Rosie Day Column

Do I have agency? The New Apple+ series ‘The Morning Show” has given me much to think about

When my Apple TV box asked me if I would like to subscribe to a 7 day trial of the Apple+ streaming service, I was sceptical. Do I need another streaming service? The short answer to that is no. But, I am slowly falling out of love with Amazon Prime Video. Just last week I binge watched 4 (free) seasons of a series, only to find that the 5th and final season would cost me £19.99. It is not the first time that this has happened and I am getting more than a little fed up with being held to ransom by these companies. Having said that, I do have to report that I decided against paying for season 5 (I am sure the global threat has been sorted out and everyone goes off to live happily ever after), but did sign up for my free Apple+ trial. I now have 6 days in which to cancel the service before £4.99 is taken from my account. Alas, that will not happen as I have started watching ‘The Morning Show’ which streams weekly episodes. It stars Jennifer Aniston and Reece Witherspoon. The plot stands on the #metoo bandwagon, but is well thought out and the acting is much better than I had anticipated it would be.

In the past, what with a high energy job and an even higher energy social life, I haven’t really had time for Television. Since deciding to take life at a more realistic pace, I have found that TV is a great way to waste a couple of hours (or more). I have learned that wasting time is extremely good for my health and wellbeing.

So, do I have agency?

The answer to that would be yes, but I had to do some googling to find out. There was a particular dialogue in The Morning Show that made me want to find out –

“You have agency, why don’t you just leave?”

This was part of a conversation between the two female leads. There was a thread throughout the first few episodes that explored the idea that even women in positions of power do not use that power effectively. They are always worried about making the wrong move and being vilified not only by the patriarchal system in which they worked, but also by other women and their peers. This resonates with me, I have seen it in my own career. It is one of the reasons that I jumped ship and set about pursuing a simpler life, where I get to make the decisions and revel in the consequences.

I can do this because, yes, I do have agency

Self-agency, or “personal agency” in psychology is a term that describes the power an individual has over their own life.

As modern women, we are very lucky to have ‘personal agency’. It wasn’t that long ago that women could not vote or own property. They couldn’t even control their own bank accounts. It was because I have ‘agency’ that I was able to step away from an industry that was making me ill and live the way that I want to. I am extremely lucky, that my career and era of birth has afforded me the means to be self sufficient. Not so lucky that it caused me to have a heart attack. But hey ho, I’m still here!

In conclusion, society allows us to have personal agency, but I suspect that we must all dig deeper than we usually do, to allow ourselves to use it.

Rosie Day is a former PR professional. After a serious health scare she decided to retire and now spends her days consulting, writing her first novel and binge-watching television.

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