Age of Progress: The Industrial Age of England: Victoria and Her Sisters

One of the books I often read was titled The Age of Progress. It chronicled the time of Queen Victoria, Otto Von Bismark, and Oscar Wilde up to the point of Victoria’s death and a little bit further on the eve of World War I. Enlgish historian Simon Schama’s documentary Victoria and Her Sisters ,obviously, reminds of the book, but it also brings in to focus on how English Society was affected by the industrial age – the fast paced development of science and technology – and the effects this had down the road on business, politics, the state of human living and the status of women in society.

The document works on story lines: First, the story of Victorian Society during the age of Victoria a general story we could be familiar with and Second, the sample of stories of different women during that time: Queen Victoria, Elizabeth Gaskell, Harriet Stuart Mill, Annie Besant, photographer Julia Margaret Cameron, Mary Seacole, and Doctor Elizabeth Garrett.

Somehow it seems fit that the story ended with the funeral march of Queen Victoria and where it was mentioned that among the mourners was one of widows of her viceroys of india; and years later Constance – the daughter of that particular widow – was in a prison, where with a broken piece of enamel she carved the letter V on her breast, V for the vote.

Victoria and Her Sisters
A History of Great Britain
Episode 13
BBC

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56 Responses to Age of Progress: The Industrial Age of England: Victoria and Her Sisters

  1. Rafael Vincent M. Manalo says:

    In my opinion, what was revealed in the video was perhaps an introduction to the extremes of technology — one of the ends of industrial revolution where men and women experienced unparalleled progress and speed, and the vision of ‘fast money’ for the corporations being vividly expressed.
    For a while, Queen Victoria has had an unfavorable demeanor with the jobs women had to take during that time — while the jobs may, on one hand, express equality in a partial way, the consequences to health and welfare of those jobs were undeniably unfavorable. It is nonetheless to my joy that in these moments people were beginning to recognize the ability of women far beyond what society tells they can do, such as photography, for example.
    Aside from this, the film emphasized one of the first few attempts to raise awareness on the unfair treatment of women in society, and the repercussions of this ideal primarily taking effect in the life of Queen Victoria herself. This may as well be the time when sociological ideas such as that of Auguste Comte who was borne out of the French revolution and industrial revolution, began to be formed, and all that has to do with equality, work-life balance and welfare had to be addressed.
    Industrial progress can go hand in hand with equality. The workforce should be open to everyone, especially those jobs that do not require much strength as to make women unable to do such a job properly (perhaps carrying hundreds of pounds at the cargo), with the benefits and health care ensured. What happened in the 1850’s, especially with regards to the industrial revolution such as equality and health care benefits, is still an issue in the present time.

    What is perhaps noteworthy is that the ending, where a V for vote was stressed, is now currently seen as a working right for women in our time – a reversal of fate, so it seems.

    Rafael Vincent M Manalo/ 2012-40412
    THX

  2. Mary Jean Olbes (2015-14200) says:

    “Victoria and her sisters”, a film which explored the values and nature of queen Victoria’s marriage to Prince Albert, her essential beliefs and family values which results to her long reign. It highlighted and contrasted the conservative ideas of the queen than women should be devoted wives and mothers, and not medical doctors and other professions, with the women who were actually achieving in different fields. The movie also showed the effect and counterpart of the industrial age during her time. Industrial age, as shown in the movie has resulted to positive things, as well as negative ones. Technology and industrialization rapidly change the architecture and the social structure of the age. It had resulted to the widening of the disparity between the upper and lower class. The introduction of machine caused harm to the the environment even though it helped in increasing the productivity of the humans.

  3. The documentary piece that was shown in class about Victoria and her sisters had somehow ignited a spark in me. I find it astounding how the women during the Victorian era took a stand in reshaping the social structure of their country and at the same time go with the flow on industrialization and massive advancement in technology back then. The action that they made in the past was really notable because it has brought a great impact on today’s society where women have acquired equal rights alongside with men such as the privilege to vote.

    Alger Danielle A. Ballon, 2013-41028, THX

  4. Anjenette Mando says:

    The Industrial Age had been discussed in several of my classes including World History and Sociology. While I knew of the industrialization and how it reformed the society, it was a refreshing change to watch a documentary that really focused on the role of several women during the industrialization period of the Victorian Era. I was familiar with Queen Victoria and Harriet Stuart Mill, but it was interesting to know a little about the other women mentioned in the documentary. I once again realized how so many societies were changed by the onslaught of industrialization. It’s quite amazing to think about how improvements in technology could, in some ways, change the economy and the class standing in societies. But aside from the stories of Victoria and her sisters, what the documentary reminded me of once again is that despite the growing wealth due to commerce, many working people still lived and died in poor conditions. From landowners and farmers, to production owners and labor providers- the technology may have changed, but the oppression simply evolved into a different form. Technology advancement was (and in some way, still IS) associated with pollution and I believe that association was very much relevant in the Victorian era when the power of steam (a new technology at that time) led to production of powerful machines and establishment of factories. The latter part of the documentary portrayed how cities were unprepared for the onslaught of people moving in to live near their work place led to workers living in poor conditions at the polluted areas. And it led me to ask myself: does technology adapt to the society? Or is it the society that adapts to the technology? In a way, was it also the change in society brought by the advancement in technology that led some of the women shown in the documentary to break through traditions? Perhaps not- at least not as simple as that. After all, it seemed to me as if it was the continued oppression of women despite the advancement of technology and economy of their society that pushed them to stand up and figuratively show that ‘enough is enough’.

    Anjenette Mando
    2012-14089
    THX

  5. Adrian Glova says:

    I was struck by two prevailing themes in the documentary: (1) one dealing with the implications on living standards and human welfare brought about by the Industrial Revolution, both good and bad and (2) its influence on the European women’s rights movement during that era. Perhaps the documentary is rightfully called the Age of Progress because the increasing industrialization at that time brought prosperity and innovation to numerous nation-states particularly Britain. A testament to this newfound prosperity was the Great Exhibition organized by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to showcase newly-discovered technology throughout the globe. Nevertheless, the documentary also pointed out the large disparity in living conditions between the industrialists and the common folk. A third of the Britain labor force did not have meaningful employment and many were forced to sleep on the streets or even use unoccupied caskets as beds. Children took on dangerous jobs like picking up unprocessed cotton beneath machines that could easily crush bones and sever extremities. Pollution was also an issue as soot, smoke and dust covered industrial centers like the city of Manchester. Clearly, the Industrial Revolution was a double-edged sword. As an Economics major, it really isn’t surprising that Karl Marx (probably the most famous economist-philosopher during the Industrial Revolution) figured that the mode of production (in this era, primarily manufacturing) heavily influences the relations of production (worker-industrialist relations) which are exploitative.
    Moving on, the women’s rights movement was also gaining steam. The Victorian social norms regarding gender and marriage really seemed outdated at a time when intellectual and technological progress was being made. Many, including the Queen, still envisioned women as heads of the household – domesticated, motherly, tender, prim and proper etc. Wives were still seen as the property of their husbands (e.g. the case of Harriet Stuart Mill before the death of his first husband). Beyond the household, women also experienced discrimination in professional practice. A lot of traditional thinkers still couldn’t fathom that women could handle complicated tools or machinery, or that they can be as intellectual and skilled as their male counterparts. Such was the experience of Julia Cameron being denied of the Royal Photographic Society simply because she was a woman, as well as the discrimination faced by Elizabeth Garrett in the medical practice. In the end, the progress from the Industrial Revolution and even the Age of Enlightenment in general inspired women to fight for their own rights. If the divine right of kings was attacked previously, it was time for the “divine right of men over women” to be subjected to the same protests. It’s honestly dumbfounding and disappointing though that we are just about 150 years, at most, removed from thinking that women deserve the right to vote. Like, what have we been thinking all along? How is it possible to discover steam engines and calculus and a host of other complex things yet not realize that women are… human beings too?

