View Full Version : jane=liberal feminist?

05-03-2009, 10:38 AM
i'm putri..
from indonesia..
i'd like to share something that make me still confuse...
i still learn in reading and try to analyze even critize literary works..
now i've read jane eyre by charlotte bronte
and i'm interest to an image of jane eyre toward feminist..
what i'm wabt to ask is.. can we put jane into liberal feminist?

please give your comment guys..
thank's b4...



05-04-2009, 03:20 PM
Hi Putri,

I'm not qualified on the subject but after all this is the Forum so here goes. To your question, paraphrased, whether there is a connection with Jane Eyre and Feminism?
Yes and No.
Yes, if you research contemporary Feminist literature since they are attempting to establish a historic precedence to the ideology. And no better connection could be made than to claim kinship to Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, two outstanding women writers.
No, if you take Simone Beauvoir's The Second Sex as the progenitor in literature of the ideological underpinnings. And very definitely No, since Charlotte was a very private person and she would be horrified both by the language and the public display of the contemporary Feminists.

The question of women's rights is quite a separate question and not limited to a historic perspective.
Hope this is of some help. Perhaps THE MORE QUALIFIED can give you a fuller answer.

Look at Jane Austen/Pride and Prejudice-Chapter One-Critical Analysis. posts by Newcomer and RachelUof M, two interesting perspectives.

05-05-2009, 03:44 AM
You asked about liberal feminism. I had to do some looking around because I am not familiar with the term, but came to the conclusion that liberal feminism is indeed what it says: liberal in the way that it does not at all relate to women's rights, but rather to (a first kind, maybe) free thinking. If the woman is free in her thinking, she is free and responsible for her own actions. It is no use blaming the other sex if you yourself were in the position to say no. Jane could have stayed with Rochester and have become his 'wife' and eventually really his wife (probably), but in the meantime he could have got tired of her and kicked her out and then she would have ended up as a fallen woman. Who is then responsible for the 'yes' in the beginning. Right: Jane. She says no, as in the book, and everything is ok in the end.

I also think that that is what Charlotte herself thought she ought to be (refusing marriage and writing a long letter to the man why she wouldn't suit him, choosing to write despite the fact that it was 'not a woman's profession'...). Free in her thinking or at least free to think, even when it came to her husband. She could have taken the first proposal, second proposal and third proposal, but she knew those marriages would end up badly for her at least. So she waited and was very happy.

As long as the liberal feminism idea does not go over into women's rights I have no problem with it. As such, this phase could be called in my view the first stage in feminism. An insecure wife cannot get rid of her husband who beats her up if she is not convinced that she does not deserve the beatings. As such, feminists were not able to demand rights if they were not convinced that they were worth them. By thinking free and being responsible for their own actions they acknowledged the fact that they were full humans too, and that they deserved to be seen that way by society.

Does this help?