Jane Eyre, Prophetess of Evangelical Feminism?

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;
(1Ti 5:1)

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.
(1Co 14:35)

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?


11 thoughts on “Jane Eyre, Prophetess of Evangelical Feminism?

  1. What is fascinating to me about this is how much the man’s statements are now paraded around by Christian feminists to justify female infidelity and/or frivolous divorce. These kinds of statements today by women are met with a, “You go girl!” And “You gotta be true to yourself!” And finally, when her conscience refuses to be quiet about her sin, “God wants you to be happy!”

  2. Started a new thread at CF called: Should the Church be Teaching Young Believers to Marry?

    I don’t want to create any kind of mess and link to it. I’m curious to see how it gets handled when the haters start hating.

  3. IAL, No comment on the thread, really, Ive not a big axe to grind on that, however, beware finding illusions of common ground with a certain poster. For further guidance, speak to our friend chaz on that, so many times he had the facade of common ground with that poster only to find that hers are ever shifting statements, like dunes in wind, she moves words around to change meanings and fit the emotion of the moment.
    You are unable to discuss sex in marriage on the marriage forum (cough), but she is one who has rendered any scriptural admonition on sex as not being about sex at all, rather its about benevolence….full stop. Further, my expressed beliefs have never been that marriage is as simple as being a manner of avoiding lust. Thats just the typical form of hyperbole they use where they take what you say, drag it to a silly extreme, then refute that. Seen it before….eh?
    My point was, is and always will be that sex is the ONLY thing unique to marriage, it cannot be met outside, period. Hence, adding sex to the primary reasons for marriage is something i will always do. NOTE: I said ADDING, hence, it is a list for me, and sex is on it. She and other would not place sex on a list of marital attributes, they place sex as a fallout , a fruit of the real attributes of marriage. Its a crucial distinction

  4. I wouldn’t say the church should be teaching young believers to marry, so much as they should be teaching believers to make an explicit choice on whether they will marry or not. Paul is clear that, at least for men, marriage is optional (1. Cor 7).

    Problem is, young believers are not being informed of how their actions today affect marriage prospects later, and they aren’t being taught that if they want to get married, they have to make it a priority. Outside of choice for Jesus Christ, choice for spouse is the most important decision any person will make in his or her life. Young believers need to be taught that they cannot Forrest Gump their way through the marriage search process.

  5. There we have it, a female teenager is what every man needs to have complete spiritual discernment!

    yup, 150 years ago, and it’s only gotten worse — now they’re not merely smartasses, theyre Empowered Smartasses

    now they have the enitre power of their State at disposal should you, as a mere male, give the Incorrect answer (or engage in Sexual Harrassment, a felony, or Verbal Harrassment, a misdemeanor, or failure to hire/promote them first, a Discriminatory Hate Crime, etc etc)

    Anyone have an instance that predates “Jane Eyre” that I’m not thinking of?

    Eve, and following, to date

  6. @ I Art Laughing, check Samuel Richardsons “Pamala” and ” Clarissa” (1740s) for earlier novel examples, I think pedestelizing women really started to eat at the Church about the same time humanism really started to kick in. Filling the void of turning away from the true God?

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