Turns out the BBC was a bit confused about Harlots, Housewives and Heroines. I complained about it here yesterday because the trailer claimed to be about the history of “girls” in the 17th century. Turns out whichever dipstick at the BBC who wrote the review hadn’t actually bothered to watch the program since it was clearly about WOMEN; as in those people running about the planet with vaginas who are over the age 18. Women not girls. Dr. Lucy Worsley, the presenter [and currently Chief curator at the charity Historic Royal Palaces] uses the word women over and over again. It’s unfortunate that the BBC felt they had to advertise the program in such a pathetic, hyper-sexualised manner. It devalues the work of Dr. Lucy Worsley and cheapens the very real history of women. This documentary didn’t need “sexing” up. It was intriguing on its own merits. That’s not to say it wasn’t problematic. As a dear friend pointed out on Twitter: “What she [Worsley] does with the subject is good but choice to focus on elite & mistresses sets it up on patriarchal terms” but any program that starts with the question: “Was this female empowerment or just a new form of exploitation?” is worth watching.
The BBC needs to stop demeaning and belittling the intelligence of its audience and just get back to advertising documentaries as documentaries not soft-porn. I only watched the program to see if it was as dire as the trailer. If I hadn’t been so annoyed [and there was nothing else on television], I would have missed something that I really enjoyed.