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“I am only resolved to act in that manner, which will, in my own opinion, constitute my happiness, without reference to you, or to any person so wholly unconnected with me.” – Elizabeth Bennet to Lady Catherine de Bourgh in Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
Jane Austen not only anticipated the “me too” movement in Pride and Prejudice, but also a “cancel culture” of a sort. Surely Lady Catherine assumed she had within her power the capacity to destroy Elizabeth Bennet’s hopes for marrying her nephew, perhaps as well as her reputation. And she might have if Elizabeth had apologized and deferred to her demands. Yet she held herself as an equal to her opponent and refused to acquiesce to a lady who believed herself to be the very embodiment of wealth, establishment, and propriety. It seems to me that this response, or the modern equivalent, should be the statement of anyone faced with unjust demands for an apology.Published in