    Adrian Glova
    2012-58088
    THX

  6. Kristina Viray says:

    “Victoria and Her Sisters” gave new light to the Industrial Revolution. Throughout history, it has been lauded as a great time for man; however, it was shown that, just like today, growth and productivity do not necessarily trickle down. In fact, the societal extremes only got worse. This is not to say that mechanization is bad per se. It is the capitalist mindset, coupled with indifference for human welfare, that brought about such a dreary outcome.

    More than the Industrial Revolution itself, I was struck with the women who served as catalysts then, such as Mary Sickle, Elizabeth Garrett, and Julia Margaret Cameron. As a feminist myself, I was appalled by some of the antiquated beliefs of the queen. Thankfully, other women in history redeemed the situation.

    Kristina Margarita R. Viray
    2012-63237

  7. Joey Rose De Leon says:

    Watching the documentary last week reminded me of my classes that touched on literature from this period. Based on the documentary and on what I can recall from my previous classes, Britain was caught up in vast and radical changes, politically, socially, and technologically. In my Victorian literature class, the texts we discussed often depicted women in a world that still had the heavily ingrained marks of a traditional and very rigid society. Women were still burdened by the pressure to marry well, to uphold social expectations of an ideal woman, to fit in. But at the same time, not a lot of women had the fortune or the privilege to marry into financial security, or for love, and hence to achieve this idea of an ‘ideal’ woman. While Britain’s economic complexion changed drastically, and while many may have benefitted from the new technologies and business opportunities provided by the Industrial revolution, a lot of women had their hands tied by the lack of options they had. Even though they could get jobs, I don’t think they were seen as having equal weight as those who did marry well and became ideal domestic figures, and especially the men who generally occupied positions that endowed them with more social freedom among other privileges. Often, women worked as governesses and househelps, positions that generally did not allow them to live comfortably and independently.

    So how does the number of women who became vocal about these inequalities and assumed fulfilling and secure positions in society, compare with those who were forced to live in poverty and limited by traditional and ‘socially approved’ notions of womanhood? I’m a little torn about this period. Women writers were emerging; the economy had opened up for women to engage in it; and what’s more is that the most powerful position in the country was occupied by a woman! There were more options for women, but at the same time, Britain also had a grittier, unsavory dimension-one riddled with pollution, poverty, and double standards when it came to women.

    Joey Rose De Leon
    2012-24454
    THX

  8. John Anjelo M. Reyes says:

    To be honest, I am not particularly familiar with the Victorian Era. Coming from someone with only the most basic knowledge of this part of Britain’s history (mostly coming from books such as Dracula), what struck me the most was how the women of the Victorian Era struggled and brought change to their country. Yes, it is overly simplistic, but one must take into account that it was one of the darker eras for new and daring ideas.

    Aside from the plight of the remarkable women of the Victorian Era, I also want to commend the documentary for humanizing Queen Victoria. While it is not entirely her work and I believe the monarch has much to answer for, the Queen was at the top of the industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military change of a whole country and that is no easy feat.

    John Anjelo M. Reyes
    2012-00853
    THX

  9. Odessa Mauricio says:

    The age of industrialization has indeed brought great improvements on the efficiency of the way people work. However, progress will always have a flip side. Though the production of goods were improved, the conditions with which people from the working classes had to live in can be deemed inhumane. The social stratification during that time only made it worse. It is admirable how Queen Victoria took responsibility of all these problems when she started her reign at a very young age. Her accomplishments and the steps she took to alleviate poverty and class discrimination only shows what women can do, given the right resources and power to do so.

    Odessa Mauricio 2012-63668 THY

  10. John Moses Cruz says:

    In this film I realized two important things: a.) How men shapes technology, and b.) How technology shapes men. Yes, it is a two way process, and it was clearly manifested through out the movie. First, men invent technology that will help them to finish a task in an swift, efficient, and efficient manner. Second, as necessities grow, the need to improve technology also grow, and therefore men improved the technology that makes the task easier. Lastly, as technology advances, the men who worked for the technology became dependent to the technology that they created

    Now, in this modern society, these technology are “socially constructed” to the work force, labor force, and to even mere citizens.

    Another issue, however, is women are being subservient to men. It can be easily inferred that in this age women are subservient to men, and the dictates of men will have a huge impact to women and the larger society.

    But, we have to take this in to consideration: Men, women, everyone, are subject to technological advancement. On the other hand, technology is also subject to the dictates of humankind.

  11. John Moses Cruz (2012-78603) STS - THX - 2:30 - 4PM says:

    In this film I realized two important things: a.) How men shapes technology, and b.) How technology shapes men. Yes, it is a two way process, and it was clearly manifested through out the movie. First, men invent technology that will help them to finish a task in an swift, efficient, and efficient manner. Second, as necessities grow, the need to improve technology also grow, and therefore men improved the technology that makes the task easier. Lastly, as technology advances, the men who worked for the technology became dependent to the technology that they created

    Now, in this modern society, these technology are “socially constructed” to the work force, labor force, and to even mere citizens.

    Another issue, however, is women are being subservient to men. It can be easily inferred that in this age women are subservient to men, and the dictates of men will have a huge impact to women and the larger society.

    But, we have to take this in to consideration: Men, women, everyone, are subject to technological advancement. On the other hand, technology is also subject to the dictates of humankind.

  12. John Cruz says:

    In this film I realized two important things: a.) How men shapes technology, and b.) How technology shapes men. Yes, it is a two way process, and it was clearly manifested through out the movie. First, men invent technology that will help them to finish a task in an swift, efficient, and efficient manner. Second, as necessities grow, the need to improve technology also grow, and therefore men improved the technology that makes the task easier. Lastly, as technology advances, the men who worked for the technology became dependent to the technology that they created

    Now, in this modern society, these technology are “socially constructed” to the work force, labor force, and to even mere citizens.

    Another issue, however, is women are being subservient to men. It can be easily inferred that in this age women are subservient to men, and the dictates of men will have a huge impact to women and the larger society.

