anger, violation, disappointment and shock. I dont think Phoebe is a poor actress, but she doesnt hold a candle to Rege- Jean in this scene.

Yeah... Man I miss for the people... And I cant even find it in Hulu... Shame... Tho at least I don't have to sit thru Britt robertsons character... Smh... Sorry for the tangent... Back to bridgerton

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2 hours ago, Slakkie said:

This was a consensual act of two parties with one having information that the other did not. Daphne had no idea men were not supposed to ejaculate inside her and in an opportunity decided to see if she was right.  Simon was a mornin by not explaining could not vs would not.  Call it anything you wish but the mis-use of the word R A P E is repugnant. (and this is a general statement not just to your individual post)

This was not a consensual act of two parties the minute he asked her to stop.

This occurred after Daphne spoke with her maid, and as such, did know that ejaculation was needed for pregnancy.

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22 minutes ago, mledawn said:

This was not a consensual act of two parties the minute he asked her to stop.

This occurred after Daphne spoke with her maid, and as such, did know that ejaculation was needed for pregnancy.

Exactly.. Thru a 2020 lens Daphne walked into that sexual encounter with the plan to take his seed... I guess with the hope he wouldn't freak out.. But as soon as he did she got the confirmation... Didn't matter that he didn't wanna continue.. Or that.. Thanks to childhood trauma he didn't want kids... She wanted what she wanted.. So she did it... Immediately blamed him for making her do it.. Then eventually got him to change his no kids position... That said I'm hopeful.. Thanks to quite a few pieces about the scene.. And the even more disturbing passage in the book.. That future seasons will at least dive into these types of issues and flesh out everyones pain... Cuz honestly they blew past Simon.. And really didn't even get In to how and why it was such a huge deal for Daph... I mean we know.. We can infer based on what we modern folks know of the era.. And what was available to women... What we know of Daph as the oldest girl... But it wasn't explicitly given room to breathe 

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6 hours ago, UnoAgain said:

I'm well aware you don't actually mean it this way.. But someone could cynically look at ur post and ask of your saying its Simon's fault that Daphne tried to force him into fatherhood by stealing his seed... Just saying

I guess.  As you point out, it's certainly not what I mean.  I'm thinking from Simon's perspective. He had controlled almost everything up to that point--how much Daphne knew about his fertility and controlling against pregnancy.  It felt almost out of character that he didn't this time. 

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6 hours ago, Slakkie said:

Yes they would - as a rape SURVIVOR I almost am unable to read these as I can tell you that may be morally repugnant, it may be a lot of things but that was not rape.  And to call it that then diminishes the actual violence of real rape.  Sorry.

 

This was a consensual act of two parties with one having information that the other did not. Daphne had no idea men were not supposed to ejaculate inside her and in an opportunity decided to see if she was right.  Simon was a mornin by not explaining could not vs would not.  Call it anything you wish but the mis-use of the word R A P E is repugnant. (and this is a general statement not just to your individual post)

I'm sorry about your experience and that you felt I was trivializing it because that was never my intention.

At the same time I will call you out for victim blaming. Yes, Simon probably should have explicitly defined what he was willing to consent to during sex. But he said No. He said Stop. Regardless of who is the man, woman, or position of power, No will always mean No and everything that Daphen did afterwards is violating clear explicit withdrawal of consent.

And to be clear that this is not a matter of opinion. The gender reversed equivalent of what happened between Simon and Diane would be a non consensual condom removal.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-consensual_condom_removal#:~:text=Non-consensual condom removal%2C or,a form of reproductive coercion.

 

Men found guilty of this have been convinced of sexual assault, reproductive coercion and rape in different jurisdictions.

 

Another thing I will take into task is your phrase "actual violence of real rape" which I think is a very unfortunate choice of words.  Rape is unconsensual sex. Sometimes consent is removed with violence but in many instances it's not and part of the challenges real life rape convictions face is the instance that unless a rape is done by violence then it's not real. 

Edited by Katsullivan
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Man, I wish I liked Daphne.  This actress is such a drip. I have such a hard time believing he is so madly in love with her.  I keep waiting to warm up to her and I just am not.

I believe Simon when he said he thought Daphne knew how children were made.  It has been established in show that girls didn't know anything, but he can't be blamed for thinking her mother did her job and told her what to expect. 

