This is a post on why folks should respect the hell out of Madame du Pompadour.
So, I just saw a post on why Moffatt is horrible for Doctor Who, and let me say that I did agree with it entirely. I love Doctor Who and I continue to watch it, but every Moffatt episode does continually cause me to just waver between flinching and rolling my eyes.
However, there was one point that the post made that made me very upset. I didn’t want to post it on a reblog of the post because I found the rest of it poignant and didn’t want to ruin it. You should actually go read it.
Anyhoo, the part that upset me was this:
WOAH, woah, woah…
Now, I can agree with the rest of this point:
Yes, the Doctor leaving everything is an out of character idea, and yes, Moffatt continues to spew sexist bullshit that makes me want to slap him.
HOWEVER. Madame du Pompadour is NOT famous for “literally that she has sex with the king of France a lot.” oh, and she wasn’t a “professional sex provider.” (not that there’s anything shameful in having that profession in the first place, mind you.)
Madame du Pompadour was a highly educated and influential woman. Yes, she was the King’s Royal Mistress, but she remained friends with him after she left that position and he found a new mistress. They respected the hell out of each other and were good friends.
Furthermore, Madame du Pompadour was trained in music, she was an actress, was well informed in history, literature, and science. She was an artist in her own right who not only dabbled in painting, but she made engraved jewelry.
She basically MADE the French court what it was. She was such a charming and engaging woman that she influenced how people acted, dressed, and what they discussed. Shit, where do you think the modern pompadour hairstyle came from? It was invented by and NAMED after Madame du Pompadour herself.
She ran one of the most prolific Salons of the time. And a Salon is like a social club (no that’s not slang for brothel or whatever the fuck). It was a place where people of aristocracy got together to talk, discuss literature, art, and politics, listen to/play music, put on plays. This was where the aristocracy HAPPENED.
She basically GAVE the Rococo art movement it’s footing. She was the primary patron of Boucher and other Rococo artists. Without her, there’s a good chance that none of the rococo art/interior design would’ve gotten nearly as far as it did.
But yes, the public liked to focus on the fact that she did get access to a lot of the resources she had through her position as royal mistress, but guess what? Lots of ladies fucked people back in the day, and lots of dudes did it, too. And guess what? LOTS of dudes would fuck aristocratic ladies to get access to the court, or even an audience with the king.
Madame du Pompadour surpassed all this. She was not only in a loving relationship with the King, as previously mentioned, but she could’ve easily become that mistress that sits at the king’s side and just kind of floats through the court, which is what ALL his other mistresses did. No. Madame du Pompadour used her new social standing to influence the court so freaking much that she became known as “the Left-Handed Queen of France”. Not only because she might’ve actually been left-handed, but to imply that the LEGAL queen sat on the king’s right side, but the REAL queen sat on his left. Madame du fucking Pompadour.
So, why is the woman with so much influence reduced to just that woman who “had sex with the queen of France, a lot” by people who look back on her? Because that’s exactly what the self righteous and sexist fucks in HER time wanted.
Men resented that this woman was gaining so much influence on society and politics. The Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture, as well as Salon critics, were quick to debase the rococo movement as “frivolous” compared to their distinguished and noble establishment and their practice of history painting. They debased the rococo movement by literally calling it “make-up” and using that as a way to make digs at what they thought was the most wrong with French aristocracy at this time. They wore makeup (even the men) and were frivolous, shallow, and slutty. And, according to them, what was the cause of this decadent downfall? Women. Women getting too much influence when they should just shut their damn mouths and disappear into the history paintings where they will be virtuous ladies weeping and falling all over themselves while the heroic men went out and DID shit. So, they said “shut up, you vile women who are turning men into just as stupid, vapid women as you. Shut up, Madame du Pompadour; you’re just an uneducated whore who is ruining the world by getting your makeup all over it.”
So, no. I’m sorry, but you better be giving Madame du Pompadour some damn credit. Because you say the Doctor only likes “Strong, independent characters, which she, BY DEFINITION isnt???" Hell. No. Madame du Pompadour was, by definition, a strong, independent BADASS lady who didn’t let the haters who called her nothing more than a "professional sex provider” keep her from running shit.
Okay so this lady is Madame du Pompadour. She was a mistress of King Louis in the 16th century. (It was, and still is in France apparently, okay to be a mistress). This lady was a badass. She was educated, she was powerful, and people basically feared her because the king would always consult with her about anything.
Also, she was a 16th century pimp becuase she would hire other mistresses to come in for the King.
Mlle. Marguerite Catherine Haynault, later the Marquise de Montmelas in Turkish Costume (1762). François Hubert Drouais (French, 1727–1775). Oil on canvas. MFA, Boston.
Drouais painted many members of the court, including the mistresses of Louis XV: Madame de Pompadour, Madame Du Barry, and the likely sitter for this portrait, Mademoiselle Haynault. Haynault’s fantastical costume—with its ermine, embroidery, and yards of pearls—reflects a contemporary French vogue for all things Turkish, a phenomenon known as turquerie.
If all the monsters and aliens from Doctor Who were real, I would be okay with that.. Because if they were real, that means that The Doctor was real too.. As Madame du Pompadour said, “One may suffer a world of demons for the sake of an angel.” Here I am, waiting for my mad man with his blue box to come and take me away from this horrible place.
30 Days of New Who Day 13 | Favourite Era Visited by the Doctor & Co.
17th Century France
What’s pre-revolutionary France doing on a spaceship?
Ah, Versailles. Versailles and steampunk villains. Versailles, steampunk villains, and fancy dresses.
Don’t mind me while I drool in front of laptop.
I just fell in love with the costumes and scenery, especially the stark contrast between Reinette’s France and the spaceship.
I’ll admit that I’m not the biggest fan of Reinette’s overly-formal speech, but I understand the reason behind it. And the storyline is so beautifully tragic :/ But in the end it just shows what the Doctor’s life is like, always falling in love and always having to say goodbye.