    But, we have to take this in to consideration: Men, women, everyone, are subject to technological advancement. On the other hand, technology is also subject to the dictates of humankind.

  13. Anna Bea D. Geronga says:

    In my opinion, the exemplary women featured in the documentary, Victoria and Her Sisters, were not only champions of the people but, remarkably, also were champions of their sex, and rightly so in a time where there was great discrepancy in stature and in treatment between men and women. Theirs was the age of progress, and the cost of such progress, I believe, is pain as well as change. There is pain in every birth, and women like Harriet Stuart Mill and Annie Besant bore the pain like mothers would.

    It was awe-inspiring how these women took it upon themselves to liberate their own sex and how they were able to maximize the momentum brought forth by the Industrial Revolution. They were able to maneuver their way in the world of men and machines. They did not let anyone or anything stop them from realizing their dream and from alleviating their condition. They were mediums of change – may it be through their writing like Elizabeth Gaskell or by powering through in their chosen field like Elizabeth Garrett.

    It was fascinating how the documentary was able to interweave their personal lives and struggles with the grand narrative of British history. Of course, in history classes, we have been exposed, albeit shortly, to the lives of monarchs and events that mark the advancement of men and passage of time, but it is always captivating to learn about people who lived in that particular time. The Industrial Revolution has been brought up time and time again in my previous classes. When it was brought up, it was so easy to focus on the facts, on the dates, on the numbers, but rarely would I have the opportunity to know about the people who were not born royalty and who definitely were not cannon fodder. Their names should not be lost to time. We know who Victoria was, but her sisters, to some, remain unknown, and that is a tragedy in itself. They were champions of their people, champions of their sex, and interestingly enough, technology had a hand in their liberation. The advancement of science and technology could either confine us or liberate us. One could use it as a means to achieve one’s greedy ends, or one could use it to alleviate one’s condition. I believe the women featured in the documentary fall under the latter, and that is worth something to remember them by.

    Anna Bea D. Geronga
    2012-24195
    THX

  14. Czarisse V. Manlangit says:

    I found it quite admirable for these women to step up and make significant changes at their time and society. Today, we are already in the stage where women step up, achieve incredible feats and battle for equality. As opposed to this, the time wherein Victoria and the rest of the women featured in this documentary were born in a world were women were greatly discriminated, underestimated and neglected. Despite this fact of the low image of women in the society at the time, these women were not stopped to achieved great things.

    We’ve all heard of the industrial revolution and how it affected mankind in general, but never really did we dwell on the fact that women had a significant role in it too. Given the already terrible living conditions the revolution brought to the people ranging from dreadful jobs to extreme poverty, it was made worse by the established norms and discrimination on women at the time.

    In this time, because of the horrible conditions of women, such as that of the matchgirls, angry women and teenage girls were pushed to retaliate for rights. This sparked early concepts of equality which eventually developed to what is now known as feminism. Furthermore, people began to see that women can perform quite astoundingly in fields, roles, and responsibilities outside what is labeled to them, which is mostly household and marriage. One example of this is Julia Margaret Cameron’s photography.

    Although this dark time in history has resulted to terrible outcomes in human life, it also gave birth to great future improvements mainly on society and its view on women.

    Czarisse V. Manlangit
    2015-05356
    THX

  15. Cristina Dometita says:

    “Technology, the prophets of doom had warned, was an engine of inhumanity, driving working people to desperation or revolt.” This quote caught my attention and this, i believe, sums up what the state of ordinary people during the Industrial Revolution. As shown in the film, factories were built and required ordinary people to work; families working almost all day tending machineries and children given menial jobs but are risky. This is really alarming because even kids who are supposed to be at school are doing jobs already. The situation of their surroundings are also horrifying. It was described as wretched, defrauded, oppressed, crushed human nature lying in bleeding fragments by the American who went there for a visit. Also, pictures also shown the smogs from factory chimneys that enveloped the air during the Industrial Revolution. This is quite an inhumane environment to live in. I do not blame technology for this, I blame capitalists who only thinks about themselves. Capitalists took advantage of the non-existing law to protect the workers. I am quite relieved that there are laws now that protects the welfare not only the workers but also protects the state of environment and animals.

    As I recall, in this time is where the Slum Tours took place. Rich or high people of society goes to slum areas like the Manchester where they observe what poor people do in their everyday lives. Like they are going to a zoo or something.

    Cristina Jane Dometita, 2012-17804, THX

  16. For me, the documentary showed something new, which was how science and technology affected the society. Things I’ve read on the Victorian era had always focused on how development positively changed society, but the video we watched in class last week provided a new view of the era. Despite being a feat in technology and economy, the Industrial Revolution also produced negative effects on human welfare. Development in technology did not always equal social development as displayed by this era. People were forced to work more than eight hours a day, which lessened their time for family; with women spending even less time to care for the children. Pollution was also prevalent and affected the health condition of people, especially the factory workers. Technological changes, just like any other change, can bring about both good and bad effects, which we still see in our society today.

    Pauline Aubrey S. Pacheco
    2012-47500
    THX

  17. Joshua Palisoc says:

    The documentary gave light to the positive and negative implications of the industrial revolution to people’s way of living. Through the industrial revolution architecture was modernized, new inventions bettered peoples lives, increased factory efficiency and productivity and created advancements in both technology and medicine. Despite the growing wealth due to trade and commerce, many of the working people, who actually produced the wealth, lived, worked and died in very poor conditions.The fast rise of factories left the the workers (men women and children) exposed to hazards without laws for the minimum pay or safety issues existing to protect them physically and economically. The more disadvantaged children were not able to get education hence they couldn’t get out of the cycle of working in factories when they got older. Also, the revolution highlighted the existing inequality among genders as women were paid lower than men even though they worked the same hours and etc. These circumstances led to a realization that innovation is a double edged sword. People should not let themselves be enslaved by industrialization. It all boils down to being responsible wielders of technology to be able to optimize its potentials and minimize if not totally avoid its harms. Eventually, people came out with laws that forced the factory owners to pay a minimum wage and enforce safety precautions in factories. Also a middle class started emerging which also got rid of aristocracy. The fight for equal rights for women was also ignited.

    Joshua John Palisoc
    2012-78672
    THX

  18. Ammiel Barros says:

    It is perplexing to note how technology, which I see as amoral, can drastically affect humanity, and the environment. Through this exposition of a part of Britain’s history, the perspective is that humans, in general, are not able to use technology without negatively affecting others. This brings me to the question: “are we progressing, or destroying ourselves?”

    Ammiel Barros
    2011-25018
    THX

  19. Jan Gil G. Sarmiento says:

    Women before were heavily disregarded in the community. They were there just for show, more like a trophy. They were treated as commodities, to be sold as slaves to man. Queen Victoria, being raised far from the hypocritical monarchical families (as was shown in the documentary), knew that something like this had to be changed. It would have been nice if a Queen like her stayed in the throne. A game-changer, a revolutionary. Philippines would need someone like her, someone to lead, someone to inspire.