Yeah, it is a monumental lack of communication between them but I am gonna side with Simon on this one.  Even as we acknowledge that there is a difference between 'can't' versus 'won't' at some point after her conversation with her maid and during her montage of the furrowed brow that followed just before they had sex, Daphne must have realized that not having children was very important to Simon.  Instead of confronting him about it she created a situation that forced him to explicitly do something he didn't want to do.  And then acted self righteous about it after.

Also, to split some hairs, 'can't' doesn't only imply physical impossibility.  It also implies an emotional one as well.  People will often say 'I just can't do it.' when it is is something they really can do but are really emotionally incapable of letting themselves do it. 

Outside of that scene, I found Daphne and Simon's wedded bliss a little boring.  It was the Marina/Colin/Penelope stuff I found interesting in this episode.

Unfortunately, like Daphne I am finding my liking of tv Penelope to be completely the opposite of my liking to book Penelope.  I was kinda thrilled when I saw the casting because I was glad to see they'd kept a larger actress.  But she just feels more childish.

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According the law of the time (and long afterwards) a rape couldn't happen in marriage. On the contrary, as St. Paul wrote, a wife nor a husband had no right to deny the spouse her/his body. And Oonan's sin wasn't masturbation but that he refused his duty to give a child to the widow of his brother.        

Actually, one can doubt if Daphne and Simon were even married. I studied a little about Catholic concepts about marriage when I saw The Tudors and Wolf Hall. It seems that if either party had entered into the marriage without the intent to have "a lifelong, exclusive union, open to reproduction", the marriage is invalid. Even the intercourse doesn't mean consummation, if contraception is used.

Does somebody know what the concept of the Anglican Church and the British law was at that time?

 

 

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1 hour ago, Roseanna said:

According the law of the time (and long afterwards) a rape couldn't happen in marriage. On the contrary, as St. Paul wrote, a wife nor a husband had no right to deny the spouse her/his body. And Oonan's sin wasn't masturbation but that he refused his duty to give a child to the widow of his brother.        

Actually, one can doubt if Daphne and Simon were even married. I studied a little about Catholic concepts about marriage when I saw The Tudors and Wolf Hall. It seems that if either party had entered into the marriage without the intent to have "a lifelong, exclusive union, open to reproduction", the marriage is invalid. Even the intercourse doesn't mean consummation, if contraception is used.

Does somebody know what the concept of the Anglican Church and the British law was at that time?

 

 

The Anglican church rarely dispensed annulments after Henry VIII.  The main grounds for divorce in Regency England were adultery, fraud, and impotence.  Even if the church granted a divorce, it was only a legal separation and neither party could get remarried.  In order for Daphne to be able to marry again, she would need an act of parliament.  This would require her to air out all of her dirty laundry and risk social suicide.  Daphne did agree to marry Simon believing he could not have kids.  She would have a hard time proving fraud since everyone knows pulling out can still lead to pregnancy.  The odds are she would have gotten pregnant eventually with the way she and Simon were going at it.  His control could also easily slip.  Daphne needed to give him time, I believe only 3 weeks had passed since their wedding in this episode.  Even the Catholic Church would tell Daphne to slow her roll while a priest gave Simon a stern talking to about his duties to his wife.  

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16 minutes ago, bijoux said:

I don't know if I'm conjuring this up or mixing it up with something else but somewhere in the back of my mind there's a line along the lines of, the Duke wanted an heir, the Duchess wanted a child. 

Yes this happens when the housekeeper and Daphne talk. She def seems to hint that the old Duke’s seed was defective.

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On 12/25/2020 at 5:04 PM, TheOtherOne said:

I've certainly read enough romance novels that it felt like something I've seen a lot before--broody guy with daddy issues and plucky, good-hearted, personality-free woman breaking down his walls--and feels really drawn out. But nice to see really see a romance novel brought to life

I can't disagree with your description of the characters, but your last line is where I'm at. Yes, this story is familiar to me, but only from books, not from the screen. And I'm in viewing heaven watching all these regency-romance-novel tropes playing out on my TV! Like, the wedding often happens half-way through a romance novel or earlier (for Reasons!), so that the heroine can spend the rest of the book solving the mystery of her husband and/or fixing her husband's issues once she's married to him and living in his haunted mansion or whatever. Not to mention her overbearing brother, the duel, the gentleman boxing, the fake relationship becoming real, the English modiste faking her French accent, and the sex as actual plot. I'm eating this up with a spoon!

