You were all too used to dive bars and the kinds of folks that hung out in them; namely the rot-gut swilling, fight starting types who got handsy after a few too many shots and were quick to stiff you on your tip in favor of just one more drink.
That’s why you thought you could handle it when a surly hurricane of rage and resentment in the form of one towering, thickly muscled flame haired male sauntered briskly into the dimly lit doors of Jack’s Crocodile Bar, your relatively new place of employment. The scathing look that your boss, the steely eyed, strong backed bar owner Jack with her trigger happy fingers that were always ready to kick a drunken patron out, and that strangely comforting mom-that-takes-zero-shit attitude , flashed your way had you hastily second guessing your lofty notions of pub mastery.
The words she drawled to you in that low sweet mid-west accent, and her crimson painted finger nails that curled around your t-shirt clad shoulder in a gesture of commiseration, didn’t do anything to help.
“That right there is trouble, plain as the day is long,” Jack said, following your line of sight to the immense glowering ginger currently slouching in the sticky vinyl of a dingy booth that sat a few strides from the dentine bar, “And he just sat down in your section.”
She wished you a genuine but playful good luck as you sighed, slipping the notepad from your back pocket and snatching your pen from where it was tucked behind your ear, straightening the curve of your spine and tugging at the already low cut of your t shirt for good measure.
You could tell that he meant to fuck with you as soon as he laid eyes on your nearing form. There was something positively wicked glinting in his gaze as it swept from the top of your head down the curve of your waist, the swell of your hips, all the way to the scuffed vans gracing your tired feet. By the time that aphotic gaze of his snapped back up to yours you had your best poker face firmly in place, the charming smile that had always earned you so much extra in tips valiantly curving your chap stick stained lips.
“Are you on the menu tonight, love?” He asked before you could even open your mouth to speak, the gentle accent lilting about his words sounding almost Irish, though it was soft, diluted, “Because I have a feeling you’d taste delicious.” He grinned up at you, pearly white teeth glinting with sharp predatory focus, though you could reluctantly admit that the smile curving his lips and the glint in his eyes were grudgingly handsome.
“Even if I was, you definitely couldn’t afford me,” you shot back at him without missing a beat, fervently batting away the heated things that his answering smile did to your fluttering heart, trying hard to ignore the fact that his eyes, which from far away had seemed black, were actually a deep, fathomless green, calling to mind fertile rolling hills that broke hard and fast on jagged cliff faces and the fervent sapping of ancient, effervescent springtime.
He sat back and regarded you with blatant appreciation, the kind that until now he had reserved for his sloppily disguised peaks at your ass, which looked admittedly fantastic in the tight blue jeans you had scraped on today, but that emotion directed not just at your body, but at you, had something warm and traitorously flattered sparking fervently in your belly.
“It’s about right, that is,” he drawled in that accented voice as he pointed a ring bedecked finger incriminatingly in your direction, stalwart accusation sitting heavy in the gesture, flashing heatedly in his gaze, “I really shouldn’t get involved with women like you.”
“Women like me?” You tensed as your heart sputtered in your chest, no real offense thrumming behind your words despite the acridness of your tone. Still you tensed, anticipating the worst, though for all the mirth glinting in his forest green eyes you could detect no hints of anger or intent to harm. Perhaps he hid it well.
“Oh aye,” A smug smile curved those infuriatingly inviting lips of his, revealing those white teeth that glinted like alabaster in the bar’s low light and the tip of his wet tongue for your contritely hungry gaze, “Women with disaster on their lips, sensuality brimming on their hips and a pair of eyes so divine they can have a man running to them with the crook of their little finger. Sound familiar?”
pride and prejudice wasn't written as a resistance to the patriarchy djdjfhdhsj what
i mean i’ve been staring at this message for a solid minute now pondering how to reply, trying to figure out how ro reply, but honestly it boils down to one question: have you read it?
because literally the prevalent theme of pride & prejudice as well as other works of Austen—perhaps most visibly, sense & sensibility—is the ironic social commentary on the degraded role of women, as subjected and dependent on the way of whether they would marry well as they used to be?
like, honestly, what did you think it was about? sure it has a romance in it, but it’s probably one of the the most politically designed and carried out romantical arcs in literature, as it relies not so much on mutual affection, but rather darcy aknowledging his fault of diminishing elizabeth as an intelligent human being. at first, we see him as quite obviously set upon taking her for granted and applying stereotypes; startled with her outspoken attitude and clueless as to why she would reject him. because it IS surprising, that’s the point, given the context of Austen’s novel, the commonly praised choice would be to accept not only darcy, but mr collins without another thought. what do you think is the reason mrs bennet was so distraught all the time? there was no way of securing the future of her daughters other than marriage, we hear it being repeated over and over again—they cannot inherit their father’s fortune.
and—good grief. that’s the romantic ‘main plot’ concerning darcy and elizabeth alone, because the whole point is that he changes his beliefs and acknowledges elizabeth as an equal in the end. darcy isn’t exceptional for being surly and broody, he’s exceptional because he listens and learns.
but all the rest? the whole arc of charlotte, and her unhappy and dull marriage to mr collins, and the stark contrast with elizabeth. charlotte is not WRONG, she does the only thing she knows for certain will allow her to live in a respectful way without becoming ‘a burden to her parents’. the arc of lydia, basing off her portrayal against wickham? even with all his debt, infamy and faults, wickham’s opinion is at no point more blemished than lydia’s. that’s the point, that’s reiteraring the original notion of the disparity between men and women in regency England. the radiating, stinging paternalistic attitude of mr collins towards elizabeth when he marries charlotte and TELLS her that she would probably get no better chance. his absolute belief—corresponding with darcy’s, and contrasted with the latter’s rehabilitation later on—that elizabeth has no choice but accept him.
and elizabeth herself—for all the composition and impeccable manners, she IS a controversial figure in the novel. take the scene when she’s bashed by lady catherine de bourgh, the ongoing commentary on her being too forward with her opinions, the continuous bashing coming from her mother—the lingering threat that lizzy’s ‘stubbornness’ will cause her much trouble and, above all, prevent her from securing both her and the other sisters from absolute poverty when their father dies.
and, just … of course it’s written subtly, it’s conveyed in elizabeth’s wit, in austen’s slightly ironic narrative. the problem with the situation of women is not EXPLICITLY named and stated. it’s not modern times where we’re accustomed to forward addressing of feminist issues. no: it’s shown. it is not only the consistent theme in her works, it’s the prevalent theme of them. i mean, come on, there’s tonnes and tonnes of books that were NOT written with a purpose of targeting partiarchy. fuck, there are much MORE of such books than there is of the latter kind. But to choose Pride & Prejudice specifically, a novel which became one of the most famous books in the world, renowned for e x a c t l y t h i s … i cannot comprehend. please, at least consider this: do you really think the purpose of austen writing p&p was writing a romance? really? why would it become so much of a literature landmark, then?
i don’t mean to be nasty and honestly, go and have your opinion, you’re perfectly entitled to it, but it does make me sad that a novel that is a witty, outsanding and one of a kind social commentary on the plight of women in a specific time period written by a woman IN the time period is turned into something as common as a novel with a romantic plot. that’s all.
From Dirt Rag - A heartfelt congratulations to Montana Miller, former Dirt Rag intern and man-about-town who finished the 2,745-mile Tour Divide race in 22 days, 4 hours—on a singlespeed Surly Krampus, no less. Good work Montucky, you earned that cold beer.