I Hope I Am a Gentleman
by Olivia


Scene 1:

Pellew: That it should come to this you of all people. Good
God man! Black bloody Equal Opportunity! What were you thinking?

Hornblower: It was for the good of women, Sir. Submissive or not,
they are entitled to have the right to vote.

 

Scene two: (six months earlier) Dissent is brewing among the
crew. Lieutenants Bush, Kennedy, Hornblower and Buckland, and
Midshipman Wellard are finding Sawyer's sexist jokes intolerable.
Upon reaching Kingston, Sawyer will present draft legislation which
will deny working women the right to paid maternity leave, as well as
revert the progress made on giving all women the right to vote. The
aforementioned officers are staunch supporters of the Women's
Liberation Movement, as well as the suffragists' fight to grant women
equal rights.

Scene three: Sawyer outlines the issued orders to his lieutenants.

Sawyer: Our orders are to present this legislation to the
parliament of Kingston.

Hornblower: (aside) The Women's Liberation is in full force there.

Sawyer: (sarcastically). Very good, Mr Hawn-blower, very
good! Gentlemen we can all rely on Mr Hawn-blower to keep us abreast
of those perky breasty issues; liberty, equal opportunity, stupidity.
You're not a feminist are you, Mr Hawn-blower?

Hornblower: Indeed I am not, Sir.

Saywer: Yes, we know how to deal with them in our Majesty's
Navy.

 

Scene four: Kennedy denounces Sawyer

Kennedy: But how would you describe such sexist behaviour,
Horatio?

Hornblower: Captain Sawyer is just traditional, Archie.

Kennedy: Traditional? Describe that to the young woman who he
beat senseless and threw over the side.

Hornblower: Do you think Bush would agree with you?

Kennedy: Well, no.

Hornblower: Or Buckland? The man's a paternal hero, he's earned
his place in history.

Kennedy: Well it's not history that concerns me, Horatio, it's
the future of women's rights. They're far more uncertain.

 

Scene five: Lieutenants Hornblower, Kennedy and Buckland hold a
secret meeting to thwart Sawyer's plan of passing the legislation
onto Kingston. They get discovered by Bush.

Bush: I thought I might find you here. I thought you might
feeeel that something had to be done about granting women equal
rights.

Buckland: I'm not sure I follow, Mr Bush.

Bush: I thought you might, feeeel that women are deserving
of equal pay as men.

Buckland: Mr Bush - !

Bush: As I do.

Hornblower: I believe we are all of the same mind, Mr Bush.

 

(Later during the meeting)

Bush: Women certainly have made a good job of traditional
roles.

Kennedy: Traditional?

Bush: I like it no more than you, Mr Kennedy.

Kennedy: I find it poor logic to say that because women are
good, women should vote. Men do not vote because they're good, they
vote because they're male, and women should not vote because they're
angels or men are animals, but because we're human beings and
citizens of this country.

Buckland: Twenty two years I have been lobbying the government
to grant women the right to vote. And now he'll break that effort.
He'll break the whole bloody Women's Liberation.

Hornblower: And in Kingston? What will await us there?

Bush: A court martial.

Buckland: Why why? What on earth for?

Hornblower: Well, this is Equal Opportunity, Mr Buckland. Equal
Opportunity.

 

Scene six: In a mysterious twist of fate, Sawyer falls down the
hold and suffers severe concussion, making Buckland the default
Captain of the ship. Contrary to his earlier pledge of seeing women
be granted the right to vote, he decides to press on to Kingston with
the draft legislation, as per the original plan. "Well, what else can
I do?" he despairs. "He might wake up at any minute for God's sake!"

Scene seven: Sawyer recovers and orders Buckland to place
Lieutenants Bush, Kennedy and Hornblower in a cell. "Arrest them
unless you care to join them!" he orders Buckland. "And clap them in
irons like the Banshee Femos they are!"

Whilst in captivity the ship runs aground and comes under fire from
feminist extremist groups, otherwise known as Female Misogynists (or
Man-Haters). Bolts of fire burst through the cell.

Kennedy: Burning bras! They're using burning bras!

Hornblower: Don't worry, Mr Kennedy. We'll drown long before we
get killed by feminist extremists!

 

(Styles and Matthews rescue the Lieutenants from the ship. Hornblower
issues a plan to save the ship).

Hornblower: I'll save the ship and take all the credit for it, if
yooouuu'll do exactly as I say.

 

(This plan works, and before long, they steer away from the perilous
shore to continue the voyage under the authority of Lieutenant
Buckland).

Scene eight: Bush, Kennedy and Hornblower convince Buckland to not
go to Kingston, and instead, to attack a Spanish Fort and liberate
the women there who are under oppression from a patriarchal
government. They spend some time sussing out the Spanish.

