but why are people so obsessed with marie antoinette tho
I suspect it’s because she was a hopeless tragedy.
I’d argue that there’s an inversion of correlations here. Which came first: the admiration Antoinette attracted or the idea that she was invariably hopeless? If we dare argue that Antoinette had hope, a chance, a choice (ie., the agency that we always want to deny female historical figures) we suddenly have to evaluate what these were. Did Antoinette have to object to the Declaration of the Rights of Man? Did Antoinette have to conspire with Mirabeau? With Barnave? With foreign powers? She had to give battle plans to French invaders?
Do we think that Antoinette was so pathetic, so stupid, so negligible that nothing she did had any bearing on her own life at all?
Let’s give the lady some credit, please.
Antoinette did make choices. And she was hated as much for her political views as for her nationality. Is it true that some hated her because she dared to have political views at all while being Austrian and a woman despite what these views entailed? Sure. And that’s awful. But this doesn’t mean we should absolutely disregard the opprobrium they attracted intrinsically, either. Just because there’s problematic aspects in the criticisms leveled against historical figures doesn’t mean we can dismiss the criticisms as absolutely without merit en masse.
Which is to say, the idea that Antoinette was a hopeless tragedy is both contentious and inherently favorable to Antoinette as it strips her of any culpability. The “she’s a romantic, hopeless tragedy” omits any room for discussion regarding the constructs of absolutism and by extension. Saying she was hopeless from the start allows for uncritical admiration: for what good is it do argue that she “Should Have done X” or “Refrained from doing Y” if beheading is the only possible result anyhow? Once we’ve stopped analyzing her options and limitations we can focus on that Totally Inevitable Result which she met with dignity.
So hey, there’s one possible answer.
Anyway, I personally admire Antoinette in the same way I admire an Elizabeth Woodville; as a calculating political player using the tools at her disposal.
That said, although I roll my eyes at some of Antoinette’s admirers as much as anyone, I’m uncomfortable with dismissing them - as someone in the notes did - as mere vapid airheads who just like the fancy dresses. I don’t want to shout “misogyny!” but there does seem to be a strain of condescension there? One that I’m absolutely guilty of indulging in the past, for which I’m sorry and for which I’m trying to not? do? anymore.
Anyway, I think many admire her dignity and control in a situation they (I think erroneously) believe to have been inherently undignified and uncontrollable. Often there’s a degree of sympathy regarding the sexism she endured etc.
But that’s just my personal interactions with those on the internet, her popular fanbase, and speaking generally.