But, then, even feminist friends of mine -- and I must admit these are friends who have not read Austen or have read very little -- have upon occasion expressed their disdain for Jane Austen's work because it focuses so exclusively on the female characters' need to marry. "Context!" I tell them. "Context!" and then "Within their historical, cultural, and socioeconomic context, most of Austen's characters are radically feminist! They turn down advantageous proposals! They slight men and women in power! They show marked lack of respect for the social order! These girls and women -- and Jane Austen herself -- are important to the very birth of feminism!"
But some people still don't want to read a book almost entirely about women trying to get married (or regretting not getting married, or having others try to get them married). I can respect that.
For my birthday on Thursday, Lisa, Crystal, Julia, and I are going to hang out and watch Spirited Away (my favorite Miyazaki film) on Lisa's gigantic, theater-style audio/visual system. I'm going to bring some anime-appropriate snacks, just funky bits from the Daiso store. Pocky. Weird buns with green tea flavored stuff inside. Seaweed-flavored potato chips. That sort of thing. It should be fun.
Despite these apparent excitements, I've been feeling very blah today. I didn't eat until something like 2 p.m., at which time I was still in my bathrobe. But in the afternoon I went out and ran errands, so things got better.