This was a really good episode for Penelope. She's been nice up to now, but she was angry for much of this episode, shooting daggers at Marina. I appreciate that first she tried appealing to Colin by telling him part of the truth, and then she tried appealing to Marina by revealing her mother's forgery. I thought both were good attempts while keeping Marina's secret, although I guess she's doing it for herself and not for Colin. Still, Marina's words to her when she saw that Penelope loves Colin were WAY HARSH, TAI. Poor Penelope!

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2 hours ago, Nidratime said:

I love The Buccaneers. Own a DVD of the series.... Just needed to say that.

It's also on Amazon Prime for those who may want to catch it. You get a Carla Gugino, pre Oscar Mira Sorvino and a swoony Greg Wise.

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On 12/27/2020 at 10:37 PM, Katsullivan said:

Very much sure that no amount of lies justifies being raped. If their genders were reversed, people won't even be arguing this. 

Imagine the outrage if the Duchess was the one who didn’t want children and the Duke tampered with her birth control. 

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15 hours ago, Kirsty said:

I can't disagree with your description of the characters, but your last line is where I'm at. Yes, this story is familiar to me, but only from books, not from the screen. And I'm in viewing heaven watching all these regency-romance-novel tropes playing out on my TV! Like, the wedding often happens half-way through a romance novel or earlier (for Reasons!), so that the heroine can spend the rest of the book solving the mystery of her husband and/or fixing her husband's issues once she's married to him and living in his haunted mansion or whatever. Not to mention her overbearing brother, the duel, the gentleman boxing, the fake relationship becoming real, the English modiste faking her French accent, and the sex as actual plot. I'm eating this up with a spoon!

I haven't read Regency novels for ages and at least then I did they ended when the heroine accepted the hero's marriage proposal. The Gothic novel where the young wife finds out the secret of the haunted castle, is a different genre. 

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6 hours ago, Roseanna said:

I haven't read Regency novels for ages and at least then I did they ended when the heroine accepted the hero's marriage proposal.

Read some more of them, then! 😉 "Marry first, fall in love after" must be almost as common a trope as "Fake relationship becomes real". There are a thousand and one Regency romance novels where the couple marry early in the story for Plot Reasons only to fall in love as husband and wife, or (as on this show) they fall in love and get married before their issues are resolved, and they spend the rest of the book working things out.

Plotty Reasons for marriage include: One of them needs to marry to come into their inheritance; he marries her to save her from her abusive ex or her terrible family situation or a predatory suitor; she's pregnant or she has been "compromised"; he believes he is dying or will die as a soldier and she needs money or the social cover of widowhood; insert your own crazy contrivance here!

Georgette Heyer wrote several romances about a marriage of convenience that becomes a loving relationship, so this trope has always been part of the Regency romance novel tradition as far as I'm aware.

Quote

The Gothic novel where the young wife finds out the secret of the haunted castle, is a different genre. 

My bad! I shouldn't have used the word "haunted" in my post above. I meant it figuratively but there's no way for you to know that. I expressed myself poorly. The Duke of Hastings' home, Cliveden, isn't literally haunted by ghosts, but it's metaphorically haunted by the ghosts of Simon's dead parents and by memories of his unhappy childhood. It's why he didn't return to the place sooner, and it's all related to his reason for not wanting children.

When the hero in a romance novel is one of those strong, silent types who bottles everything up and tells his bride as little as possible about his terrible upbringing, a common trope is the new bride using clues from his family seat to solve the mystery of what on earth his problem is! A clue might be some hint or piece of family history passed on by the staff; the absence of family portraits; a mysterious wing or room that is never used; or the hero's behaviour once he's living in the house again. And I've loved seeing this delightful hokum playing out on my screen.

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On 12/28/2020 at 9:58 AM, UnoAgain said:

I dunno what I would call it.. Terms can be explosive ao all I'll say is by the time Daphne did what she did... She knew at least that ejaculate equaled kids ( I doubt rose gave her a super in depth review of it all)  she knew that Simon wasn't doing that.. And instead pulling out... She knew that he was purposely doing it... She guessed right that he was vague with his wording on purpose visit a vis can't and won't... But what she could be clear in.. Because he was clear was that his future with her was at that point meant to be childless.. He was actively ( even tho pull out is an idiotic plan)  trying not to have kids... As soon as she was on top his demeanor changed he said wait and as soon as it was over he was hurt... Traumatized.. Stuttering asking her what she did... And she immediately said what happened was really his fault for lying to her.... 

