Jane Austen,Mary W, Rousseau and Feminism
Posted by Caroline on July 04, 1998 at 12:36:59:
In response to Splitting the difference, written by Erin on July 03, 1998 at 00:58:40
I have little tolerance for Rousseau --even though his brand of sexism grants that a woman can be man's social and intellectual 'equal'; but should not be insofar she limits or compromises Emile's (i.e., man's) development.
Firstly, I'm glad you said this, Erin, because it's my personal belief that Rousseau was a waffler and a twit! I think Jane Austen thought so too , because of her parody of Sir George Harcourt, Rousseau's English disciple, in her Juvenalia.
I also find it perplexing that those who are determined to find "feminist" issues in Jane Austen's writing consistently refer back to Mary W, and Mary W only. It's as if the male attitude to feminism, and male writings on the status of women just do not matter.Where, for example ,is there reference to Fordyce's Sermons, and his statements on what women should or should not be? Now it may be the case that they are unimportant, especially in our century, but nevertheless, they would have been around in Jane Austen's time, they would have been influential, and Jane Austen would have read them, I'm sure. I have to say that I'm not against the idea that Jane Austen had feminist leanings, but those who are determined to convince the world of it are far too narrow in their focus for their own case.
- Dr. Fordyce P. Bingham 16:51:38 7/05/98 (3)
Posting followups to old messages is disabled; instead go to the main index and post a new message which mentions this one.