At home we subscribe to Netflix and watch a lot of foreign films and also films that we may have wanted to see, but never got the time to do it. Never having enough time applies to a whole lot of other things for us. Lately we have gotten a few discs of the old BBC productions of “Upstairs / Downstairs” and have become totally addicted to the series. Along with the settings of stately mansions in which the aristocracy lived and the incredibly ornate clothes and hats worn by women, we have been reminded of the roles each of the sexes played in that era.
Usually a patriarch ruled his family, unless of course he married money and then her family ruled his family. Women were required to obey their husbands … unless their money came from her family. Women were not allowed to cook in the servant’s quarters, take a job, vote in elections, or behave in any way which might embarrass their husbands.
Slowly, the rules began to change. Suffregetes demanded voting rights and were jailed for their efforts. The world wars brought women into hospitals tending soldiers in battle; women became the workers who built airplanes and tanks, and tended the businessess that men left behind at home. They did not return to their parlors to do needlepoint.
More recently women have demanded and gotten the right to serve with our armies in war zones; they have risento new heights in the corporate world, even though their salaries may not have equaled those of men. They have been competitive in sports, art, literature, teaching, universities, etc., etc. Still in many areas, there was a “glass ceiling” hanging over women’s heads.
Yesterday, I was overjoyed to see that another crack was put into that ceiling by the selection of our first woman Film Director, Kathryn Bigelow. Right on, I say!!