So maybe rape isn't the right term.. But that was... Disturbing to say the least

Forcing someone into sex without consent is different from tricking them into parenthood without consent.  At the risk of sounding old-fashioned, at least in the 1800s, you didn't really have this huge choice and would have to refrain from all sex to have the choice of no children.  He's not doing that.  He wants it both ways. 

In fact, if a woman lied and said she took the pill when she didn't, the man is raped?  It's perhaps fraud.  But rape is a term meant to describe physical force to have sex, not fraud - like a Don Juan situation where he says he loves her and will take care of her, so she consents, and then he abandons her.  He did not rape her.  We don't have to use the worst term possible for every unpleasant interaction.    

 

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42 minutes ago, Kim0820 said:

Forcing someone into sex without consent is different from tricking them into parenthood without consent.  At the risk of sounding old-fashioned, at least in the 1800s, you didn't really have this huge choice and would have to refrain from all sex to have the choice of no children.  He's not doing that.  He wants it both ways. 

In fact, if a woman lied and said she took the pill when she didn't, the man is raped?  It's perhaps fraud.  But rape is a term meant to describe physical force to have sex, not fraud - like a Don Juan situation where he says he loves her and will take care of her, so she consents, and then he abandons her.  He did not rape her.  We don't have to use the worst term possible for every unpleasant interaction.    

 

In the scene we're discussing, Simon actually asks Daphne to stop. It doesn't matter WHY he withdraws his consent. Regardless of gender, when one party no longer consents to an act, it is a form of sexual assault. The appropriate term for non-consensual sex is rape. The notion that it requires force is outdated and misleading.

Is this a trash storyline all around? Absolutely. Netflix could have removed the line where Simon asks Daphne to stop, and this would be a different discussion about the morality of Daphne's actions.

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56 minutes ago, Kim0820 said:

Forcing someone into sex without consent is different from tricking them into parenthood without consent.  At the risk of sounding old-fashioned, at least in the 1800s, you didn't really have this huge choice and would have to refrain from all sex to have the choice of no children.  He's not doing that.  He wants it both ways. 

In fact, if a woman lied and said she took the pill when she didn't, the man is raped?  It's perhaps fraud.  But rape is a term meant to describe physical force to have sex, not fraud - like a Don Juan situation where he says he loves her and will take care of her, so she consents, and then he abandons her.  He did not rape her.  We don't have to use the worst term possible for every unpleasant interaction.    

 

But her act wasn't tricking him.. If anything his ridiculous pull out plan was tricking her based on her own naivete... What she did was forceful physical and def non-consensual.. Again maybe rape ain't the right term but fraud isn't either

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I think it is also a problem of genre and that the show wants to pretend that it's 1987 or something. The term "bodice ripper" wasn't coined for nothing. There has always been at least a subset of romance novels that actually have presented very questionable/non-existent consent as a feature. Romance novels, particularly historicals, have been criticized for glamorizing rape and assault since forever. This is of course way too broad and fueled by all kinds of misogyny as well, but this is a stylistic and content choice used often enough to have become notorious/infamous. Of course the more egregious examples are older books, discourse and awareness has progressed since the 80ies or so when this sort of romance was really booming.

What can be dismissed as harmless fantasy when it is written down, hits differently when presented on screen IMO. It isn't some harmless fairytale anymore, it's acted out by real people. And that's why discussion and controversy in the media has started up (I'm actually pleasantly surprised that the media is taking the romance genre seriously enough to talk about this tbh).

It probably goes beyond "Bridgerton" and Julia Quinn. The romance novel community might need to start some soul-searching when it comes to presentation of consent. Unfortunately, it's often shown itself to be resistant to criticism and anyone trying to question the status quo (the RWA disaster this year comes to mind...).

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1 hour ago, katha said:

I think it is also a problem of genre and that the show wants to pretend that it's 1987 or something. The term "bodice ripper" wasn't coined for nothing. There has always been at least a subset of romance novels that actually have presented very questionable/non-existent consent as a feature. Romance novels, particularly historicals, have been criticized for glamorizing rape and assault since forever. This is of course way too broad and fueled by all kinds of misogyny as well, but this is a stylistic and content choice used often enough to have become notorious/infamous. Of course the more egregious examples are older books, discourse and awareness has progressed since the 80ies or so when this sort of romance was really booming.