    Though she withdrew herself from the public when her dear beloved albert died, she still hasnt let down of the people, unlike here in the philippines where when one commits too many bad things, he still fu*king has the guts to show his face to the public and smile without any conscience.

    The film comes to show that revolutionaries just do not come from those strong, dominant man. They may come from the daughters of milkmaids, the sons of shepherds, and even a man from the slums. Eye opening films like this should be shown to people where they could learn a thing or two from people of the past.

    Jan Gil G. Sarmiento
    2012-28056
    STS THX

  20. After watching this documentary, I can say that technology was pictured as a double-edged sword, capable of uniting and dividing people. Since time immemorial, we know that technology is considered as a tool for advancing humanity. However, the rise of mechanization often led to the revolt of people displaced by more efficient and cost-effective machines. Contrary to the plight of other countries such as France, Britain witnessed a Great Exhibition instead of a Great Revolution.

    It cannot be disputed that the life of a poor during the industrial revolution was not a piece of cake. Within the smoky and sulfurous industrial cities of Britain were its poverty-stricken citizens. I noticed that eventually, people became more concerned in improving their living conditions through their individual and community efforts, instead of resorting to a revolution which may ultimately result into a bloodshed.

    Queen Victoria and her sisters became the key players in shaping this era. During the Victorian age, women were expected to act in a feminine manner. Any act deviating from the norm was considered as a violation of the natural order on the proper relation of sexes. Queen Victoria firmly believed that women were vested with the quality of tenderness.

    It is interesting to note that this traditional view on women were invalidated by women themselves. The cases of Elizabeth Gaskell, Harriet Stuart Mill, Annie Besant, Julia Margaret Cameron, Mary Seacole, and Doctor Elizabeth Garrett prove that women empowerment is possible through proper education and assertion of rights (ex. right to suffrage), coupled with hard work and perseverance.

    Bryan L. Servando
    2011-12178
    THX

  21. After watching this documentary, I can say that technology was pictured as a double-edged sword, capable of uniting and dividing people. Since time immemorial, we know that technology is considered as a tool for advancing humanity. However, the rise of mechanization often led to the revolt of people displaced by more efficient and cost-effective machines. Contrary to the plight of other countries such as France, Britain witnessed a Great Exhibition instead of a Great Revolution.
    It cannot be disputed that the life of a poor during the industrial revolution was not a piece of cake. Within the smoky and sulfurous industrial cities of Britain were its poverty-stricken citizens. I noticed that eventually, people became more concerned in improving their living conditions through their individual and community efforts, instead of resorting to a revolution which may ultimately result into a bloodshed.
    Queen Victoria and her sisters became the key players in shaping this era. During the Victorian age, women were expected to act in a feminine manner. Any act deviating from the norm was considered as a violation of the natural order on the proper relation of sexes. Queen Victoria firmly believed that women were vested with the quality of tenderness.
    It is interesting to note that this traditional view on women were invalidated by women themselves. The cases of Elizabeth Gaskell, Harriet Stuart Mill, Annie Besant, Julia Margaret Cameron, Mary Seacole, and Doctor Elizabeth Garrett prove that women empowerment is possible through proper education and assertion of rights (ex. right to suffrage), coupled with hard work and perseverance.

    Bryan L. Servando
    2011-12178
    THX

  22. 2012-78834 says:

    The documentary reminded me of an animated film entitled Princess Mononoke. Japan also did suffer the same conflict. They don’t know how to protect their environment during the early stage of industrialization of their country. Even though Princess Mononoke is a fictional character, the message of the film still applies to the real world that humans and nature can live peacefully together.

    When it comes to the issue of gender equality, it is clear that women at that time are slaves of their husbands. I was surprised to find out that husbands were allowed to beat their wives as long as the cane that they will use is not thicker than their thumb. You will be the unluckiest wife if your husband got elephantiasis on his thumb. I salute the women in the documentary who fought for their rights. It took too much courage to change the society.

    2012-78834
    STS
    THX

    • Juned says:

      It is interesting you mentioned Princess Mononoke. Ghibli has produced a number of cartoons that dwell on the impact of science & technology on culture and the environment. I guess you watched a number of anime – There is actually thread connecting a few of the stories together in one film you had traditional Japanese mythological creatures defending their land from a developer and in another the said land had already been converted into a town. In Spirited Away the river entity was full of pollution and waste.

  23. Gabrielle Yvonne G. Amper says:

    Before I watched the documentary, I thought that the reign of Queen Victoria was a time when women took a stand for their rights and their position as equal to men BECAUSE she encouraged such actions. To my surprise, she, a woman in power herself, saw to it that these un-ladylike preoccupations were discouraged, or worse, stopped. With respect to historical gender studies, Queen Victoria is evidence of how the oppression of women was deeply ingrained in the consciousness of people to the point that women themselves thought it proper to remain oppressed. Unbelievable. Thankfully, other women, unfazed by their Queen’s disposition, still fought on. On another note, I am genuinely thankful to have been able to watch this documentary. I hope this remains a part of the STS syllabus so that other students could watch it.

    2012-16443
    THX

  24. As was mentioned above, there were two “plots” in the documentary that were of interest to me. (1) the growth of industrialization and development in Victorian England and (2) the plight, inequality, and injustice leveled at the women of that time.

    Coming from an economic background, I take it as a fact that industrialization is the path that must be taken towards economic progress. I had learned about the growth of factories and assembly line production from all the way back to high school but I never truly saw their effect on the general population until this documentary. I know that economic progress is never truly all-inclusive, especially without proper government intervention, but this documentary just brought that point home all too well. While the city’s capitalists were profiting from the increased production, the more marginalized sectors were struggling with poor wages and horrible working conditions. These were issues that the monarchy at the time should have been addressing.

    From a feminist perspective however, the second issue hits a bit harder. Perhaps I expected too much when the Victorian age was announced as a time for “transformation in the lives of women”. I was expecting tales of female empowerment especially considering the head of the entire monarchy was QUEEN Victoria. However, I was very disappointed with her dependence on Prince Albert as well as her lack of support for the more entrepreneurial and intrepid women of her time. The issues in the documentary about the Victorian times’ strict codes of morality and regimens of Evangelical prayer touched on one of my beliefs that religion can be an impediment to progress, but I won’t go into that now. Overall, the film was incredibly informative and I truly enjoyed learning about the roots of the Industrial Age. My heart goes out to the women heroes of that time who dared to push boundaries and exceed gender norms. May we all learn from their courage.

    Flora Anne R. Palabrica
    2012-24581
    THX

    • Juned says:

      It is important to tell the story of humanity so we may learn from it and not forget. More so here we see how this intersects with development of Science and Technology.

