Netflix's Bridgerton was the series that no one could stop watching and that many people embraced for its camp and fun. Daphne Bridgerton is arguably the main character of the Netflix series, and while people have varying opinions about her, there are definitely some things about her life that weren’t fair at all.
In many ways, Daphne lived a privileged life compared to other, poorer women in the series, but she also was extremely tied to the sexist, restrictive gender norms and expectations of someone of her status.
10 Her father’s death
Fans don’t really know all that much about the Bridgerton father, but what they do hear implies that he was a kind man who loved his wife and his children.
His death definitely impacts all of his family members including Daphne. She now has to basically be at her brother, Anthony’s, mercy when it comes to match-making, and he is horrible and disinterested in this role.
9 Because she knew basically nothing about consent
One of the most disturbing scenes in the series is one taken directly from the novel the show is based on. This is when Daphne forces Simon to try and impregnate her when he doesn't want to.
But, it’s also complicated given that Daphne literally knew nothing about sexual relations before they were married. She didn’t even know how babies were made, and so it’s hard to see how she could even realize this would be a violation.
8 She had no power in society compared to men
Bridgerton is an interesting series because it follows some of the societal norms of the Regency era, especially when it comes to gender and sexuality, but it also creates a relatively colorblind society.
While this is part of the reason why the show was so good, the fact is that as a woman, Daphne had very little power and autonomy in the world she inhabited.
7 She has to marry well to help the rest of her siblings
In the series, the reputation of a family is a really big deal. It’s definitely not fair at all, but the way that one sister acted could impact the prospects of all of her other sisters.
While men did have some responsibilities, their morality wasn’t nearly as watched or expected, and there are huge double standards in what men can do versus what women can. So, for Daphne, it was vital that she marry well and be a paragon of virtue.
6 She had to conduct herself perfectly or face ruining herself
Along with needing to marry well, Daphne also has to be moral and upstanding at all times. She can’t be seen alone with a man or even know anything about what it means to have a honeymoon.
While she might be seen as the “diamond” of the season, this good reputation can be taken away by rumor and gossip. This would be a lot of pressure for anyone to deal with.
5 Her worth was tied up in how she looked
When Queen Charlotte shows her favor of Daphne as the most beautiful and elegant woman of the season, it seems like a blessing for Daphne as it is supposed to bring her many eligible suitors.
However, besides what happens later with that, the truth is that her entire marriageability seems to be based on her looks. Of course, she also has to act perfectly, but women in this world are judged even more harshly on their looks than in ours.
4 She was expected to have sex without knowing anything about it
Perhaps one of the most disturbing things about Bridgerton is it shows the realities of a world where women can’t know anything about their own sexuality. While this might be exaggerated, these norms have excited history, and there’s still often a double standard of behavior today.
Daphne wasn’t told anything about sex, yet the men around her were allowed to have it. The only time a woman of her station was supposed to learn about these acts was right before their wedding, but Daphne’s mother didn’t even explain this to her.
3 When her brother tried to marry her off to Nigel
While some fans like Anthony and were invested in his story, the truth is that he was rather awful as a brother. He chased away eligible suitors that Daphne was interested in, and then he wanted her to marry the awful and cruel Nigel Berbrooke despite Daphne saying she didn’t want to do this.
He didn’t really care about what she wanted even as he wanted to sleep around and ignore his own roles and responsibilities.
2 She doesn’t understand how babies are made but was expected to be a mother
Along with not knowing what happens on her wedding night, which would be pretty traumatic, Daphne also had no idea how babies were actually made.
This is pretty astounding and awful given that Daphne’s whole role and expectation as a woman in her society was to be a mother. It’s pretty disturbing the lack of sexual education given to her and the other women.
1 Because making out with the man she loved almost ruined her life
When Simon and Daphne make out in the garden, it’s a pretty sexy moment. However, this isn’t something either of them can enjoy despite them both being really into it.
Even if they hadn’t been seen, the fact that just kissing could potentially ruin her reputation and prospects forever is truly terrible. Then, Anthony had to come around and be ridiculous once again and challenge Simon to a duel, only making it worse.