Controversial as she may be, Anne Boleyn has probably made more mark than any of the other wives of Henry VIII.
She was a girl who insisted to be educated at a foreign court, didn’t wear the traditional headdress that Henry’s first wife, Katherine of Aragon was wearing and made men wild with desire with her wit wherever she went.
She was also misunderstood because of her forwardness and unconventional ways. She was charged with treason and incest and faced a public execution.
She channeled a certain misogyny, a certain recklessness that is the hallmark of how women on women crimes are committed in today’s world. While she seduced Henry when he was married to his first wife, she couldn’t take Henry spending time with Jane Seymour when Anne was recovering from yet another miscarriage.
She was a woman who suffered pregnancy losses but because she thought crying would make her weak in a court of men, she never cried.
She brought back glory to her family after they had fallen from the king’s favor.
She loved Henry dearly and died at his command.
She didn’t think religion should be followed as taught and liked to reason through doctrines laid down by men. She defied authority if she didn’t see it contributing to society.
So of course she was misunderstood. Of course her youth and Henry’s infertility weren’t a match. Of course she was killed a criminal’s death. Of course the fact that Henry was virile with his mistresses only was a fact that, when she highlighted, became Henry’s aversion to her.
But this quote will go down in history as the very quote that made Anne the queen of England and the woman who was desired by many men but not adequately respected by them. She was loved but not protected. The awe that people felt in her when she became the queen was the same awe that they had when they looked up at the scaffold as she laid her neck on the block.
This quote is testimony to the drudgery of womanhood. How women are raised to the status of a wife, then further bestowed dignity on by making them mothers of their sons. This is a calculated game of teasing. A woman is shown power to lure her to the next greatest thing but that thing is never meant to be hers. Any woman who tries to make her own true self rise above the ashes of society and mundane rules around her…… her feathers are clipped.
International Women’s Day will see many women come out on the streets who are daughters, mothers, sisters and wives. They’ve been given a status, respectful and dignified. But at the same time they’re being kept from being their own agents because that a man’s world cannot give a woman.
Women’s March is facing a lot of tone policing and women are reacting to it for good reason but I wonder if women have heard of a woman who barged into the king’s chamber once, the fairest and most beloved king of all Christendom, and demanded why he was cheating on her. A woman who sat at her own trial, without anyone to speak for her, and defended her chastity and her brother’s honor. A woman who stepped on many women and men to claim the Golden King of England as her own, while he was married to the most powerful princess in the world . A woman who went after her heart, only to have the executioner’s blade on her slender neck.