  25. Disa says:

    Upon reading the title “Victoria and Her Sisters: A History of Great Britain”, I had the impression that it was going to be a documentary that is regal and luxurious. But I was quite wrong about that. Great Britain was way different before as compared to how most people perceive Great Britain now. And looking at a closer spectacle, so were the women of Great Britain. Queen Victoria was expected to act as THE Queen but instead, she acted as HER OWN (kind of) Queen. Even during her times, when it seemed impossible and inappropriate for her, she was able to make use of technology. She is a woman who had innovated a handful of things—even how we view women at present. She has made history for Britain, for technology, and more importantly, for women.

    I was never fascinated by anything under the topic of history. But as I the film progressed right before my eyes, I could not draw my attention away from what I was watching. It was more than the memorization history we learned in our first few years in school. It is the history that matters to us even now that we’re in college studying our respective fields and majors. It is the history that binds us to become motivated and inspired to innovate and act on to things that will make an impact to our society. It is the history that makes us look back but at the same time move forward from where we are now.

    So maybe my impression was right. I really was able to witness something regal and magnificent.

    Disa Reyes
    2014-60844
    STS THX

  26. The age of progress during the reign of Queen Victoria was not all about progress of economy alone but also the struggle of women to achieve gender equality, especially on politics and economics. Since time immemorial (up until now), women are paving their way to parallel those of the men. The women in the Victorian era are confined to domestic works, and are tasked to nurture the home, take care of children and provide for the husband’s food and home. The moment they marry, all their rights are transferred in the hands of their spouse. They cannot own a property, sue and even vote. They are stereotyped to be weaker fellows, thus, not fit for works that are “for men”.

    This documentary showed how women gradually rise to power. Queen Victoria reigning the British monarch symbolizes how women eventually played their role in the society aside from being a homemaker.

    While Queen Victoria was portrayed to reign the monarch, it was also shown how she was still dependent to her husband, Prince Albert. She was too emotionally and physically attached with him (though they do not show it publicly). His husband’s death was the darkest part of her life as well as her reign.

    In contrary to Queen Victoria’s struggle which falls to the upper class (even Royal), the feminist or women empowerment became prevalent in the middle class women, especially to those educated. They were breaking stereotypes that glorify men as superior. They went to study “men’s subjects” such as law, physics and engineering and even pioneered a gender-equal education in Britain. They practiced opening bodies (as they termed nursing back then), though they were criticized as immoral.

    Queen Victoria, however, noted that women should stay at home and not practice “immoral” things such as nursing or being a doctor. She was quite conservative in the sense that she abides by the prevalent notion that women are for home only. She showed that even as she rose to power, that even she is capable of changing the tides, she wasn’t able to stray from the preconceived notion rooted to their ancestors about men and women and their power relations and struggle.

    Suffrage movement for women sparked at the latter part of Victorian era. As it was portrayed in the documentary as a cliffhanger, the right of women to vote was the ext step to becoming gender equal. Thus, women struggle does not end with women being able to penetrate jobs outside the confinements of the home.

    Overall, this documentary still mirrors how women are portrayed to be weaker than men, that there are specific jobs and skills that only men can do. Women are still expected to be submissive. Though “empowered” in the works pace, women experience double burden, a situation that emanated from the history. Women are still expected to be the nurturers and homemakers and at the same time, take part in providing for the family.

    2013-04766
    STS THY

  27. This documentary showed how women attempted to break free from the stereotypes the culture as well as the history that ties their hands from doing what they want.

    Queen Victoria’s reign in the British monarch shows how women can be play the role in the society, not just by being a homemaker but also by doing the things that are labeled “for men.”

    Back then, a woman is like a property owned by a man. When a woman marry, her rights are transferred to their spouse and they were expected to be he homemaker while their husband provide for the family. They are expected to nurture the home, take care of the children and provide for the husband’s need at home. They cannot decide whether to have sex or not with their husband, they cannot vote, they cannot sue nor own a property. They are even discouraged to study subjects that were “for men,” and they must stick to learning embroidery and sewing, cooking and other practical things that can be used in facilitating the household.

    But come Victorian era, especially in the educated middle class, feminism or women empowerment sparked the women’s clamor for gender equality. They broke through stereotypes. They studied the subjects “for men” such as law, engineering and physics and even pioneered a gender equal education in Britain. They even practiced nursing and medicine, which at that time was labelled as a man’s duty because it involves opening a body.

    Though Queen Victoria may be seen as an icon for women empowerment, she was still tied to the culture of women oppression. She may be seen as an empowered woman, being able to reign a monarch and lead her constituents but as she married, she became this submissive wife (though she was reluctant at first). She became too attached to her husband, Prince Albert, emotionally and physically, that his death became the darkest period of her life.

    Moreover, she saw the women’s participation in the labor force especially to the jobs “for men” as immoral and even discouraged women from working. Rather, she wanted women to stay as homemaker as it was their primary duty, as if women are the only ones tasked to take care of the family.

    Still, women on this era did not let themselves to be hindered by the culture as well as the queen’s remarks and they even fought for other rights, not only the right for education and labor. The documentary’s cliffhanger, which is the tattoo of V in the breast of a woman, signified that at the latter part of Victorian era does that fight for suffrage began. This show that women’s struggle to achieve gender equality is continuous.

    This documentary still mirrors today’s society where women are seen as inferior. Women are expected to be homemakers and at the same time, providers for the family. This is called double-burden, as if men are privileged from being household duties and only women are tasked and capable to do them.

    2013-04766
    THY

    • Juned says:

      It is hard to think that at this time and age there are men who still believe that, however, one just has to read the news and see the inequity and injustice done because of intolerance by radical fundamentalists and those who maintain the proverbial ceiling barring people from progressing.

  28. Raizza Fatima A. Gallardo says:

    I was unfamiliar with the overall situation of England during the reign of Queen Victoria. I have always thought of England as a nation which prospered under its monarchy. However, this documentary was able to change my perspective; the turmoil wrought by the industrial revolution on the country was devastating to its citizens. I have always been taught that the industrial revolution was progressive and brought about many technological advances, but I failed to learn about the many problems and hardships that came with it and how greatly it affected the lives of those who lived during that time.

    One thing I did know about England during that period was the lack of women’s rights. As a feminist I am aware of the unjust treatment women have been receiving throughout history. This documentary only strengthened my idea that having a female monarch is not indicative of the improvement of gender relations. On the contrary, Queen Victoria’s traditional view of women was inherently misogynistic. It was a harmful notion she applied to herself and to women in general. I am glad to have learned about women in the Victorian era who took it upon themselves to step up and fight for their rights. It is empowering and refreshing to know that even this early on, there were people who have been recognizing the inequality in their society.

    Raizza Fatima A. Gallardo
    THX
    2015-13552

    • Juned says:

      It would be interesting to develop this further – women role in society through the lens of science and technology

  29. Alexandre Ong says:

    When it discussed the Industrial Age and the concepts of progress, mechanization and whatnot–I was reminded of Karl Marx’s arguments regarding Capitalism. Men and humanity in general are treated as appendages to a system or a process that seeks to produce. It reduces the role of us living beings and puts an emphasis on machines. This ideology, as we may have seen, is still very much prevalent in society today where the concept of “disconnect,” the lack of human interaction, is caused by advancements in technology. Ironically, these are the same instruments furthered by men through years of experimentation and research to reduce workload and make lives easier. Then and now, it’s difficult to say if technology does have a true blue net benefit to human society.

