“Young ladies should take care of themselves. Young ladies are delicate plants. They should take care of their health and their complexion” (214).
Though Mr. Woodhouse is primarily concerned with Jane’s health when he utters this quote it does correlate to a task women face in today’s society, the chore of being beautiful. On average, it takes a woman 15 minutes to an hour and a half to get ready in the morning, meanwhile it takes a mere 20 seconds for a man to throw on a pair of trousers and a tie. We, as women, are expected to apply makeup, flawlessly shape our hair and wear chic, uncomfortable clothing, while it is acceptable for men to lounge around in sweatpants all day. The comparison of a young ladies to delicate plants makes the male position on the issue clear, like a beautiful flower a woman must remain stationary and appear gorgeous at all times. In my opinion, Mr. Woodhouse’s view of women is completely appropriate for the time period but if a man today described our gender as delicate flowers who “should take care of their health and their complexion” I would slap him for setting feminism back fifty years.