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The Secret Currency Of Love: The Unabashed Truth About Women, Money, And Relationships


I think it is because money is so wrapped up in self-worth for a lot of people, and self-esteem. The tradition of not talking about money and not talking about your salary is something that has been long-standing over the past 40 years. I think that it's private because people feel that they don't want to reveal that personal part of themselves. For a lot of people it's wrapped up in how successful they are as a person. It is a very powerful force in intimate relationships, because whether you have a lot of money or a little money, it's always there. You don't ever escape its power.




The Secret Currency of Love: The Unabashed Truth About Women, Money, and Relationships



Praised as the "Great Arbitress of Passion," (1) Eliza Haywood garnered fame for her unabashed portrayal of the drama of human sexuality (Sterling 21). One of the most prolific writers of the eighteenth century, she entered the literary scene with wildly popular amatory novels (2) that highlight the passions of both sexes. Haywood's writing, however, seemed to undergo a significant transition from her early scandal fiction to the domestic novels she produced in the latter half of the century. This shift in style reflects a changing literary market that favored more moralistic fiction that rested on newly emergent ideas of femininity. The History of Miss Betsy Thoughtless, published in 1751, ostensibly reveals the protagonist's moral conversion (3) and thus seems to promote values in keeping with the conduct book literature of the time with its focus on the chaste domestic heroine and with its obvious sexual double standards. However, the text also questions divisions of gender and explores contrasting ideas of female sexuality, illustrating that women are not "merely docile recipients of men's natural urges" (Booth 14). Thus, the novel reflects the era's changing notions of sex and gender as it captures the existing tensions between two competing theories of female sexuality: the age-old view of women according to Galenic theory, which marked them as anatomically inverted men with comparable and even heightened sexual appetites, and the emerging myth of the naturally chaste woman that became central to the domestic novel as popularized by Samuel Richardson's Pamela and Clarissa. (4) The unswerving virtue of these ideal women, however, did not come naturally to all fictional heroines. In The Rise of the Woman Novelist, Jane Spencer writes that "Betsy Thoughtless and novels like it brought about a crucial shift in the novel's presentation of women, from the stasis of perfection or villainy to the dynamics of character change," initiating the tradition of the reformed heroine, whose foibles and mistaken view of her "place in the world" are corrected so that she may earn happiness (141). (5) While the novel tries to assure us that Betsy's flaws do not extend to her sexuality, that she is, indeed, chaste and modest from beginning to end, she does, in the course of her narrative, give up a very important aspect of her sexuality, namely the ability to take pleasure in her own body. In turn, this leads to a changed conception of herself and her own self-worth.


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