What can be dismissed as harmless fantasy when it is written down, hits differently when presented on screen IMO. It isn't some harmless fairytale anymore, it's acted out by real people. And that's why discussion and controversy in the media has started up (I'm actually pleasantly surprised that the media is taking the romance genre seriously enough to talk about this tbh).

It probably goes beyond "Bridgerton" and Julia Quinn. The romance novel community might need to start some soul-searching when it comes to presentation of consent. Unfortunately, it's often shown itself to be resistant to criticism and anyone trying to question the status quo (the RWA disaster this year comes to mind...).

The genre has made great strides in the consent department.  You are correct that past decades of historical romances have had scenes of dubious consent to outright rape.  Romance writers have gotten much better in making sure both parties consent on page.  The Duke and I was published in 2000 and is a product of that time.  I won't go as far as to say that all readers did not see anything wrong with Daphne raping Simon back then, but for the majority it went right over their heads.  Now in 2020, it is easy to see that scene for what it really is.  I know that there were many people on Twitter wondering how the show would tackle that scene.  The show could have accomplished the same thing without Daphne taking away Simon's agency.  He easily could have gotten caught up in the moment forgetting to pull out and then immediately let it slip to Daphne.  She knew something was wrong with their lovemaking to that point and for her to see Simon complete the act as it were would have tipped her off to his deceit.  

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I just watched the episode. I feel like we're applying 2020 morality to an 1820 marriage. Daphne thinks that sex is for procreation. It's the only thing she's ever been taught. She came from a large family so she feels like the definition of marriage is lots and lots of kids.

Simon as a nobleman who has sowed his oats is used to pulling out as a form of birth control -- he's probably pulled out tons of times with women in a tavern. But Daphne doesn't know any of this. She just thinks sex = babies. When she finds out that Simon's been preventing these babies from happening she reacts the way most wives of that era would have reacted -- like a woman whose status and livelihood were threatened. So she does what she thinks she has to do.

Is it right in 2020 eyes? Definitely not. But in 1820 eyes it was the thing women had to do -- have an heir to secure her position. It's not really any different than Marina trying to trick a man into thinking a 6 month pregnancy will result in a full term baby.

I hope that in the next few episodes Daphne will grow and understand that marriage isn't as limited as she thinks it is. But I also don't think calling her a rapist is right -- back then husbands were entitled to sexual relations with their wives at any time, so it's natural that she also felt the same entitlement.

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11 minutes ago, Growsonwalls said:

When she finds out that Simon's been preventing these babies from happening she reacts the way most wives of that era would have reacted -- like a woman whose status and livelihood were threatened. So she does what she thinks she has to do.

Is it right in 2020 eyes? Definitely not. But in 1820 eyes it was the thing women had to do -- have an heir to secure her position.

Daphne didn’t need babies to secure her position, having gone into the marriage believing that Simon couldn’t have children. Neither her status or livelihood was threatened. Her personal desire to have a large family was something she gave up so she could have the man she wanted.
 

When she found out he could have kids, and he was practising birth control that was entirely based on her ignorance, she felt stupid, she got mad, and she wanted to punish him. 

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5 minutes ago, ursula said:

Daphne didn’t need babies to secure her position, having gone into the marriage believing that Simon couldn’t have children. Neither her status or livelihood was threatened. Her personal desire to have a large family was something she gave up so she could have the man she wanted.
 

When she found out he could have kids, and he was practising birth control that was entirely based on her ignorance, she felt stupid, she got mad, and she wanted to punish him. 

But when she finds out that he's been using his own form of birth control I think she felt that the marriage was no longer real, that the sex was not valid, and she had to "consummate" the marriage the "real" way. As I said, this definitely isn't 2020 thinking as couples have sex all the time with no intention to procreate. But for someone like Daphne I definitely think her reaction was understandable.

I mean the whole basis of the reason Simon and Daphne "had" to get married is an 1820 line of thinking -- they were seen kissing (!!!) in a garden. I just don't think Daphne should be blamed for very rigid, limited views on marriage and sex considering her upbringing and lack of sex education.

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11 minutes ago, ursula said:

When she found out he could have kids, and he was practising birth control that was entirely based on her ignorance, she felt stupid, she got mad, and she wanted to punish him. 

Exactly. Of course it wasn't right but people who always do right are seldom good characters.

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34 minutes ago, Growsonwalls said:

Is it right in 2020 eyes? Definitely not. But in 1820 eyes it was the thing women had to do -- have an heir to secure her position. It's not really any different than Marina trying to trick a man into thinking a 6 month pregnancy will result in a full term baby.

