The Life and Loves of a She-Devil

The Life and Loves of a She-Devil

BBC (1986)

Film Review

A dramatization of Fay Weldon’s 1983 classic, The Life and Loves of a She-Devil is a satire about the sexist and exploitive nature of romantic love.

The heroine is a very ugly woman named Ruth who ingeniously manipulates her husband’s innate sexism to wreak vengeance on him and his beautiful rich mistress Mary Fisher.

Both the book and the dramatization focus on society’s use of romantic love to glamorize the vast amount of unpaid labor women perform for men and society in general.

As Weldon puts it (in the words of a Catholic priest Fisher “seduces”), “love robs women of their identity and creative selves.”

The video below comprises all four episodes in the 1986 series.

14 thoughts on “The Life and Loves of a She-Devil

  1. “love robs women of their identity and creative selves.”

    True enough. Would not argue, historically, in particular!

    But I still say marriage is a tyrannical prison for both the woman and the man.

    It’s another religious/political control device used by the wealthy and powerful patriarchy to control both sexes of the “lower classes”. I once was offended by “Marriage is legalized rape,” but now I agree. But I would add that marriage is legalized false-imprisonment for both the woman and the man.

    And who is to say that we, women and men, can’t TRULY desire relationship (love) with more than one person at a time?

    Along with everything else that exists because of this ancient curse, marriage needs to be done away with, except, of course, at the individual level. If people so choose to marry, this should be their right. But fuck the legal bullshit and all that comes with it.


    • When anthropologists study early indigenous tribes, men and women tended to live separately, with male children in the female house till age 5-6. Women typically breast fed till age 4-6 which meant they weren’t sexually active during this time – the hormones suppress libido. And both men and women were free to enter into sexual relationships when they felt so inclined.

      In my view, monogamy is strictly an invention of class society to take control of reproduction. Throughout the Middle Ages, the ruling elite got really concerned every time there was a famine or epidemic – and the population dropped (which meant they had no one to work in their fields). So they fetishized sex and reproduction (by chaining men and women together legally) to maximize the birth rate.

      As far as I can see, we have too many people now – so I don’t see why we have to live this way any more.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Agree. We need to go back to following the ways of these indigenous peoples, and in almost all ways!

        I do not know that we have “too many people”. There is evidence that this is not the case at all. What we have is what you have been writing about: colonialism, land acquisition and corporate agriculture, etc, as well as destruction of the climate and environment, and by a tiny, tiny minority who control almost everything.

        There is plenty of room on this planet for the people alive, and perhaps, even more. It is this corrupt system that makes it appear as though there are too many.

        After all, this is what Bill Gates, and the like, preach.

        In fact, my opinion on this comes from something you posted a while back:


    • Now DrB. that could be interpreted as a sexist statement, don’t you think?

      Justice delivered that equals the “crime” may be harsh but deserved. And that can be very funny.
      In this case Bob is a shit and Ruth isn’t that “ugly” nor stupid.

      What Tubularsock likes about Ruth is that she is clear.

      Tubularsock is a strong believer in integrity when it comes to love and marriage.

      And it all works if a couple works at honest communication and a commitment to growth because marriage is a beginning not a conclusion. “Getting” your man or your woman is a conquest not a life of growth!

      This is where the Hollywood movie has forsaken us as a learning relationship tool. But there is no surprise there now is there ……….


      • You make some excellent points here, Tube! I do know of one marriage that has not been what is describe above, in this film, or in my comment, but really only one. And it was not parent’s marriage or any other relative’s marriage.

        Get rid of the patriarchal religious and political aspects of marriage, and maybe two people can make it a part of their individual/collective lives, if they so choose, that is, without being brow beaten because they are not conforming to society’s “norm”.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.