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Written by Barbara
(5/1/2005 3:28 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Meet the Primroses, penned by Tara O'Donnell
I was noticing his condescending attitude towards Deborah and their daughters too, but I've been wondering whether this attitude extends to what he calls 'the fairer sex' in general and not just his own family?
It's like he's smiling indulgently at the three of them, not expecting much because they are 'just' women.
Dr. Primrose seems to think, for example, that women, by nature, cannot help having their heads filled with fashion and frippery. He says "the temper of a woman is generally formed from the turn of her features". Then he describes how his daughters and wife would read one page of a book, then spend a like amount of time admiring themselves in a mirror.
He also seems to think that men's and women's roles are very clearly defined, as in this part, where he says to his wife:
"Confute me in argument, child! You mistake there, my dear....I never dispute your abilities at makina goose-pye, and I beg you'll leave arguemnt to me."
He makes a similar comment to his daughter Olivia, after telling his wife that there is no reason why his daughter should have any knowledge of 'controversy' (which I take to mean philosophical argument), as he had never 'put such books into her hands'--although clearly he had educated his sons on philosophical discourse and debating. When she tries to protest that she has read such things in novels, Dr. Primrose says very condescendingly "That's a good girl" and then "go help your mother to make the gooseberry-pye".
Although I think Dr. Primrose's heart is in the right place, I find this attitude maddening.
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