So, I recently came across a situation that got me thinking. I genuinely want to be a part of society, and I genuinely want to either change it for the better, or let society change me for the better. In life, you will have disagreements all the time, We live in a society of people who love to air their opinions and have no shame in letting the world know (even me writing this is a prime example).
We may remember the recent racial gun shooting case, where there were divided opinions. Homosexuality was a very divided topic between activists vs. Christians.
There are debates about men liking under 18 in America whereas the age of consent is 16 in other countries.
Throughout these issues, it seems one constant remains: whatever side is the majority, just puts their offenders on the ignore list. When heated controversy arrives, the method to win is to disengage. This is neither healthy nor a step in the right direction for your cause.
I shared my opinion about Pride & prejudice with someone, and gave them my reasons. They promptly said I was insensitive, stereotyping, and insulting women, and then ignored me from then on (which, by the way, only proves my point that looking for a Darcy is unrealistic because the same person who wants a Mr, Darcy, will likely be too offended to give him a chance; not saying that I fit Darcy’s character, but it certainly only reinforced my belief on P&P, which we’ll get to). I find it totally fine that she shared these opinions, that’s great, but the problem is that she’s not willing to engage on why I’m so insulting, stereotypical, etc. Believe it or not, I would have at least listened. I may have countered with arguments with why I disagree, but I also may have considered her view as well. If all you do is say, “you’re a jerk, you’re a swear word, you have no idea what you’re talking about,” then educate me. Just putting it off only leads to a viewpoint of confirming what I already suspected, because it comes off as you have no argument, you’re just taking offense. When that happens, it leads me to a decision of I’m right and you’re wrong, EVEN IF I am wrong and you’re right.
When the homosexuality debate came about in regards to gay marriage, I was a bit taken aback at how it was handled, by both sides. It seemed like both Christians and homosexuals were expressing the sentiment, “this is why we’re right, oh that’s your view? Well whatever, goodbye.” Again, this isn’t healthy. I would have liked to hear more arguments. For example, one argument was that animals engage in homosexual behavior, and animals are natural. It sort of made sense, but after thinking about it, I also thought, well, animals also kill each other, mate with seventeen different partners a week, and some animals practice cannibalism (or whatever the word is for when animals eat each other). So I thought, that doesn’t mean humans should take the example of animals (understand I’m not trying to take a side on that issue, it is merely for the effect of what I’m trying to explain). Christians often complain that they were bullied into silence when trying to express their viewpoint. We don’t want to engage. Again, educate them, don’t just say they’re idiots.
I recently watched a film entitled “Are All Men Pedophiles?” in which the director analyzes why he believed America is wrong for setting the age of consent to 18 when most societies hold it at 16.He contests that this was a modern change based on education, and not on maturity level, and that it’s normal for men to be attracted to 16 and 17 (referred to as hebephilia). As you could probably guess, the comments on IMDB shout how much they are offended at his nonsense, but very few of them give a rational, researched answer. If I were to make the argument, I would contest that girls that age have too many responsibilities as it is, that their education should be important, that there are emotional consequences for being with a girl so young; while they SAY they are emotionally mature, it seems more common that they find themselves heartbroken when rejected by a more “mature” or older man. Again, all I’m saying is that we need to be honest and not compromise our talk when someone comes off as rude or mean, because honestly, it really just means they are passionate about their view. Again, educate them.
There is difference between someone who just starts attacking you, saying you’re a swear word or so and so, and someone who just really takes offense to your VIEW. It’s ok to back off from someone who is just calling you names or whatever, and I also think it’s ok to take a break, and say something like, “ok, look, I’d like to talk about this, but let’s do it later so we can gather some thoughts and cool down.” Totally ok with that. Responding to a legitimate viewpoint as “YOURE AN IDIOT” gets you nowhere.
If you want to change the world you live in, you have to teach the world you live in.
It is a fairly common agreement that throughout a great length of the beginning of Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen presents Mr. Darcy as proud, shrewd, mean, and in many senses a jerk. It is this character that convinces Elizabeth Bennett that he is a vile man, one of the worst. This is fine. The problem begins when we are led to believe that Mr. Darcy is actually a good person deep down, and that he has changed. This is a very real flaw of the book that has caused an unrealistic fantasy of women that they will not let go. The end result has been countless devastations, broken hearts, and failed relationships that were doomed from the start.
So, why is Mr. Darcy not all that great in the end? Some reasons are personal opinion, while others are analytical holes in the plot.
1. Mr. Darcy is not loyal in the end. He was friends with Wickham when he chooses to be. He disregarded Wickham as a child, and only when he saw what he could obtain by helping Wickham, did he return to talking to Wickham. He pretended to be Wickham’s friend so he could obtain the hand Elizabeth. His payment for the Wickham wedding is wildly regarded as generous. I contend that it is deceitful and manipulative. He spent money he already had to convince Elizabeth of his love. Not only this, but he did so by sneaking his way into approval of Lizzy’s syster Lydia. This is an age old trick of men–to convince the family of your interest that they are good by giving them what they want. Again, this is manipulation.
2. Women contend that the reason Mr. Darcy is so wildly admired is because he listens and changes. This is a very big misconception. Mr. Darcy listens when he discovers a way in which to impress Elizabeth. He realizes he can win Elizabeth’s affection by being something he is not. This is not a character change of heart, it a man pretending or acting. Again, this is manipulation, not love.
3. He never changed his condescending speech or tone really. By the first proposal it is apparent, but in the second, he says he loves Lizzy, but if she does not take him, this would be the last time he would speak to her. The problem with this is that HE ALREADY SAID THAT BEFORE!! He does not take no for an answer.
4. He is a stalker. How convenient he just always happens to show up where Lizzy is. The first time is fine–random acquaintances happen often. But what about the Collins house? Ok, yes, he had family ties to Lady Catherine, so yes, he had reason to be at the house–but he intentionally went to Lizzie’s bedroom. How do you not know that is a private room in which a lady does not want to be bothered? He even says, “I did not wish to disturb your privacy.” Then what was he doing in her bedroom?
5. He viciously punishes those who do not agree with him, and lets his emotion control his action. This is evident in his breaking up of Jane & Bingley.
6. If pride is the flaw of Darcy that needed to be changed, then women can date any man they choose; every man has pride. Pride is not exclusive to Mr. Darcy. Besides this, pride can be both a flaw and a virtue.
7. Darcy’s character (supposedly) changed in only a year’s time. Character improvements takes far more time than one year, At the Collins house, he shows his effort to change. Yes, many men have tried to change themselves–but that is not a character improvement. His attempts were very forced, and quite obvious that while he was trying, he was likely to return to his former self.
8. Mr. Darcy never really changed that much. Lizzie Bennett says “he is not proud, he is as stubborn as I am!” These are the same thing with different words–it is not a character improvement, it only shows Darcy does not give up. Like how he does not take no for an answer. Stubborn just means he won’t stop until he has what he wants–basically a selfish man–not selfless. Even so, selfishness is again a trait exhibited by every human being on earth; if selfishness is the jerk factor, then women can date any man.
9. Any man who is as persistent as Mr. Darcy in modern society are met with legal threats of restraining orders, not admiration.
10. The book’s view is that money is a key factor to love and happiness. I would strongly contest this. I would imagine that Lydia & Wickham would have been quite the happier couple, so long as they worked together and worked hard to overcome their obstacles. Lizzie’s goals would always have to be to convince people of how misunderstood Darcy is, tolerate the insults thrown at her by those who despise Darcy, spend her time in constant agony over when Darcy tells her off instead of praise her. That sounds like a miserable life, not a loving one.