How deep does the rabbit hole of female moral superiority go? At least as far back as 1847 when Charlotte Bronte penned the semi-biographical character of Jayne Eyre, here we see an 18 y.o. Jane badgering her middle-aged employer during the first conversation:
E: “Repentance is said to be its cure, sir.” (Eyre the teenager)
R: “It is not its cure. Reformation may be its cure; and I could reform—I have strength yet for that—if—but where is the use of thinking of it, hampered, burdened, cursed as I am? Besides, since happiness is irrevocably denied me, I have a right to get pleasure out of life: and I will get it, cost what it may.” (Rochester, the employer)
E: “Then you will degenerate still more, sir.”
R: “Possibly: yet why should I, if I can get sweet, fresh pleasure? And I may get it as sweet and fresh as the wild honey the bee gathers on the moor.”
E: “It will sting—it will taste bitter, sir.”
R: “How do you know?—you never tried it. How very serious—how very solemn you look: and you are as ignorant of the matter as this cameo head” (taking one from the mantelpiece). “You have no right to preach to me, you neophyte, that have not passed the porch of life, and are absolutely unacquainted with its mysteries.”
E: “I only remind you of your own words, sir: you said error brought remorse, and you pronounced remorse the poison of existence.”
R: “And who talks of error now? I scarcely think the notion that flittered across my brain was an error. I believe it was an inspiration rather than a temptation: it was very genial, very soothing—I know that. Here it comes again! It is no devil, I assure you; or if it be, it has put on the robes of an angel of light. I think I must admit so fair a guest when it asks entrance to my heart.”
E: “Distrust it, sir; it is not a true angel.”
R: “Once more, how do you know? By what instinct do you pretend to distinguish between a fallen seraph of the abyss and a messenger from the eternal throne—between a guide and a seducer?”
E: “I judged by your countenance, sir, which was troubled when you said the suggestion had returned upon you. I feel sure it will work you more misery if you listen to it.”
There we have it, a female teenager is what every man needs to have complete spiritual discernment! The pretension of the author here is immense:
Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren;
And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
But this is the kind of nonsense lapped up by the typical evangelical feminist who I have often seen declare that no man is morally complete until they have a “better half” to guide their way. Again, men are vile and evil women are good.
Anyone have an instance that predates “Jane Eyre” that I’m not thinking of?