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|Double standard for reputation
Written by Barbara
(10/8/2009 11:56 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Double Standard, penned by BarbaraB
We have the perfect example of the double standard for a man's or a woman's reputation right in this book. Mrs. Jennings freely talks about Colonel Brandon's 'natural daughter' and his 'love child'. Brandon himself is 'well aware that he has in general been suspected' of being Eliza's father and not just a distant relation.
Considering the way that Mrs. Jennings and Charlotte gossip, who knows how many people have heard this rumour about him?
Yet he has not been cast out of society. His reputation hasn't suffered. The fastidious Lady Middleton, for example, does not seem to object to him. Even Elinor does not seem too shocked to hear this about him, even before she finds there is no truth to the rumour.
And even though Colonel Brandon speaks of Eliza's a self-reproach, her misconduct and her disgrace, he does not seem to care that people also think he has fathered a child out of wedlock himself.
A very double standard, indeed.
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