Not necessarily.  Marriage secured a woman's position whether there were children or not.  In Daphne's case once she was married she was a Duchess.  It was the highest title outside of royalty one could have.  She outranked everyone except other dukes and duchesses.  It also depends on what was in the marriage contracts, since marriage amongst the peerage actually included written contracts.  In Daphne's case Simon rejected her dowry, instead having it written into the contract to go into trust for her.  So not only was she now a duchess, she also had some independent wealth not dependent on her husband or brother. 

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1 hour ago, Ohiopirate02 said:

Romance writers have gotten much better in making sure both parties consent on page.  The Duke and I was published in 2000 and is a product of that time.

Consent isn't enough if the other party has no knowledge about sex and would be ruined because of it. It shows no good of Simon that he was going to seduce an innocent girl in the park although he knew that he couldn't marry her.

Yeah, we are supposed to believe that his passion was so great that he couldn't control himself but that is rubbish.          

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2 hours ago, Roseanna said:

Consent isn't enough if the other party has no knowledge about sex and would be ruined because of it. It shows no good of Simon that he was going to seduce an innocent girl in the park although he knew that he couldn't marry her.

Yeah, we are supposed to believe that his passion was so great that he couldn't control himself but that is rubbish.          

That part of the story never makes sense. Simon said that he purposely followed Daphne into the garden and started kissing her because he "wanted" to get caught. But in this episode he says that he would have rather "died" than marry her? So he followed her into the garden, knowingly started chomping on her neck and hoped to get caught, just so he could die in a duel? Like the Windsors would say, "WOT??"

I always thought he got jealous of the prince and wanted to mark his territory so to speak. 

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The only character I care about in this series is Penelope.  She's more in line with the classic Austen heroine -- overlooked and in a desperate financial situation -- than Daphne.  The show is trying to make Daphne into Elizabeth Bennet 2.0 and it doesn't work for me.  Daphne is boring and I don't care about her situation at all.

Not sure I entirely like Marina, but I do like that she's a complicated character with motives we can sympathize with even if we don't agree with her actions.

I'm glad we got some insight into the Duke's housekeeper.  For a while I was afraid we were dealing with a Mrs. Danvers situation.

 

Edited by Brn2bwild
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1 hour ago, Growsonwalls said:

That part of the story never makes sense. Simon said that he purposely followed Daphne into the garden and started kissing her because he "wanted" to get caught. But in this episode he says that he would have rather "died" than marry her? So he followed her into the garden, knowingly started chomping on her neck and hoped to get caught, just so he could die in a duel? Like the Windsors would say, "WOT??"

I always thought he got jealous of the prince and wanted to mark his territory so to speak. 

Am I misremembering but didn’t he say he followed her into the garden because he burned for her wanted to kiss her? If anyone wanted to get caught, it was Daphne. It’s the old saying that a man chases a woman until she catches him. Remember she left the party in the first place because she had a panic attack at the realization that the Prince was about to propose to her. A proposal that would have sealed her fate. Cressida made Daphne out as more of a master mind than she was, but her (Cressida’s) summary of what happened and Daphne getting what she wanted isn’t far from the mark. 

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14 minutes ago, chaifan said:

I'll echo some of the comments above, that I find it disturbing that people are using the word rape to describe this scene.  I think doing so equates regret with non-consent, and that diminishes rape. 

 

And id say calling it regret diminishes what she did to him.. And puts the onus on him... She went into it knowing that she was gonna do this thing.. She knew that's pretty much how kids get made... She knew he was doing things to avoid making children.. The amount of time between knowing he was about to let loose and letting loose isn't much but she purposely put him in a position where he was forced to let loose inside of her( and comments about he should just pushed her off or things of that ilk are alarming)  finally after its done she let's him know she violated him on purpose ( if she wanted she coulda played the whole thing as her being naive.. Feigning surprise at his reactions and then getting into the why) and promptly blamed him for it... 

Now maybe its the 2020 lens I'm looking thru.. But that's assault at the least.. Maybe worse

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21 minutes ago, chaifan said:

I rewatched the scene in question, and then watched again with captions on.  Simon said "wait" twice, never said "no", never said "stop".  Never gave any physical indication he wanted to stop having sex - body language or facial expression.   He's actively physically participating in sex the entire time, even as he said "wait".   "Wait" is something you say during sex when you've rolled over onto the remote control, not when you've suddenly decided to withdraw consent to having sex.   I have to think the writers intentionally didn't have Simon say "no" or "stop" or somehow try to stop having sex.  "Wait" was the one word equivalent of "oh, fuck... she's figured out my plan but I really don't want to stop having sex right now... oh, fuck."

