Robin Hood Movie–Not CNBC Friendly

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“….she’s as barren as a brick…” Prince John, (Robin Hood Movie-2010)

That’s all I can accurately quote from the first scene of Robin Hood.

(Spoiler alert…but maybe an appropriate spoiler if your childless not by choice)

The first scene opens with a woman staring through a keyhole.  There is audibly some hanky-panky going on behind that door.  An older woman steps into the scene and tells the sullen young woman (loosely quoted), “Are you just going to stand there and watch through the keyhole, or are you going to go in and do something about it?”   The older woman storms into the bedroom, and you quickly realize that she is the mother of the man in bed with a French young woman.  The man is Prince John.  The woman he’s “entertaining”  is of French Royalty.  The older woman is Prince John’s mother, and the poor, seemingly mute,  shadow of a woman outside the door is Prince John’s “barren-as-a-brick” wife.  He tells his mother he’s annulling the marriage to his first wife in order to marry and procreate with the much more beautiful, and hopefully, much more fertile Frenchie.

Heirs you know…royal duty demands heirs…

That, my friends, was the first of many depressing reasons Director Ridley Scott gave me to be glad I didn’t live in 1199.   Evidently, if you were barren in those days…much like in Biblical times…you were treated like a dysfunctional animal which meant you were to be dispensed with.

Wow, I was immediately rethinking the value of the $10.00 I just spent on this movie…

The movie was done well overall, but it was a more depressing take on the Robin Hood story.  The shining woman in the movie was Maid Marian (played by the wonderful actress, Cate Blanchette).  Fate had dealt her two blows…she had been a maid for many years and when she finally married her husband left for war ten days after their wedding only never to return.  The movie picks up on her life ten years later.  She had been dealing with things alone on the family farm.  She had no children given her circumstances.  She was also caring for her aged, blind but endearing father in law.  It wasn’t going well, but she was persevering with steely determination…the kind of woman I wish I could be.

But I won’t spoil any more of the movie.

Back to my point…

Sometimes I wonder if  the “putting away”  practice doesn’t exist somewhat in modern times except it’s much more subtle.  Men discretely “put away” their barren wives either by divorce or emotional abandonment and use other reasons besides the barrenness when deep down inside it’s the barrenness.

Depressing post, I know, but it’s something CNBC women have to think about.  Do you think the social/marital stigma is still exists?  I do based on my own experiences.

Now, I think I’m going to go watch a comedy as a palate cleanser…

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4 responses »

  1. That part of the movie definitely made me cringe. I really enjoy reading historical fiction novels about British royalty and such, and I often find the views about barrenness/miscarriage and making an heir no matter what the cost to be very harsh and sad. What were those women to do? It saddens me that their worth was entirely wrapped up in producing babies.

    I truly am sorry that going to the movies isn’t always a “safe” activity to enjoy.

    On a lighter note, I also liked this portrayal of Maid Marian. But hey, according to my Netflix account, I like “dramas featuring a strong female lead.” 🙂

  2. Wow. One more reason to skip the movie.

    From my own experience I can’t agree with you on the idea of men “putting away” their barren women, although I am certain that it does happen in our culture as well as elsewhere in the world. My own feeling is that there are often other issues in the relationship to begin with and that the stress of infertility just heightens those problems. But it’s a very interesting thought and I’m going to mull on it some more, so you may here from me again on this.

  3. I thank you for your blog, and I am so glad I found it! I am going through the childless holiday blues and wondering what to do with the long weekend. I work 14 hour days just to fill my time. My state office is closed Monday, but I am still going in and bring some work home to do. I woke up early to go today (Saturday) but would have been too embarresed if someone saw me or if there are security cameras rolling. At least if I pop in Monday, I can say I did not realize the offices were closed (sad, I know). Life is so empty without children!! And you are RIGHT when you say women are “put away”. It comes in many forms, mainly by not being invited to do things with other moms, being told you do not “understand” or not able to offer parental advice because “you don’t have children”. The numerous cases when men divorce the wife, then quicly marries and has a child. The resentment you often feel towards a husband who is ambivalent if you have kids or not. Truly in the back of their minds they know they are able to produce a child at any age with a younger wife. Don’t think for one minute that men don’t want a mini version of themselves to teach sports, hunting, or fishing or to go to games with. Thank you Vickie for continuing to write. You are not alone. Your thoughts are my thoughts. It seems to me, I fought so hard not to be the lonely old lady that everybody pities…and I am afraid that is what will happen. I do feel my husband has taken away my dreams ( he refuses to adopt, and is saving to buy some grand house) with no one in it. I like how you spoke up about the baby showers…my totally mean boss became pregnant and suddenly became so sweet (I am sure for baby shower gifts) I dread when she returns from maternity leave as I am sure she will return to her normal self. Ettiquette does say: baby shower for the first baby only. I hate on Mother’s Day when people ask first if you are a Mother, and then keep their “Happy Mother’s Day” to themselves. You feel like someone has said “look what I got!” and then snatches it away. Don’t you hate when parents never ask you to babysit?? Like you wouldn’t know what to do, or how to care for their child. Or worse say, “you can share my baby”. Hugs from me Vicki, thanks for being here. I have no friends and need someone who understands. And sadly, I think we do go a bit “crazy” when it is a natural part of life to marry and have children. I like how you brought up your parents feelings of not having grandchildren from your end. I bet it’s worse for them because grandparents ALWAYS gloat about this subject. You are awesome. And you are helping. Don’t ever forget that.

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