Since I started blogging this spring, I’ve been thinking a lot about Jane Austen.
And the tagline of this blog is “redefining the accomplished woman”–a reference to a scene in Pride and Prejudice in which Mr. Bingley marvels at the accomplished ladies he knows, Caroline Bingley scoffs at them, Mr. Darcy raises the bar yet higher, and Elizabeth laughs at the lot of them for their impossible standards. “I never saw such a woman.” (You can read the full excerpt here.)
Caroline Bingley set down the first definition of the accomplished woman, and it’s a mean-spirited one. She sets the bar high for her sex, not because she thinks highly of other women, but because she thinks highly of herself. She’s the girl who puts down others just to make herself feel better. She’s competing fiercely with other women–for love, and money, attention and pride–and she wants to make sure she comes out on top. And her definition reflects that.
(No wonder they call Jane Austen’s work “timeless”! It seems human nature hasn’t much changed since 1813.)
I’ve been thinking a lot about the accomplished woman since this blog rolled out earlier this year, and what an accomplished woman might look like in today’s world. I’m ready to lay out a new definition–and I’m sure shallow Caroline Bingley would hate what I have to say.
This month I’m going to be laying out my ideas about what it takes to be an accomplished woman in today’s world. And I’m not thinking about painting screens and speaking French. I’m interested in exploring how we, as modern women, can live our lives in a way that is full and satisfying and good–for ourselves, and for those near and dear to us, and the communities we live in. I’ve been thinking about this for ages now, and I’m excited to share my thoughts with you–and even more excited to hear what you have to say!
What kind of life do you want to live? What do you think today’s women need? And what makes your life more satisfying?