JWoww vs. Jane Austen: Who Gives Better Life Instructions?

Slate's Culture Blog
Feb. 28 2011 4:56 PM

JWoww vs. Jane Austen: Who Gives Better Life Instructions?

If you've been struggling to find your place in the cold, dark world, take comfort in the fact that two of society's most sensible women— Jane Austen and Jersey Shore 's Jenni "JWoww" Farley —are offering new guides to life and love. Naturally, this presents a conundrum. Do you follow the counsel of Jane (via The Jane Austen Handbook writer Margaret C. Sullivan) who offers "proper life skills from Regency England"? Or do you listen to The Rules According to JWoww , which guarantees "Shore-tested secrets on landing a mint guy, staying fresh to death and kicking the competition to the curb"? Perhaps a sampling of their individual wisdom on the following topics will help you decide:

Jessica Grose Jessica Grose

Jessica Grose is a frequent Slate contributor and the author of the novel Sad Desk Salad. Follow her on Twitter.


On Deportment


Jane Austen Handbook: No one wants to spend time withthose who have an unpleasant manner.

JWoww: Guys hate a Debbie Downer. It’s the ultimate turnoff.

On Essential Life Skills

Jane Austen Handbook : Master the art of needlework. To be an accomplished woman,you must know how to do fancy needlework…When company is present, she will displayimpressive embroidery and decorative needle arts.  

JWoww: Men love a lady who has skills...Let’s be honest: guys maysay they’re looking for someone pure and respectable to bring home to Mama, butthey’re secretly praying she’s a fucking nympho with a bachelor’s degree inbanging.

On Attire

Jane Austen Handbook : Evening is the time for your flimsiest muslins, prettiesttrimmings, and whatever family jewelry you can wheedle out of your mother.Low-cut bodices are perfectly acceptable, and a pretty headdress or some beadsor flowers woven into your hair will add just the right touch.

JWoww: Make sure you show your hips, ass and boobs in a sexy way;your clothes should cling to your body, giving guys a guide to what’s lurkingunderneath. Accentuate the look with stilettos, bracelets, rings and earringsand a clutch, all in the same color family so you look pulled together—nottrashy.

On Courtship

Jane Austen Handbook : Ask him if he wants to go "stargazing." Everyoneknows what that means. If not he must be rather clueless, and perhaps youshould rethink your affection.

JWoww: It’s okay for a woman to make the first move…Here are a fewno-pressure openers that will get the conversation going.

--"Do you come here a lot?"

--"Thismusic is great, don’t you think?"


OnAppropriate Party Behavior

Jane Austen Handbook : Serenity of countenance,elegant carriage, good posture, and graceful movements show your respect foryour company—both your fellow dancers and those watching the dance. Clapping,shouting, snapping your fingers or other loud interruptions will mark you asvulgar and unaccustomed to good company.

JWoww: Sloppy drunk is not a good lookon anyone. Stop drinking if you vomit. If you puke it up, don’t put more in.Vomiting is a sign that your body can’t take the amount of alcohol that youhave consumed. Call it quits for the evening and go clean yourself up at home.




Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
Sept. 19 2014 6:35 PM Pabst Blue Ribbon is Being Sold to the Russians, Was So Over Anyway
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.
Sept. 19 2014 6:22 PMBlacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment ProblemAmericans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 12:13 PMThe Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PMWhat Happens When Lifetime Makes a Movie Out of the Steubenville Rape Case