The other day a close friend of mine visited me. She was teary and in distress. After a lot of cajoling and a good many rounds of coffee shots (I have no clue how she drank it) she decided to tell me what was troubling her. As predicted – boyfriend issue.
My friend had apparently told her partner that she did not like it when he spoke to other women. She had added that she did not feel insecure as long as it was at his workplace. But when he did so at parties, and more so when he invited them at his house (and made no effort to introduce her to them) it was something that she found disconcerting.
I will give the guy this much – when you have a friend, it’s difficult to suddenly give up on her simply because the partner is baselessly insecure. However, I will also say this – in such situations there is no need to become insensitive, say that she expects too much, or even pass any snide and nasty remarks. After all she is your partner. Isn’t she allowed to share, speak her mind, express displeasure, and hope that sometimes you will think that she is worth it to pay heed to? That you will choose her over others?
Apparently my friend’s partner did not feel that way. Not only did he tell her that if she was feeling insecure then that was her damned problem and that there was nothing that he could do about it, not only did he tell her that he would keep his friends and her bad vibe feelings was something that she would have to deal with, he also called her Victorian in her attitude.
Just because my friend said that she did not like it when he called women over to his home (and he could avoid doing so but chose not to) during get-togethers which she wasn’t a part of?
Why did he get so defensive?
I did have a discussion with my friend on what she should do about her relationship. But, when a lady is in love, you cannot make her fall out of it till she wants to.
Now to the point of one having a Victorian attitude. I wonder if he knew this (what I write below) when he called her a woman with a Victorian attitude.
The Victorian Era approximately ranged from 1837 to 1901. During this age many artistic styles, literary schools of thought, various socio-political movements, and advancement in medical-scientific-technological thoughts flourished.
The British monarchy had been overthrown by the Puritan Republic Movement. This was almost 200 years before Queen Victoria’s rule. This was an era of strict moral rules. However, when monarchy returned, together with it came loose living. For example, George IV is regarded as a playboy! It was only when Queen Victoria took over that decorum started to return. In fact, Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, had also witnessed the divorce of his parents both of whom had been involved in sexual scandals. Therefore, quite naturally, the Queen and her husband set their sexual moralistic code quite high.
One would thus not be wrong in saying that Great Britain of the 19th century, during Queen Victoria’s age, stood for sexual restraint, lack of tolerance towards criminals, and the belief that one was to have a strong social ethic. It was a time when people believed in living with dignity.
This age also stood for a time when emotions were expressed with flowers, restraint was used while talking to members of the opposite gender, and sexual gratification was sought from only one (unless she was in the trade of prostitution). People, however, did not shy away from discussing human sexuality. In fact, the Queen herself drew nude male figures and had once even gifted one to her husband! Erotica writings like , ‘My Secret Life’ was also written during this period. A study about women’s orgasms was also conducted during this age.
If this is what being ‘Victorian’ actually means, then my friend should feel happy having been called that.
However, with time, a lot of knowledge gets lost or people try to generalise it into one short phrase or word. So too here. Nowadays, ‘Victorian’ stands for ‘prudishness’. Prudish, for the uninitiated, means, “having or revealing a tendency to be easily shocked by matters relating to sex or nudity; excessively concerned with sexual propriety”. Was my friend’s partner then pointing a finger at my friend, or hiding his own issues?
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