This would never have happened in Regency England: The Dangers of Travelling Alone

Flying to visit family alone.

Taking the bus alone.

Staying on the overnight train alone.

Getting on the subway alone.

No one blinks an eye when girls travel alone nowadays-in fact sometimes it’s seen as a sign of independence. My mum was travelling to France alone when she was just 13. I use taxis alone all the time. And yes, while such it can be convenient and/or efficient to do so, perhaps we are also forgetting the dangers of women travelling alone.

 In the 19th century, women would never be allowed to travel alone and would at the very least be accompanied by a maid or another family servant. To travel alone would be to put a woman’s reputation at risk and expose her to gossip about her virtue. In Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet shocked the Bingley sisters when she showed up at their house all alone. Even General Tilney in Northanger Abbey did not allow Catherine to return home alone, even though he was angry at her and had her banished from his house (though the movie version showed otherwise).

I had an experience today which made me rethink the so-called privilege women nowadays have, in being able to travel alone. I was returning home on the bus and when I got off a man followed me and started talking to me. He asked me to spend the weekend with him because he was lonely and told me that he wanted to treat me. He said money wouldn’t be a problem either. Naturally I refused and said I needed to be home but he persisted and continued to pester me to follow him. At one point, he even took out his wallet to show me his money, and I got a flash of a contraceptive. At this point, I was starting to get desperate and very, very scared. The man was a lot bigger than me and looked a lot stronger. He was also passive aggressively begging me to go with him. I decided to try another tactic and told him my grandma was sick and then tried walking away. Finally he let up and asked me for my number so he could see me on Sunday, and said he hoped I didn’t have a boyfriend. Thankfully, I said I did and he backed off and said bye.

I wonder how many women have been similarly accosted in this way, and in broad daylight, no less. I kept thinking that if someone had been with me, the whole encounter would never have happened. I count myself lucky that he stopped when he did cause things could have gotten a lot uglier.

The feminists can argue all they like about how women are independent and should be able to travel alone but at the end of the day, it’s safer to travel with someone, if you’re a woman. Would you rather be safe then potentially harmed?

So ladies, take a tip from the Regency ladies:  Try not to travel alone-you never know what can happen.

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This would never have happened in Regency England: Unwanted Introductions

I’m sure it’s happened to every young lady at one point or another–You’re standing at the counter waiting to buy food or you’re at the bus stop waiting for the bus when that guy who’s been eying you for the past 5 mins decides to speak up and introduce himself to you when you REALLY don’t want his attentions. In fact, you had just been enjoying a very *cough* delicious fantasy in which a tall, dark Richard Armitage look-alike comes walking by and stops to come over to you.

But, instead, you have the socially awkward kid who’s only just started talking to girls or (even worse) the Brad Pitt wannabe who thinks he’s the hottest kid around and every girl should just swoon if and when he decides to talk to you.

Errrr…. NO.

Please, you want to say, can’t you see I’m not interested in you? If I was, do you think I would just be sitting here staring off into space, instead of eying you up out of the corner of my eye?

But instead of indulging in that yummy daydream, you’re forced to give it up to be polite as he very unsubtly points out his interest in you and tries (one would hope unsuccessfully) to get your phone number.

But of course. In this day and age, it is perfectly acceptable for man to go up to a woman (or vice versa) and strike up a conversation. Unluckily for us, this wasn’t always the case. Those ladies in the early 19th century had it good when it came to unwanted attention from the opposite sex. IT NEVER WOULD HAVE HAPPENED.

If a lady was standing outside a shop or walking down the street and a gentleman passed her and was interested, he could indicate his interest by a signal (usually a tip of the hat or a nod) and then it was up to THE LADY to decide whether she wanted him to introduce himself to her. if she did, she would present him with a return signal (a smile or  a nod) and he would have permission to proceed. If she didn’t want his attentions and wanted to return to her daydream involving that gorgeous Darcy look-a-like, she could simply turn her head away, and the gentleman in question would have no choice but to back off and find some other more willing lady. This was one of the unspoken etiquette rules of that period and I must say, I’m rather envious of those ladies!

Yet another reason to love those good ole days!

This would never have happened in Regency England: Electricity

What a lazy day!

Waking up at 2 and then milling around mostly on the computer and reading a bit in between… The end result? I accomplished absolutely nothing today when I so fervently promised on Friday I would!

After finishing one romance and then attempting to start a classic novel instead (in an effort to complete a 100-books-you-should-read list), I fell asleep, only to wake up discovering that both the electricity outlets in my room have stopped working. Which leaves my computer running on battery alone and means I’ll have to move my stuff outside if I want it to work.

Confound this electricity system! Apparently, there was a power surge because too many people were using the outlets outside in the common room so as a result, all power outlets (excluding thankfully, the lights) have stopped working.

Well, really, this would never have happened back then. Ok, I admit electricity wasn’t even invented until the late 19th century but this has made me realize how much we’re relying on technology, and how we really can’t do without it. What would happen if electricity suddenly stopped working? Would we have people wondering around dazed, their purpose completely gone?

One thing you have to give props to the 1800’s for-People back then could live perfectly fine without electricity and actually did worthwhile things with their time instead of wasting time on facebook and milling around the net, not really doing anything solid. If people stepped away from technology for a bit, I bet they could discover all sorts of things, not to mention have time to do things they always get distracted from because of said technology.

I hereby issue you all a challenge. Take a day off from using the computer, and see what you find. Comment below to share your discoveries.

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