    With regards to Queen Victoria and feminism, while one perspective might denote that the documentary depicted a positive point in that era and mention how the Queen was able to lead the country through those troubled times, when women were looked down upon, and how there were select individuals like Julia Margaret Cameron who broke molds and disrupted stereotypes. It is a minute victory, however, considering Queen Victoria relapsed upon Sir Albert’s death, and how few those women really were. In fact, even up until today, a time which people consider as one more progressive, feminism is still yielding to stereotypes. If you want to be considered a successful, independent woman, there are still certain qualifications expected by society from you, so feminism still hasn’t reached the level of freedom it wishes to attain.

    Alexandre Ong
    2012-62428
    STS THX

    • Juned says:

      In a sense Victoria was still fortunate, other female rulers did not fare well. In France inheritance of the crown only went to the male line of the family.

  30. Marielle M. Espinosa says:

    I haven’t really remembered the Victorian Age other than the new evolution to the new age of technology which is the entrance of the Industrial age in the country. What I do know is that the very age has a lot of dark corners in every age, like if something new comes up there will always be a dark side of a good step to new progressive step in technology. I am aware of the fact that women have little rights in this era. From what I saw in the documentary, women were treated as material property where they are contracted to marry men, most of them especially in the family of average to above average social class. Yet with the struggle of the women in the era, it is there that they showed capability to the public that even women could handle machinery themselves. The photographer Julia Margaret Cameron showed that glimmer of hope to women in that era thus opens liberty and freedom to study or work on their own free will, not forced to work to consume food for survival yet even this did not last long and the fight continues up to this day. This is where the beginning of adaptation and evolution in the system of society and science pertaining to the industrial revolution. Still women were found to be more than just mere properties and I find it refreshing that we have gone beyond that age now but the fight for women’s rights in this current age continues. After having a short view about the Victorian era and the queen herself from the film, I have found myself appreciating the history if the Victorian women and give respects for those who continues to hold their feet on the ground in the front lines of freedom.

    Marielle M. Espinosa
    2012-78957
    THX

  31. Marielle M. Espinosa says:

    If you look at the women of today and the past you would think of a huge difference in the cause of their movement when in fact they are suffering the same. The only difference is the time, the period of when women’s rights were erupting to be called for and be taken to the law. Queen Victoria’s actions showed how women could act and be as capable as men do upon sitting on the throne of where the former king once sat upon. Julia Margaret Cameron showed her mastery in the photography arts and the mixing of chemicals behind the closed doors and dark room when producing the photo. It is also a time where women were seen as properties for men, sexual intercourse was seen to be more than love making behind closed doors and the battering wives did not became an abuse by law when it was the opposite that was present at that time about putting them back on their feet by whipping or possibly using a stick that would give them a trip to the hospital. Women at that time seek freedom and liberty just as they do in this era when technology is powerful as it continues to evolve through time and the social media is there for women to shout out through posts when the calling of the feminist movement arrives. Before and now, the cause is different but their goals are similar but that time women are truly in need of the women’s rights because of the horrifying brutality that men struck upon them.

    After watching the document I realized that technology not only brings convenience and innovation to our progressing world, humans are still found to be susceptible to change but half of mankind are able to adapt through time. It is a continuing cycle and history never stops recording that repetitive cycle. I found this film to be very informative and have given me knowledge as well as gaining respect for women of that era for their efforts to fight through the struggle of discrimination and harassment;

    Marielle M. Espinosa
    2012-78957
    STS THX

  32. If you look at the women of today and the past you would think of a huge difference in the cause of their movement when in fact they are suffering the same. The only difference is the time, the period of when women’s rights were erupting to be called for and be taken to the law. Queen Victoria’s actions showed how women could act and be as capable as men do upon sitting on the throne of where the former king once sat upon. Julia Margaret Cameron showed her mastery in the photography arts and the mixing of chemicals behind the closed doors and dark room when producing the photo. It is also a time where women were seen as properties for men, sexual intercourse was seen to be more than love making behind closed doors and the battering wives did not became an abuse by law when it was the opposite that was present at that time about putting them back on their feet by whipping or possibly using a stick that would give them a trip to the hospital. Women at that time seek freedom and liberty just as they do in this era when technology is powerful as it continues to evolve through time and the social media is there for women to shout out through posts when the calling of the feminist movement arrives. Before and now, the cause is different but their goals are similar but that time women are truly in need of the women’s rights because of the horrifying brutality that men struck upon them.

    After watching the document I realized that technology not only brings convenience and innovation to our progressing world, humans are still found to be susceptible to change but half of mankind are able to adapt through time. It is a continuing cycle and history never stops recording that repetitive cycle. I found this film to be very informative and have given me knowledge as well as gaining respect for women of that era for their efforts to fight through the struggle of discrimination and harassment;

    Marielle M. Espinosa
    2012-78957
    STS THX If you look at the women of today and the past you would think of a huge difference in the cause of their movement when in fact they are suffering the same. The only difference is the time, the period of when women’s rights were erupting to be called for and be taken to the law. Queen Victoria’s actions showed how women could act and be as capable as men do upon sitting on the throne of where the former king once sat upon. Julia Margaret Cameron showed her mastery in the photography arts and the mixing of chemicals behind the closed doors and dark room when producing the photo. It is also a time where women were seen as properties for men, sexual intercourse was seen to be more than love making behind closed doors and the battering wives did not became an abuse by law when it was the opposite that was present at that time about putting them back on their feet by whipping or possibly using a stick that would give them a trip to the hospital. Women at that time seek freedom and liberty just as they do in this era when technology is powerful as it continues to evolve through time and the social media is there for women to shout out through posts when the calling of the feminist movement arrives. Before and now, the cause is different but their goals are similar but that time women are truly in need of the women’s rights because of the horrifying brutality that men struck upon them.

    After watching the document I realized that technology not only brings convenience and innovation to our progressing world, humans are still found to be susceptible to change but half of mankind are able to adapt through time. It is a continuing cycle and history never stops recording that repetitive cycle. I found this film to be very informative and have given me knowledge as well as gaining respect for women of that era for their efforts to fight through the struggle of discrimination and harassment;

    Marielle M. Espinosa
    2012-78957
    STS THX

  33. Re-posting. Submitted 16 February 2016 to http://baratillo.net/2016/02/age-of-progress-the-industrial-age-of-england-victoria-and-her-sisters/

    This reaction addresses matters of technology, labor, gender and class raised in “Victoria and Her Sisters” and how ultimately, these issues are interlinked.

