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|GR: Oh, absolutely!
Written by Line
(9/19/2003 7:58 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Age Difference and Love, penned by Chandra
I *know* it was very common, but that doesn't make it right (admittedly from my 21st-century feminist POV). I remember reading once that you could tell how women's rights were doing in a particular time and place by the age at which women married, and the age of their husbands. The author claimed that in a more egalitarian society, women would be more likely to marry in their twenties to men close to their own age, while in a more sexist society they'd be married off to much older men while still in their teens. Personally, I think there's a lot of truth in this. Of course, the mitigating factor in S&S is Col. Brandon's goodness, and Marianne is not literally being *forced* to marry him, but it still bothers me! Also, no matter how happy their marriage, if Marianne makes it past her child-bearing years, she can look forward to at least 20 years of widowhood with very little chance of a *third* attachment, just like her mother.
] The age difference never bothered me (and I am sixteen) because I know several very nice men in their late twenties to early thirties, whom I am friends with.
Oh, yes, I can much more easily understand why a teenage girl would be (romantically)interested in an older man, than why an older man would be interested in a teenager. (No offense intended!) I am closer to Mrs. Dashwood's age than to yours, which may be why I'm rooting for her ;-), but I would still ask some hard questions before I let my teenage daughter, or any young woman whose welfare I cared about, go out with an older man, especially one twice her age. When I get too nostalgic for Regency dresses, courtly manners and country dances, it's things like this that remind me why I'm grateful that I live in my time, not in JA's!
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