There's no point trying to understand what it is about Jane Austen that's so compelling to today's women, because Jane Austen™ has very little to do with Jane Austen. Jane Austen™ is a retro fantasy creation, a sassy, ironic, independent woman. Jane Austen™ is all about social snubs, overheard conversations, implied relationships, and signifiers of status, especially hair and clothes. Jane Austen™ thrives in social enclaves full of privileged women obsessed with material wealth, class distinctions, and, always, the underlyingThis sweeping statement colors all Janeites with the same brush. Frankly, I see very little of myself in it, since I read Jane for pleasure and approach her era from an historical perspective, much like the other ladies in my local Janeite group.
Update: Interestingly, Austen blog used the same 'brush' analogy as I did. Aren't we Janeites amazingly in sync with one another?