    Technological development such as the perfection of the steam engine may have driven the Industrial Revolution but it was not the sole decisive force in this historical transformation. Precisely because technology did not exist in a vacuum. Whose hands controlled technology and how was it used to advance society? Here, political and economic inequality came into play. The politically and economically advantaged class (where Victoria belonged to) obviously appropriated technology for their own gains. Concentrating workers into urbanized industrial communities and combining them with newly-advanced machineries, these elites managed to maximize profits off of the workers’ backs through speedier mass production. Indispensible to this profiteering were the exploitative working and harsh living conditions as shown in the film. This would be the seed of Capitalism in Europe and would create vast wealth for England—the ruling class, at least. Since then, history has shown that as industrialization progressed from steel, electricity, chemical to digital, technology had been continuously co-opted to establish sharper economic inequalities. Regrettably, instead of becoming an instrument for proletariat progress and freedom, technology was used for their further oppression.

    The documentary focused on gender inequalities as well. It is true that women suffered double the oppression men experienced and that this subjugation cut across classes. Even Queen Victoria recounted such in her diaries written in the midst of her marital “bliss.” Sexual, financial, social, educational, professional, political, religious, and all sorts of repression have been instituted against women since medieval times. But wasn’t the oppressive material conditions more pronounced and tangible among the lower strata, especially working class women? Victoria was not even fully aware of the real life and death struggles of these other women. Whatever awareness she had sprung from her “exposure trips” and distant observations from her ivory tower. Up until her passing, she lay comfortably in an extravagant deathbed, far from the mice and disease-stricken abodes of the proletariat and peasant women. No wonder some of the most notable occurrences in the movement for women liberation did not come from Victoria’s palace. These were sparked by women referred to in the documentary as “Victoria’s sisters,” whose immersion in the general populace was less superficial than Queen Victoria’s. They were the health campaigners, political activists, doctor and photographer.

    The film remains relevant to this modern day. Unequal gender and labor relations, in many cases facilitated by technology, still exist, although they have taken different and more sophisticated forms. Ultimately, if genuine change is to come, it will not be via a mere technological revolution, neither through a gender liberation movement. Revolution should come from the grassroots and it should confront the dominant mode of economic production.

    Looking back, even pre-Industrial Feudalism was not only characterized by the inherently unequal landlord-peasant relations. It also involved backward notions of women’s role in social and agricultural production. This largely influenced the treatment of women during Victoria’s era. Similarly, Capitalism was not just maintained by designated relations between the huge businessman and the workforce. Defined gender roles also preserved it in the early days of capitalist patriarchy: males worked as wage-laborers while females were in-charge of child-rearing and household, guaranteeing a well-nourished labor force—thoroughly exploitable yet replaceable through pro-creation. This heteronormative set-up helped sustain an entire economic structure and may account for the sexist tendencies still prevalent in today’s post-Industrial Revolution Capitalism and its ideological institutions. Women are still being degraded in the media and elsewhere; and in some industries, females are still paid less than their male counterparts.

    In conclusion, gender concerns can never be separated from issues of class borne out of an unjust economic system on any given epoch. Therefore, the struggle for women’s rights should be unified with the struggle for class liberation. As seen in the documentary and throughout history, the struggle of women is also the struggle of the working class. But resolving class contradictions should still be regarded with primacy. After all, no matter what gender disadvantaged people belong to, they are all part of an oppressed economic class. And only class struggle will dismantle Capitalism—the systemic root of subjugation of women and all other repressed sectors.

    ROSELYN D. CORREA
    2006-70446
    THX

    • Juned says:

      There are movements in the United States heading toward a more gender equitable society. Do you think this is possible?

  34. Johan Rodriguez says:

    The documentary portrayed a world view very different from the present day age world view. It showcased a point in time that seemed so far away due to the state of living in general. At the forefront was the overall bight that the country was facing due to the industrial revolution and all its side effects. Yes it jumpstarted a new era in terms of technology and production, but all that came at a cost. And looking past these, amongst other issues would be the issues of women’s rights, which at that time were still far from equal to what men would have. It also showcased the people who were willing to fight against such norms and raise up to improve the state of their living. And all throughout the video, it described and laid out in historical accounts the intertwining of different facets mainly science technology, and society.

    Johanan Rodriguez
    2011-40741
    THY

  35. Marielle Pojas says:

    Watching this documentary and somehow seeing that the queen believes that the role of women should only be mothers and dedicated housewives made me uncomfortable for a little bit. I grew up with the fact that women should not be limited by these concepts so I was somehow shocked that a queen, the most powerful person in the country at the time, was a believer that women are only destined for the household. This is the reason why when the documentary already delved in the stories of various women who were breaking conventional barriers and stereotypes, I became engrossed in the film. Add to that the conditions where it was the start of industrial revolution–a turning point in human history and in human technology and development. This period of time was a very important one as everything was changing–labor and employment methods were abruptly changing–many workers were being laid-off, prices of goods were inflating–it was a very difficult time. But somehow amidst the difficult times, there are a lot of women who came through and surpassed what was expected of them by the society They rose as doctors, photographers, writers etc and they excelled in fields that before was only dominated by the male species. In my mind, I somehow view it as similar to what we face in the Philippines today–in a world where information and research development becomes the wealth of nations, being a country with insufficient funding for education, science research and development is bound to be difficult. But we can still see great Filipino minds who rise to the top. We still are able to produce national scientists who are not only recognized in our country but also, and sometimes more so, in other countries.

    Towards the end of the movie, there were already a lot of women who were recognized for their contributions, beliefs, and principles. Of high note is the suffragettes. I cannot imagine a world where women have no say in the political world or in the leaders who govern the country. And although it was may be arduous and difficult, it made me feel proud that women were actively taking steps in order for us to take a vote. The saying “I’d rather die screaming for justice than live with no voice at all,” is somehow apt for this scenario.

    Which is why I see it important for everyone to get out of their comfort zone in order to understand more about the world. Imagine the shock Queen Victoria got when she saw the living conditions of the poor, her shock when she saw the smoke, the soot, and the dirt that some of her constituents were living in. I believe that it should not make us uncomfortable to go out of our “ivory towers” as this is the only way we can begin to understand the world and our fellow earthlings.

    Marielle Pojas
    2012-32927
    THX

  36. Pamela Danielle Lanuza says:

    In presenting how technology shaped society in the context of the Industrial Revolution, Schama’s documentary Victoria and Her Sisters challenges the notion that technological advancement begets social progress. It’s interesting to view history through this uncustomary perspective; instead of focusing on the lives of the monarchy or the facets of the machinery, it aimed its attention on the ordinary people, the working-class who lived through the grim reality of the Industrial Revolution. The film drives us to realize how technology, which we now conveniently enjoy, once served as an engine of inhumanity.

    Another interesting point emphasized in the film is how this British inferno gave birth to women empowerment. It was quite disheartening to see how Queen Victoria, who of all people could have served as an inspirational figure to liberate the women in her time, confined herself to the enslaving sphere of inferiority and domesticity. However, it was still encouraging to see how women like Elizabeth Gaskell, Julia Margaret Cameron, and Elizabeth Garrett, found and echoed their voices through their respective fields of literature, photography and medicine.

