Downton Abbey

Sisters in ‘Downton Abbey’ and ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ and the Slow March Toward Equality

Downton Abbey and Fiddler on the Roof

The narratives surrounding the television series ‘Downton Abbey’ and the musical film ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ are about change and more specifically, how the daughters within both families represent the small, but important contributions that these characters make to modern feminist narratives. … In both ‘Downton Abbey’ and ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’ each trio of sisters takes a step in determining her own fate.

‘Belle’: A Costume Drama Like and Unlike the Others


People of color are often omitted from historical dramas (except to play slaves or servants), with the rationale that it’s not “realistic” to have them in the cast. We can see through this excuse in historical dramas in which casting people of color would match the story being told, but white people still have the biggest roles in–and sometimes even make up the entire cast of–the film, as in the recently released ‘Noah.’ Historical “realism” is not always what we think it is: literature and visual art through the ages confirm that people of color who weren’t slaves, like Alexandre Dumas the author of ‘The Three Musketeers,’ have been in Europe for as long as people have lived there. We need to see more of their stories onscreen.

Rape Culture on ‘Downton Abbey’

"Downton Abbey" 2014

Continually insisting that rapists can only be unfathomably monstrous Others and virtual strangers who physically brutalize their victims serves to hide who the real rapists are: brothers, sons, fathers, husbands, friends, and colleagues. Anna’s bruises serve to delegitimize the experiences of survivors who don’t bear a physical mark of the absence of their consent. We need a wider representation of the range of survivor experiences when it comes to rape and sexual assault so that we can begin to dismantle rape culture and develop a system that is capable of identifying rapists and that values the stories of survivors.

18 Lionhearted Heroines in Film and Television

Stephanie (Marion Cotillard) from Rust and Bone, directed by Jacques Audiard (2012)

These 18 Lionhearted Heroines in literature, television, and film echo Bullet’s spirit in their own unique ways–possessing faith, valuing friendship, and experiencing unrequited love or loving and expecting nothing in return–as portrayed by the “perfectly imperfect” actresses who embody them.
In the spirit of Bullet, the quintessential Lionhearted Girl, these 18 Lionhearted Heroines each embody the same steadfast strength and selflessness that Bullet possessed.

Bitch Flicks’ Weekly Picks

Tyler Perry’s Rape Problem by Carolyn Edgar Jessica Chastain, “Roles for Women Have Taken a Step Back” by Sasha Stone via Women and Hollywood Think ‘The Walking Dead’ Has a Woman Problem? Here’s the Source by Simon Abrams via The Village Voice Rick Ross, Don Draper, and the Fantasy World of Masculinity by Mychal Denzel […]

A Gilded Cage: A Feminist Critique of the ‘Downton Abbey’ Christmas Special

This is a guest review by Amanda Civitello and is published with permission. Note: this review contains no spoilers for Season Three. “Christmas at Downton Abbey” (The Christmas Special). Downton Abbey: Season Two Original UK Edition. Writ. Julian Fellowes. Dir. Brian Percival. Masterpiece Classic/PBS Distribution, 2012. The cast of Downton Abbey The Emmy-nominated second season […]