Another week and another great episode of Gentleman Jack. “Most Women Are Dull and Stupid” brought us topics that are as relevant today as they were back in the 1800’s. Below I break down what I felt were really important subjects that were discussed in this week’s episode.
What was refreshing to see in this episode was people taking mental health seriously. Miss Walker’s doctor saying that mental health has as big of an affect on the body as physical issues is huge. Mental health is still seen as a stigma today. We have vasts amount of knowledge, data, studies, and tests that show it is just as critical as physical health, and yet so many still don’t take it seriously.
So for a doctor in the 1800’s to acknowledge this without all of our advantages shows how progressive some people were back then. It shows that not everyone was closed minded or afraid of what they didn’t understand. Mental health is such an important subject, and I’m glad they are covering it in Gentleman Jack, even if it was brief.
Acceptance and Strong Women
There are a varying number of personalities in “Most Women are Dull and Stupid.” We see that Anne’s family is very accepting of her, and are happy that she wants Ms. Walker as a companion. Then there are women who sit around and gossip about what Ms. Walker’s cousin walked in on between her and Anne, like they have nothing better to do. We are also introduced to a new character that loves Anne and finds her fascinating. Oh yeah, she is an old woman. She reminds me a lot of Olenna Tyrell from Game of Thrones. It comes as no surprise to me that I would like her. She’s feisty.
I love the way we are able to explore the LGBTQ community in a setting as restrictive as this one. It shows how far we have come as a society, and it’s a reminder of how much farther we still have to go for everyone to have equal rights. Ms. Walker’s cousin briefly mentions that two men were hung when their relationship was discovered. That should never be a reality in any life, and all people should have equal rights, no matter who they love. It is unacceptable to me that we should have anything but that. Others shouldn’t get to dictate who we love.
The way that Gentleman Jack shows the varying degrees of character complexities and development indicates to me that it’s full of strong women, on screen and behind the scenes. In fact, I often find that the male characters are in the background, for once. This is probably the first series I have seen that is able to explore female characters in such a way without degrading them, or selling them out in favor male characters. For this reason alone I would watch Gentleman Jack if there weren’t a thousand other reasons I didn’t love this series.
Now, most male character’s in this episode are horrible. I found myself flipping between amused, mad, and insulted at these men that insinuate that women aren’t equal to them. That they are inferior or too stupid, and that they are to be taken advantage of.
That amused emotion is where Anne comes in. She is showing that she will be a force to be reckoned with. Anne won’t back down from people challenging her authority or what she is able to accomplish. When men try to take advantage of her, she finds a way to throw it back in their faces, and finds ways to make it come out in her favor. Annie is not stupid or soft. She is a lady boss. She deserves all the respect in the world. God help whoever stands in her way.
“Most Women Are Dull and Stupid” brought us revelations, acceptance, and strong women. One thing is for certain, these characters are growing more complex by the episode.
Gentleman Jack airs Monday’s at 10/9c on HBO.