Charlotte had voor haar tijd een verbazend moderne blik op man-vrouw relaties. De rol die de vrouw kreeg toegemeten zinde haar allerminst. In die zin is Jane Eyre misschien ook wel te lezen als een feministisch pamflet avant la lettre.
Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts, as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.’
(Uit de roman Jane Eyre van Charlotte Bronte)