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How Elizabeth Bennet Teaches us that Being a Feminist is Not about Hating Men

    Elizabeth Bennet is a force to be reckoned with, a smart, independent, feisty woman who wasn’t afraid to take on a man when it came to her beliefs, principles, or gender. Much like the author who wrote her, Jane Austin, she was ahead of her time—she is by every modern standard a feminist. Many of the gripes Lizzie has with British society are things we as women still deal with today:  being considered equal to men, men being the primary provider of income, women being to be quiet about what their beliefs are. Elizabeth faces these issues head-on—she is not afraid to challenge a man, and she shows that speaking your mind is your greatest weapon in an argument. 

But Elizabeth Bennet is a romantic, while it may not be so obvious when first reading the novel, (or binge-watching the 2005 film adaptation on Netflix) Elizabeth dreams of love and marriage, but not in the way her mother wants her too. Lizzie thinks that marriage should be about love and not about an economic gain. She also believes that you should love your equal, that your partner should equal you in strength, character, and love. This is why she’s so overcome by Mr. Darcy because even though they are not equal in birth or position, they are equal in personality. 

Feminism by definition is, “the belief in social, economic, and political equality of the sexes” (Burkett). It is not about women being better than men, or men being better than women, feminism is about having equal opportunity for both men and women. The reason that women are protesting for this is because throughout history men have been given an advantage at life. Whether it’s more rights or better pay, the world has sent the message to women that men are valued over women. But this doesn't mean we need to hate men—we need to educate them, and if the men you are surrounding yourself with are treating women as inferior, you need to meet some new men. Until we are able to come together and fight for equality,  nothing is going to change. So, take notes from Elizabeth Bennet: don't hate men, but proclaim yourself as their equal, because you are.

Megan Seaver

Emmanuel '24

Hi my Name is Meg I'm a freshmen at Emmanuel College. Some things I'm interested in writing about are feminist issues, politics, and current issues around the world.
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