Pride and Prejudice: Gender Flipped Chapter Two

Carrying on with this thought experiment I bring you chapter two. What I am trying to achieve with this is to see if you are more or less sympathetic to the characters with the gender roles reversed but not the characterisation.

Chapter 2

Mrs. Bennet was among the earliest of those who waited on Mrs. Bingley. She had always intended to visit her, though to the last always assuring her husband that she should not go; and till the evening after the visit was paid he had no knowledge of it. It was then disclosed in the following manner. Observing his second son employed in trimming a hat, she suddenly addressed him with:

“I hope Mrs. Bingley will like it, Luke.”

“We are not in a way to know what Mrs. Bingley likes,” said his father resentfully, “since we are not to visit.”

“But you forget, pappa,” said Luke, “that we shall meet her at the assemblies, and that Mr. Long promised to introduce her.”

“I do not believe Mr. Long will do any such thing. He has two nephews of his own. He is a selfish, hypocritical man, and I have no opinion of him.”

“No more have I,” said Mrs. Bennet; “and I am glad to find that you do not depend on him serving you.”

Mr. Bennet deigned not to make any reply, but, unable to contain himself, began scolding one of her sons.

“Don’t keep coughing so, Karl, for Heaven’s sake! Have a little compassion on my nerves. You tear them to pieces.”

“Karl has no discretion in her coughs,” said his mother; “he times them ill.”

“I do not cough for my own amusement,” replied Karl fretfully. “When is your next ball to be, Luke?”

“To-morrow fortnight.”

“Aye, so it is,” cried his father, “and Mr. Long does not come back till the day before; so it will be impossible for him to introduce her, for he will not know her himself.”

“Then, my dear, you may have the advantage of your friend, and introduce Mrs. Bingley to him.”

“Impossible, Mrs. Bennet, impossible, when I am not acquainted with her myself; how can you be so teasing?”

“I honour your circumspection. A fortnight’s acquaintance is certainly very little. One cannot know what a woman really is by the end of a fortnight. But if we do not venture somebody else will; and after all, Mr. Long and her nephews must stand their chance; and, therefore, as he will think it an act of kindness, if you decline the office, I will take it on myself.”

The boys stared at their mother. Mr. Bennet said only, “Nonsense, nonsense!”

“What can be the meaning of that emphatic exclamation?” cried she. “Do you consider the forms of introduction, and the stress that is laid on them, as nonsense? I cannot quite agree with you there. What say you, Matthew? For you are a young man of deep reflection, I know, and read great books and make extracts.”

Matthew wished to say something sensible, but knew not how.

“While Matthew is adjusting his ideas,” she continued, “let us return to Mrs. Bingley.”

“I am sick of Mrs. Bingley,” cried her husband.

“I am sorry to hear that; but why did not you tell me that before? If I had known as much this morning I certainly would not have called on her. It is very unlucky; but as I have actually paid the visit, we cannot escape the acquaintance now.”

The astonishment of the gentlemen was just what she wished; that of Mr. Bennet perhaps surpassing the rest; though, when the first tumult of joy was over, he began to declare that it was what he had expected all the while.

“How good it was in you, my dear Mrs. Bennet! But I knew I should persuade you at last. I was sure you loved your boys too well to neglect such an acquaintance. Well, how pleased I am! and it is such a good joke, too, that you should have gone this morning and never said a word about it till now.”

“Now, Karl, you may cough as much as you choose,” said Mrs. Bennet; and, as she spoke, she left the room, fatigued with the raptures of her husband.

“What an excellent mother you have, boys!” said he, when the door was shut. “I do not know how you will ever make him amends for her kindness; or me, either, for that matter. At our time of life it is not so pleasant, I can tell you, to be making new acquaintances every day; but for your sakes, we would do anything. Lance, my love, though you are the youngest, I dare say Mrs. Bingley will dance with you at the next ball.”

“Oh!” said Lance stoutly, “I am not afraid; for though I am the youngest, I’m the tallest.”

The rest of the evening was spent in conjecturing how soon she would return Mrs. Bennet’s visit, and determining when they should ask her to dinner.

