I am currently wending my way through the book The History of Miss Betsy Thoughtless, an older novel from the eighteenth century which is very rambling, but which I find very amusing.
At the moment, I am reading about Mr. Trueworth’s courtship of Miss Harriot, who, to be honest, seems pretty boring when you have to imagine, rather than see, her hotness. She’s highly moral, so Mr. Trueworth, who is truly worthy (bet you would have never guessed that), thinks she’s great wife material, particularly when contrasting her with that coquette Betsy Thoughtless, who is virtuous, but does not always appear so – because she’s thoughtless (noticing a theme yet?).
There were a few scenes in which Miss Harriot’s siblings (brother and sister) are trying to persuade her to encourage Mr. Trueworth’s courtship, so that she can get married and pop out babies. Oh, and also, Mr. Trueworth won’t immediately demand a dowry, which is helpful to Miss Harriot’s brother’s (Sir Bazil’s) situation. Sir Bazil is in love, but cannot marry his beloved without a bit more capital, so it seems like his sister’s marriage to Mr. Trueworth would be win-win for everyone, right?
Well – Miss Harriot begins to go on about how she’s not interested in marriage right now and might not ever have those feelings for a man.
My response to this was: “Cool! Eliza Haywood wrote a lesbian. I like it.”
Except it turns out Miss Harriot is really just shy, which is totes more boring, and also means that poor, deserving Mr. Trueworth won’t get to have sexy times until marriage, and even then, she might not be the “naughty librarian” kind of shy. He might just end up marrying a frigid bitch. & mistresses can be expensive, yo.
In general, I’m not much of a fan of Miss Harriot, but I did like when she says this:
“‘…it is an ill judged policy, methinks, in you men, to idolize the women too much, you wish would think well of you; – if our sex are in reality so vain as you generally represent us, on whom but yourselves can the fault be laid?'”
She makes two excellent points:
- Being idolized never fares well for the subject being idolized. You can’t live up to it. Also, it’s usually annoying to have someone idolize you.
- Men convince women to think about themselves in a certain light (I’m looking at you, media run by rich white men), and then belittle women for thinking about themselves in the manner they have been taught.
Hypocritical males just got owned.
I’m still not a fan of Miss Harriot, but I did like her slightly empowering remark, and I liked her when I thought she was a lesbian.