Kennedy: (looking through telescope). Good God! Well well well!

Bush: That's enough, Mr Kennedy, may I remind you we are in
the era of sexual liberation for women.

 

Scene nine: Hornblower has a confrontation with Sawyer.

Hornblower: You're down, Sir, but you can still earn the respect
of women.

Sawyer: Women? What do you know of women?

Hornblower: I know, that women are strange and sensitive. They
have compassion. I have the highest respect for women.

Sawyer: Damn you, Virgin!

 

Scene ten: The Spanish realise what the British have been up to.

Ortega's Wife: Mr Buckland, do you realise what you're doing? With
these new laws-

Buckland: (smugly) You will be granted the right to vote, and
in all probability will have a say in who your new president is by
the end of the week.

Dr Clive: You'd have to agree, Madam. You will now receive
equal pay for doing the same work as your husband.

Ortega: But this is...MADNESS!!

 

Scene eleven: Many of the Spanish women are resistant to these new
changes, and therefore must be kept an eye on during the journey back
to England, where they will be given full privileges as English
citizens. Unfortunately, this means they must be locked in a maximum
security prison for the duration of the journey. Buckland, however,
believing he is doing the gentlemanly thing by the captivated women,
orders the guard to open the door for them.

Buckland: Open the door for those women.

Guard: Sir?

Buckland: Just do it! 36 women to our 74 officers they'd
never dare to start a rebellion.

(But Buckland underestimates the power of determined women. When they
take over the ship much cursing is expressed by the other
Lieutenants).

Kennedy: (Groaning disdainfully) What does Buckland think
women will do when the door is left open for them? They're not bloody
stupid!

 

Scene twelve: Flashback to courtroom, where Buckland's judgement is
called into question.

Buckland: Oh-wo-oh, it was a difficult situation, one had no
inkling of how a modern woman expects to be treated. I didn't know
whether to stand up or to offer my seat to those women.

Pellew: So you opened the door for them?

Buckland: (sheepish) In hindsight it was a mistake.

Pellew: In hindsight it was a BLUNDER sir, that allowed those
women to take over the ship and COST LIVES.

Buckland: (mournfully) I regret, the loss of life.

 

Scene thirteen: Wellard's confrontation with Sawyer

Wellard: I can't let you get to Kingston! I can't let women be
denied the right to vote! And I will fight for women to have equal
pay for equal work all of them!

Sawyer: Then you best use both hands if you want to help
chicks change a light bulb.

Wellard: Don't call women `chicks'.

Sawyer: Oh? What would they have me call them busty babes?

Wellard: Women are no chicks, Sir, and they are no busty
babes. And they are no chauvinistic pigs either who have to be
fenced in so they don't mate with the donkeys, Sir!

(Sawyer slaps Wellard across the face).

Wellard: See? At least one of us is a gentleman. And you are a
downright bastard to strike me, Sir.

Sawyer: Yes.

 

Scene fourteen: Wellard's reconciliation with Hobbs

Hobbs: He recovered at the last, did he?

Wellard: He said women were intelligent.

Hobbs: (Agreeing). They are.

 

Scene fifteen: There is still the matter to be decided in court as
to who actually will be a scapegoat for thwarting Saywer's orders to
take the draft legislation to Kingston, and instead embarked on an
entirely different mission

Kennedy: I alone liberated women. I alone gave women the right
to vote.

All: What?!

Pellew: Take this man down!

 

Scene sixteen: Hornblower pays a final visit to Kennedy.

Hornblower: Why?

Kennedy: Look at how happy those women are. No tribunal
parliament in the world can revoke their rights now.

Hornblower: And when you stood up in court and took the blame?

Kennedy: No I took the credit you see. History will remember
forever that the right for women to vote was granted to them by a man.

Hornblower: Archie

Kennedy: Just tell women to accept the simplest gift that has
been offered to them. Just tell them to accept it and say goodbye.

Hornblower: Archie. (struggles to not break down in tears) I am
honoured to have served with you on this mission.

Kennedy: And I to have known you. (Withering in pain) See?
Better already! (dies)

 

(later Pellew comes in and reflects on Kennedy's deed).

 

Pellew: Mr Kennedy took a risk when he granted women the
right to voteand in all probability was right in doing so. (Rummages
through his pocket and pulls out some dispatches). I see the
Gattatana is to be renamed Affirmative Action. Would you not like to
see who is in command of this vessel? (hands dispatches over to
Hornblower).

(With much reluctance Hornblower accepts his command but his honour
is overshadowed by the death of the Greatest Feminist Hornblower has
ever known. This is visible through his sad brown eyes and trembling
lips as majestic music plays in the background and camera fades to
black).