Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer



I was okay once Jamie said that a man who risked everyone’s life would have been hung or whipped. Now we have equality. Claire should not have any consequences for putting everyone’s lives at risk, because she is a woman. That, to me is just a different flavor of sexism, and it cheapens the equality issue.

Yes, though, just for some fun, we could also look at it a slightly different way…

True. Equality is vital, essential, and a central thrust of the feminist movement. However, why would we want equal treatment within a patriarchy? Radical feminism posits that equality is one thing, but the true target is to dismantle the system, rather than find an equal place within it. Similar debates have been an undercurrent in the marriage equality movement where some queer folks have struggled between their obvious desire to advocate for full rights (rights that they are entitled to) and their desire to question the very institution of marriage-let alone gender identity in this country.

Yes, conceivably Claire should be treated equal right? Equality is what we want. However I would argue that what is MORE vital is a questioning of the cultural heritage of wifely property (Scotland is hardly the “outlander” in this ugly truth-this was allll over the world, and still exists in many places) and the use of violence as a means to dispense justice (upon both male and female bodies).

And finally, this is the reason I stayed with the books, despite some early misgivings at encountering this section. Jaime and Claire function as advocates for a total re-thinking of the marriage relationship. They DO dismantle the patriarchical norm by forging a revolutionary partnership in which they play to their strengths and completely disregard societal norms regarding marriage.

Perhaps they needed to go through this episode, (Jaime punishing her) to realize that they didnt want to bend to the insidious gendered expectations of the time. Thats the thing about Diana’s books-they take their time in giving you a full picture. Folks will see this happen on the show and struggle with it as I did and the show will have to take its time to show the progression in the relationship.