Do you watch Girls? Do you become vaguely obsessed with how narcissistic and self involved every single character on that show is, except for Soshanna, and God knows why she is friends with those people?
Sure you do. And you’ve probably heard older people talk about how this show is indicative of how privileged young people are, and how they don’t have any work ethic (like in that moment when Thomas-John shrieks at Jessa that she’s a whore with no commitment). And often, this is said as though it is news – young people being awful.
No, it is not new.
Lady Nijo, the author of Confessions of Lady Nijo was just so much worse than any entitled, bratty 20-something you will ever run into right now.
But, as is the case with many of the characters on Girls, I like her, in spite of myself. In part because I do think that it was somewhat harder for a woman to be a brat in 13th century Japan.
Although it probably helped that Lady Nijo came from a high ranking family. The Fujiwara Nijo family held powerful positions at the Emperor’s court, and were also known for their literary output. And Emperor Go-Fukakusa was in love with Nijo’s mother, Sukedai. It was unrequited, which honestly struck me as really surprising, because I keep forgetting that droit du seigneur was not dreamed up until centuries later. But, when Sukedai died, the Emperor asked if he could have her adolescent daughter as a concubine. That is a totally normal, reasonable reaction, because women are a lot like iguanas, and if you do not enjoy one of them, you can replace her almost instantly with another. If you go quickly back to the pet/woman store, no one will even know!
No, that is not actually how things work.