Early in my planning for The Gilded Hour I was awash in academic articles, nineteenth century newspapers and medical journals, general reading about women’s health issues of the time, and the introduction of women to the medical professions. The stories I came across that struck me as most interesting had to do with poor women immigrants, mostly Irish and Italian (and Roman Catholic), who were stuck between that proverbial rock and a hard place.
There was birth control of a very limited kind, but poor women had neither access nor money for such things. Even thinking about it, their priests told them, was a sin. Priests had no concrete help to offer, of course.
If women were desperate enough to find a way to end a pregnancy, they knew the odds were against them. To add insult to injury, the rest of the world .saw these women as hardly better than vermin, unwashed and undesirable and often unworthy of raising their own children.
Women coming into the medical field for the first time, limited primarily to the care of the poor and most vulnerable, would have little chance of providing real help.
One evening after I finished mulling all this over for the day, I turned on the television and found The Birdcage had just started on a cable channel. You’re wondering what the connection could be between this film, Trump, and The Gilded Hour. Hold on, it’s coming.
Backstory: The Birdcage
THE BIRDCAGE (1996) Written by Elaine May and directed by Mike Nichols, was a remake of the […]