Hmmm, I agree with some of this, but in terms of Jaime’s experience with women…remember his mother was a force to be reckoned with (talk about a lady before her time…) and he also grew up with Jenny practically raising him and running the household after his mother’s death.
THIS. Jamie talks a lot about how his parents had an awesome relationship built out of mutual respect. Then he gets all neanderthal about it once he’s married? Who did he learn that from? Too much time at Leoch? France? (Though there is this whole thing later when we learn that Jenny lets [yeah, I’m sticking with ‘lets’] Ian beat her.
And there’s that “well, he’s only 23″ thing. Except that boys were men at, what, 14? Ian bedded Little Mary when he was 14 FFS. And Marisli (no idea how to spell that) was 15 when she married Fergus (who was 30, right?).
I have other things to say, but my menfolk expect dinner soon.
ETA: I hate emoji smiles. I miss just typographical smiles. : )
I don’t buy the age thing for the same reasons you don’t.
I think it was partly that his mother died when he was still very young and he lost her daily influence and the model of his parents marriage, which was unusual for the time according to Jamie. Ellen was a strong woman who didn’t let the men in her world run her life. Witness her marriage to Brian and the fact that she took a knife to Dougal when he tried to cut her husband’s throat. Brian was no slouch either – Jamie’s credits his virginity to Brian’s teachings about respecting women and taking responsibility for his interactions with them.
When he went out in the world away from the semi-isolation of Lallybroch he was constantly exposed to the prevailing ideas of what a male/female relationship was supposed to be which was not what he had grown up seeing. He was given different models at a time when young men are just figuring out who they are going to be. I’m sure his time with MacKenzies, especially with Dougal, at this critical time reinforced the prevailing ideas of male superiority and ownership of women despite his earlier upbringing. I doubt France was any more progressive than Scotland in that respect.
But, his early life experiences made him more open to the idea of an equal relationship with a woman and that was critical when he met Claire. The foundation was there and he needed some re-educating which she was perfectly capable of giving him.