    Pamela Danielle T. Lanuza
    2012-24211
    THX

    • Juned says:

      I would be interesting to see a similar movement in other cultures. Was Hypathia the norm or an exception during her time? Athenian Democracy only free men, not slaves and women, were allowed to vote.

  37. Eunice Lalic says:

    For me, this documentary gave focus to a different aspect of the Industrial Revolution. More than the drastic changes in technology, it gave light to the role of women during the era. I find the actions taken by Victoria are still relevant today, how in the midst of changes and domination of men, they were courageous and clever enough to take their own steps in their respective fields.

    Moreover, it kind of shows me that technological advancements, sometimes, have its cons as well. Sometimes, the progress it brings is not progress for all. However, it also gives a way for people (not only women) to do something about whatever is happening in the society.

    Eunice A. Lalic
    2012-22608
    THX

  38. Michelle Mariel Mariposa says:

    I have participated in several discussions on the Industrial Age of Britain, starting from high school, up until college, where I took a Kasaysayan elective, and an English elective on Victorian Age literature. However, discussions on the Industrial Age and the Industrial Revolution have always focused on the economic state of Britain–the machines being invented, the major sources of income, the changes that occurred in economic society brought about by innovations in science and technology. Strangely, although our English class on Victorian Literature always talked about how Queen Victoria’s reign brought about the Industrial Age, we have never talked about the Industrial Age in light of the rise of feminism, until this class.

    The film shows a paradox. Queen Victoria is for the conservative role of women, however she herself is the symbol of the revolution in science and industry that occurred at that time. Her image and opinion is juxtaposed with several other women whom Queen Victoria would deem “un-ladylike.” These were women who went against the stereotypes and fought for their own rights, and produced astounding contributions to society.

    Such a paradox shows that the role of women truly is vast and influential. Women are needed both in the home, and out in the field. Without women, all levels of society will crumble and prove to be one-sided; the home will have no mother/sister/daughter-figures, the working field will be dominated by logic rather than humanity (as men have been shown to be more “logical” than women). Indeed, the Industrial Age, although it was marked by several grave consequences and effects along with leaps of progress, is a result of the involvement of women–both women who valued their roles in the family, and women who pushed against the stereotypes placed on them.

    Michelle Mariel C. Mariposa
    2012-16203

    THY

  39. Erica Erin E. Elazegui says:

    Age of Progress: Victoria and Her Sisters

    The documentary told stories of the women of Britain (Victoria’s sisters) and the situation in the times they emerged. Britain’s situation in the industiral age was explained to let the watchers understand how hard it was for these women to have done what they did.

    From the video, the advantages and disadvatages of technological advancements were emphasized, but mainly the negative side of these developments. Only in the first part of the documentary that they brought the “pretty” image of industrial age. Environmental, political, social, physical and health effects were pinpointed among a list of disadvantages. It made me see the importance of careful planning, management, foresight and preventive measures. Science and technology should have been there to help improve human lives; but, as shown in the video, it brought negative changes on how the society lives. Slavish jobs to no jobs for the working class and dangerous work for children brought by a increase number of machinery and greed of higher classes. With these machines, there was also so much pollution as described in one of Victoria’s journal entries. On the other hand, these situations of the society brought or pushed the people to work for something more as highlighted on what the women (e.g., Annie Besant, Mary Seacole, etc.) and some of the men (e.g., John Stuart Mill, Prince Albert) did.

    On a personal level, I hated how Victoria cannot imagine some of the occupations fought for by the sisters as jobs for women, like the part where she said she cannot imagine a woman slicing through a dead man’s skin in the case of Elizabeth Garrett.

    Generally, the video explained and showed what we almost miss every time about advancements. History showed it; very now and then, a movie or series features it. Without proper management of science and technology, it would bring more evil than good.

    Erica Erin E. Elazegui
    2011-21384
    THX

  40. Nico Tolentino says:

    You’re only given one life, the question is what do you do with it? This is something that each person has to face. In this documentary, we saw how each of these historical women faced their lives with what they were given, where they were born and brought up in and the things and situations that surrounded them.

    We saw how Queen Victoria, who grew up in her world of self-criticism was exposed and thrown into the world of the British Inferno. Although she did try her best to lead in the beginning of her reign, the people still suffered horribly. Even up to her last years, she was blinded by a fake prosperity which hid the bleak reality of the people. In addition to that the death of her husband made her lost in her own misery. In these times, we see these other historical women who, despite the obstacles that they had to face in their lives, still continued to fight for what they believed in. The likes of these other women still found a way to pursue their passion in whatever way they could possibly think of and were capable of.

    In our world today, although not as terrible as Britain during those times, each person is faced with their own set of obstacles. It is up to us whether we lose sight of who we are and the things we want to achieve or we fight in whatever way we can and make a change both in ourselves and in society that we will become proud of.

    Nicolo Miguel Simplicio D. Tolentino
    2012-58325
    THX

  41. Andrea Nalupa says:

    As depicted in the film, it is ironic and unfortunate how the supposed growth of civilization and of the Industrial Revolution (a huge development in technology revolutionizing England and eventually the world) has led to the demise and misery of the people that the Industrial Empire was supposed to help or cater to. I also found it unfortunate and quite outrageous how human rights only applied to society’s favored sectors during that time. Discrimination and social division is not something that’s new to me, but I never saw the application of those two things to human rights coming. I also found it appalling and rather disappointing that at a time when great changes could have been made by the queen who claims to have lived a somewhat ‘ordinary’ life before her reign, which therefore suggests that she must know even just a little about how it should feel to be an ordinary citizen greatly affected by the decisions of those in power and must have seen even just a few daily struggles that everyone else around her experienced, chose industrial progress and showing off over improving the condition of the country and the situation of her people. She might have contributed to technological progress, but I say she could have done better with everything else.

    Andrea Nalupa
    2015-08442
    THX

  42. Andrea Nalupa says:

    As depicted in the film, it is ironic and unfortunate howthe supposed growth of civilization and ofthe Industrial Revolution (a huge development in technology revolutionizing England and eventually the world) has led to the demise and misery of the people that the Industrial Empire was supposed to help or cater to. I also found it unfortunate and quite outrageous how human rights only applied to society’s favored sectors during that time. Discrimination and social division is not something that’s new to me, but I never saw the application of those two things to human rights coming. I also found it appalling and rather disappointing that at a time when great changes could have been made by the queen who claims to have lived an ‘ordinary’ life before her reign, which therefore suggests that she must know how it should feel to be an ordinary citizen greatly affected by the decisions of those in power and must have seen even just a few daily struggles that everyone else around her experienced, chose industrial progress and showing off over improving thecondition of the country and the situation of her people. She might have contributed to technological progress, but I say she could have done better with everything else.

    Andrea Nalupa
    2015-08442
    THX

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