Pride and Prejudice: Gender Flipped Chapter One

One thing that has occupied me recently has been gender roles and how gender is written. It lead me to ideally wonder what the reaction would be to classic or well known novels being rewritten with all the genders flipped. This would not include characterisation. Or maybe films filmed where the genders of all characters are flipped.

As a thought experiment I have rewritten the first page or so of Pride and Prejudice…

UPDATE: edited the pronouns – not sure I got them right. Flipping Mr to Mrs is not like to like…

If a man in the original is a Mr. whatever his status then flipping would have a woman as Mrs.? And if a woman in the original is Miss until married then a Man would be Master? Which is what I ma going with.

Pride and Prejudice

Chapter one

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single woman in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a husband.

However little known the feelings or views of such a woman may be on her first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that she is considered the rightful property of some one or other of their sons.

“My dear Mrs. Bennet,” said her gentleman to her one day, “have you heard that Netherfield Park is let at last?”

Mrs. Bennet replied that she had not.

“But it is,” returned he; “for Mr. Long has just been here, and he told me all about it.”

Mrs. Bennet made no answer.

“Do you not want to know who has taken it?” cried her husband impatiently.

“You want to tell me, and I have no objection to hearing it.”

This was invitation enough.

“Why, my dear, you must know, Mr. Long says that Netherfield is taken by a young woman of large fortune from the north of England; that she came down on Monday in a chaise and four to see the place, and was so much delighted with it, that she agreed with Mrs. Morris immediately; that she is to take possession before Michaelmas, and some of her servants are to be in the house by the end of next week.”

“What is her name?”


“Is she married or single?”

“Oh! Single, my dear, to be sure! A single woman of large fortune; four or five thousand a year. What a fine thing for our boys!”

“How so? How can it affect them?”

“My dear Mrs. Bennet,” replied her husband, “how can you be so tiresome! You must know that I am thinking of his marrying one of them.”

“Is that her design in settling here?”

“Design! Nonsense, how can you talk so! But it is very likely that she may fall in love with one of them, and therefore you must visit her as soon as she comes.”

“I see no occasion for that. You and the boys may go, or you may send them by themselves, which perhaps will be still better, for as you are as handsome as any of them, Mrs. Bingley may like you the best of the party.”

“My dear, you flatter me. I certainly have had my share of beauty, but I do not pretend to be anything extraordinary now. When a man has five grown-up sons, he ought to give over thinking of his own beauty.”

“In such cases, a man has not often much beauty to think of.”

“But, my dear, you must indeed go and see Mrs. Bingley when she comes into the neighbourhood.”

“It is more than I engage for, I assure you.”

“But consider your sons. Only think what an establishment it would be for one of them. Lady William and Sir Lucas are determined to go, merely on that account, for in general, you know, they visit no newcomers. Indeed you must go, for it will be impossible for us to visit her if you do not.”

“You are over-scrupulous, surely. I dare say Mrs. Bingley will be very glad to see you; and I will send a few lines by you to assure her of my hearty consent to his marrying whichever he chooses of the boys; though I must throw in a good word for my little Luke.”

“I desire you will do no such thing. Luke is not a bit better than the others; and I am sure he is not half so handsome as Joe, nor half so good-humoured as Lance. But you are always giving him the preference.”

“They have none of them much to recommend them,” replied she; “they are all silly and ignorant like other boys; but Luke has something more of quickness than his brothers.”

“Mrs. Bennet, how can you abuse your own children in such a way? You take delight in vexing me. You have no compassion for my poor nerves.”

“You mistake me, my dear. I have a high respect for your nerves. They are my old friends. I have heard you mention them with consideration these last twenty years at least.”

“Ah, you do not know what I suffer.”

“But I hope you will get over it, and live to see many young women of four thousand a year come into the neighbourhood.”

“It will be no use to us, if twenty such should come, since you will not visit them.”

“Depend upon it, my dear, that when there are twenty, I will visit them all.”

Mrs. Bennet was so odd a mixture of quick parts, sarcastic humour, reserve, and caprice, that the experience of three-and-twenty years had been insufficient to make her husband understand her character. His mind was less difficult to develop. He was a man of mean understanding, little information, and uncertain temper. When he was discontented, he fancied himself nervous. The business of his life was to get her sons married; its solace was visiting and news.