scene from Bridgerton on Netflix

I’m Not Okay With That One “Bridgerton” Scene – Here’s Why

Trigger Warning: This following article contains content related to sexual assault.

I, like the rest of the world, binged the first season of the Netflix TV show, Bridgerton, over the first month of the year. While the costumes, friendships, and surprising plot points were wonderous to watch, there is a controversial scene. The Internet has been discussing the scene in question, with some viewers dismissing the seriousness of the event and others saying it has ruined their love of the show. Just to note there will be major spoilers for the first season.

Daphne drinking Netflix / Giphy.com

The scene I’m referencing takes place in episode six of the first season of the show. The main couple, Simon and Daphne, are hooking up, but Daphne has an ulterior plan. A little background: Daphne desperately wants children, but Simon has sworn never to have children due to a vow he swore to his father on his deathbed. When Daphne demands that Simon marries her to save her honor after the couple was caught making out, Simon tells her that he can’t have children instead of that he won’t have children. While this isn’t an outright lie, it does give Daphne the wrong impression.

Nick Miller New Girl GIF Boundaries GIPHY / 20th Century Fox Television

Soon after their marriage, Daphne starts to notice that Simon pulls out every time they are intimate together. Since Simon is the first man Daphne has ever shared an intimate relationship with, it takes her some time to realize that he didn’t tell her the whole truth. Daphne is so enraged when she realizes that Simon has deceived her even though he wasn’t trying to hurt her. After Daphne learns the truth with the help of one of the servants, Daphne seduces Simon in a very unsettling scene.

20th Century Fox Television / Giphy

In the scene in question, Daphne flips her position in the bed with Simon so that he is unable to pull out when he wants to. While I was watching this episode, I was aghast and disturbed about Daphne’s behavior. I understand the point of view of fans of the show who say that Daphne didn’t deserve to be lied to by Simon. Daphne definitely should have known more about Simon’s past before they got married; however, Simon has experienced lots of trauma in his life and needs time to heal from it. I personally believe, after being betrayed and abandoned by his father, Simon was further betrayed by Daphne taking advantage of him. Yes, I think in this case one could argue that Simon was taken advantage of. While the sex was consensual, the viewer can clearly see that Simon is uncomfortable with the position he is in.

Monica Stressed Giphy

While consent isn’t a cut and dry conversation, Bridgerton brings up a long-dismissed topic: can women abuse men in relationships? Feminists have long been divided in the answer to this question. Personally, I believe that mental and physical abuse can take place in any relationship, regardless of gender stereotypes. In Bridgerton, even though Simon never said “no” during sex with Daphne, she didn’t warn him that she was trying a new position and the viewer can see the evident betrayal on Simon’s face.

Couple watching Netflix Photo by cottonbro from Pexels I’m grateful that so many fans of the show took to social media to discuss their opinions on this scene between Daphne and Simon. Several people shared my opinion that, if the circumstances has been refused and Simon had treated Daphne the same way, viewers of the show would’ve been more outraged. Unfortunately, since society associates rape with a man hurting a woman, the opposite circumstance isn’t acknowledged as possible. I also watched several reviews by Black women on TikTok who brought up the point that seeing a white woman (Daphne) assault a Black man (Simon) on television was triggering to them. Speaking of being triggering, I highly approve of the article that suggests that there should be a trigger warning before the episode, no matter if the episode bothers you or not. As someone who was not mentally prepared for this episode, a trigger warning would have helped me decide if I wanted to watch episode six or not. While I enjoyed the rest of Bridgerton’s first season, I am sure this controversial and disturbing scene will continue to be discussed, especially after the news of the show being renewed. I know all viewers will share different opinions on the decision to include this scene in the show, but it’s important to remember that tv shows should be cautious when depicting violent sex scenes.