I watched the first season of The Crown as a form of research. (I needed to see a woman in a leadership role badly. I still do. It's hard to imagine things you've never seen or experienced.) I've been watching Madam Secretary too. It's so rare that we see women in roles of power at that level. FYI: I'm not a fan of the Queen or the Royal family. Therefore, I resisted at first. But I was desperate. So, I relented. As it turns out, season 1 was great. I really enjoyed it. I didn't care for Philip--what a big baby! But it was fun for the most part. So, I signed on for season 2. And here's where it got really interesting.
For a start, it turns out that yes, even if a woman were to have all the money and power in the world--she'd still have to put up with bullshit from the Patriarchy. In this case, in the form of her husband. It is at this point where I'll put the rest behind a 'Read More' tag because Spoilers Abound.
Philip becomes even more of a sulky babyhead--if that's possible. "Whhaaa! My wife is more important than I am!" Gimme a break. [eye roll] Rumors abound that he's having affairs. So, Elizabeth follows the advice of her mother. She sends him off on a tour of the Commonwealth to be King-ish: wave to the peasants, smile, that sort of thing. Instead, he spends the time on the Royal "yacht" (more like a cruise ship) playing little boy games with his small army/navy and sleeping with all the women in every country he visits. His bestie, Mike, writes all about their exploits in letters he sends to their private club at home. The Queen hears of it when Mike's wife sues for divorce. (And uses the letters as proof of infidelity.) Mike acts surprised when he's not only divorced but fired. Meanwhile, a conversation ensues between the Queen and Philip which amounts to: "We cannot divorce. Our relationship is over. What will it take for you to behave yourself for the rest of your life? I'll do whatever."
Not the conversation I'd have had. That would've been more like: "We cannot divorce. Our relationship is over. Let me lay out the options for you: a) you treat me with respect, apologize and spend the rest of your life doing your best to make up for this mess, b) you don't treat me well and you wake up dead in a trunk in the Tower and no one misses you for three hundred years. "I say, didn't you have a husband?" "Why yes, Cecil. I believe I may have mislaid him somewhere. Have you checked the library?" It's been done before, you know. You may not be a ten year old twin boy, but you've been acting like one. Or maybe the next ship you take to the Antarctic mysteriously sinks, and you're the only casualty? How about a bomb in your car? Any number of anti-Royalists can take the blame for it. No one would blink. You see, I have MI5 and MI6. I can arrange any number of nasty things and no one will ever know, not in my lifetime. So, what's it to be? The choice is yours. I don't know about you, but I think I'd sit on the great big pile of money, keep my pants zipped, smile, and shut the fuck up."
You know, the things any number of Queens have been told by any number of Kings in history since the beginning of Monarchy. Does she? Nope. Instead, she rewards the whiney brat with a title and near equal power. I wanted to scream. Even the most powerful woman in the world has to smile politely while her husband treats her like dirt. Because when men have power they often behave like entitled, sexist assholes. In today's context, I don't think I have to spell that out.
And then comes the next bit--the one that kept me up last night because I was so creeped out: Uncle David the Nazi. Because, as it happens, marrying an American divorcee isn't the real reason Uncle David was thrown out of the royal family and out of the country. As it turns out, Uncle David was in cahoots with the Nazis before the UK went to war with them--to a point where the cabinet had to stop giving him secret documents because he kept giving the information to the Nazis. And that's not all, after Uncle David was forced to abdicate for marrying said American divorcee, he paid a personal visit to Adolf Hitler. While there, he cut a deal with Hitler--one where, he cooperated with the Nazis and Hitler invades the UK and gives him back the crown. He told Hitler to keep bombing London because the English were ready to give in any day. He spied for the Nazi's so much that he was sent to the Bahamas. He also gave the Nazis secret information that led to the fall of France. Knowing that, Lord Neville's appeasement of Germany after they invaded Poland makes a whole new level of sense. [shiver]
That gave me the serious heebie-jeebies because: Trump. I kept thinking of how close Britain was to falling under Hitler's power, and how, but for a few things that didn't work exactly as planned, the UK would've had David, the traitor, for a king. And how near the Nazi's came to ruling the earth. And now close they are now, and there's not even a war on. [shudder]
Is it true? It would appear so.
 I've had exactly two bosses who were female and great managers. Sadly, a majority were either crazy, dishonest, or criminally awful. (The last one affected my health in a very negative way.) Of course, I've had male bosses and exactly the same number were good. Overall, I largely think this is due to my not so great relationship with authority figures in general and less to do with the character of women in leadership roles.
is a Science Fiction and Fantasy author living in Texas.