I also realize this is a book/TV series but did Simon think he was going to have sex with Daphne multiple times a day for the rest of his life and pull out every time? I feel like they would have been better off had they just boinked and he lost control and came inside her, and after the fact she realized that actually, he's just not into having children. And had a huge fight afterwards. It would have been the same plot result but less icky.

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I guess it's a testament to how incredibly boring the two leads are, in that during a sex-filled episode, I rolled my eyes and looked at my watch for most of it. There was nothing hot about any of it. What. A. Snoozefest.

In addition to being dull, as others upthread have astutely pointed out, they're also both a couple of assholes. I'm sick of Simon's petulance, and Daphne is just ... a non-entity.

I was much more interested in the sibling relationships at home. Glad Eloise & Penelope made up. I'm not terribly fond of Marina, but her explanation to Penelope was sincere and pragmatic. Curious if Colin and Marina will escape to Gretna Green. Still having trouble sorting out the two eldest brothers.

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Growsonwalls said:

did Simon think he was going to have sex with Daphne multiple times a day for the rest of his life and pull out every time?

Why on earth would Simon had intercourse with his wife, although he could have had sex in many times that would have guaranteed that they would have no children?

Except of course if Daphne had put the cloth he cleaned up inside her.

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6 hours ago, ursula said:

Am I misremembering but didn’t he say he followed her into the garden because he burned for her wanted to kiss her? If anyone wanted to get caught, it was Daphne. It’s the old saying that a man chases a woman until she catches him. Remember she left the party in the first place because she had a panic attack at the realization that the Prince was about to propose to her. A proposal that would have sealed her fate. Cressida made Daphne out as more of a master mind than she was, but her (Cressida’s) summary of what happened and Daphne getting what she wanted isn’t far from the mark. 

Even if Daphne had "subconsciously" wanted to make Simon to kiss her and/or declare his feelings for her, on the basis of we were shown, she was rather carried way. He started to kiss her and, if her brother hadn't come, he would have made love with her and she, inexperienced as she was, was unable to consent or not consent. As he knew that he didn't want marry her, he shouldn't have touched her. 

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9 minutes ago, Roseanna said:

Even if Daphne had "subconsciously" wanted to make Simon to kiss her and/or declare his feelings for her, on the basis of we were shown, she was rather carried way. He started to kiss her and, if her brother hadn't come, he would have made love with her and she, inexperienced as she was, was unable to consent or not consent. As he knew that he didn't want marry her, he shouldn't have touched her. 

A bit higher functioning than subconscious since she tells him “why do you think I went into that garden?” When he stopped the first kiss, she grabbed his face and kissed him back and they both went at it. Both of them were carried away. She did not know the ins and outs of sex, but she knew she was in a “compromising situation” for their times and norms. As she told her brother in the next episode, it was “mutual defilement” - her experience didn’t  infantilize her.

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11 hours ago, chaifan said:

Based on the comments above, I think that people who are calling this rape are doing so more on what apparently was in the book, as opposed to what was on screen in this episode. 

Nah, I haven't read the book. I'm definitely going by what was on screen. If I tell my partner "wait", I expect them to stop what they are doing.

I genuinely wanted to be able to just watch this show and have it be a frivolous bit of fun but now I have this shittily-written plot point to navigate.

The next series is about a Brigerton sibling, right? Fingers crossed!

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You know, I watched the scene directly after the infamous moment again and Daphne says that she really thought it wasn't true.  So here I am thinking "was this a test".  Not that it wasn't still what it was, but that she really, until that moment, did/wanted to believe that he physically COULDN'T come inside her (and btw, this is the weirdest and most graphic conversation about sex I have ever had about a TV show).

Because Simon told her that he couldn't have children, and Rose told her that it involved spilling inside her, therefore she went into it thinking "if he can't pull away it just might not happen" or something along those lines.  It's like she's putting him in a position where he is either unable to come at all or he's revealed as a big fat liar.  

 

It's super messed up, when she could just ask him.  And he could lie, but she'd know it.

 

And again, Simon (invested as he is in not getting his wife pregnant) does know that pulling out is a very shitty form of birth control, right?  

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