+
Democracy

Read the empowering advice founder of feminism Mary Wollstonecraft wrote to her daughter just days before her death

Read the empowering advice founder of feminism Mary Wollstonecraft wrote to her daughter just days before her death

Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley's famous mother.

Mary Wollstonecraft is considered by many to be the founder of feminism. Her book, titled “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman,” was groundbreaking for challenging the notion that women existed for the sole purpose of pleasing men, and its philosophy is still the heartbeat pulsing through the women’s movement.

Wollstonecraft died only days after giving birth in 1797, but not before bestowing one last piece of advice to her baby girl. And it’s wisdom that every daughter deserves to hear.

Death may snatch me from you, before you can weigh my advice, or enter into my reasoning: I would then, with fond anxiety, lead you very early in life to form your grand principle of action, to save you from the vain regret of having, through irresolution, let the spring-tide of existence pass away, unimproved, unenjoyed. — Gain experience — ah! gain it — while experience is worth having, and acquire sufficient fortitude to pursue your own happiness; it includes your utility, by a direct path. What is wisdom too often, but the owl of the goddess, who sits moping in a desolated heart."

According to The Marginalian, the words come from another book Wollstonecraft had been brewing as a follow-up novel to Vindication, meant to take on a more personal tone. Her words indicate that Wollstonecraft knew the end could be approaching, making her message all the more bittersweet.

In our modern era, this passage might not seem all too radical. Gain experience, pursue your own happiness. Got it, we’ve heard it before. But the fact that Wollstonecraft encouraged self-mastery to her daughter—in a time when a woman’s fate was decided wholly by men—is what makes it so remarkable. Wollstonecraft inherently knew the value of empowering women, and wanted her daughter to have the same inner knowing.

She also wanted her daughter to come into this world with the knowledge that she is, and always will be enough. She writes how remembering that will help ensure a happy life.

Always appear what you are, and you will not pass through existence without enjoying its genuine blessings, love and respect."

Wollstonecraft’s words—and her feminist principles—would continue to live on through her daughter, Mary Shelley, who went on to write “Frankenstein,” giving the world its first taste of science fiction.

Mary Shelley

commons.wikimedia.org

Scholars have noted how Shelley’s iconic novel is, in its own right, a feminist novel. Primarily for the way Shelley criticized how females and femininity had been devalued by a male-driven science community in patriarchal society. I mean, the bride of Frankenstein was torn to pieces … so …

Like her mother advised, Shelley rebelled against convention in favor of pursuing her own path. And not just in her career, either. In fact, both mother and daughter had passionate counterculture romances that warranted a rather spicy double biography.

The Marginalian adds that little Mary Shelley learned to read by tracing the letters of her mother's gravestone, and really only came to know her mother through her work. It’s a bittersweet, yet touching image. The words of her late mother clearly resonated and shaped her identity.

It seemed Wollstonecraft’s dying wish was to instill within her daughter a fiery independence that couldn’t be squelched. If that’s the case, she succeeded, and her words continue to inspire women everywhere to enjoy (even fight for) the genuine blessings of being exactly who they are.

Finally, someone explains why we all need subtitles

It seems everyone needs subtitles nowadays in order to "hear" the television. This is something that has become more common over the past decade and it's caused people to question if their hearing is going bad or if perhaps actors have gotten lazy with enunciation.

So if you've been wondering if it's just you who needs subtitles in order to watch the latest marathon-worthy show, worry no more. Vox video producer Edward Vega interviewed dialogue editor Austin Olivia Kendrick to get to the bottom of why we can't seem to make out what the actors are saying anymore. It turns out it's technology's fault, and to get to how we got here, Vega and Kendrick took us back in time.

They first explained that way back when movies were first moving from silent film to spoken dialogue, actors had to enunciate and project loudly while speaking directly into a large microphone. If they spoke and moved like actors do today, it would sound almost as if someone were giving a drive-by soliloquy while circling the block. You'd only hear every other sentence or two.

Keep ReadingShow less
www.youtube.com

Man hailed 'Highway Hero' for running across four lanes of traffic

Holy cow, Bat Man! You're always supposed to be aware of other vehicles when you're driving but what do you do when you notice someone has lost consciousness while speeding down the highway?

It's a scenario that no one wants to see play out, but for Adolfo Molina, the scenario became reality and he didn't hesitate to spring into action. Molina was driving down the highway when he spotted a woman in a blue car who lost consciousness as her car careened down the shoulder of the highway. The concerned driver quickly pulled over in order to attempt to rescue the woman.

But there was a problem, he had to cross four lanes of traffic on the highway just to make it to the woman's still moving car. That obstacle didn't stop him. Molina sprinted across the highway, crossing right in front of a black pick up truck before running at full speed to attempt to open the woman's door and stop her car.

Keep ReadingShow less
Nature

Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave that’s been closed for 70 years

You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.

This Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave.

Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.

The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

Keep ReadingShow less
Internet

Relationship expert tells people to never get married unless you're willing to do 3 things

"If you and your partner (both) are unable or unwilling to do these 3 things consistently forever, you won’t make it."

Relationship expert gives people advice on getting married.

Being in a relationship can be difficult at times. Learning someone else's quirks, boundaries, and deep views on the world can be eye-opening and hard. But usually, the happy chemicals released in our brain when we love someone can cause us to overlook things in order to keep the peace.

Jayson Gaddis, a relationship expert, took to Twitter to rip off people's rose-colored glasses and tell them to forego marriage. Honestly, with the divorce rate in this country being as high as it is, he probably could've stopped his tweet right there. Don't get married, the end. Many people would've probably related and not questioned the bold statement, but thankfully he followed up with three things you must be willing to do before going to the chapel.

Before going into his reasons for why he tells people not to get married, Gaddis explained that he is a person that "LOVEs being married." I mean, it would probably make him a pretty weird relationship expert if he hated relationships, so it's probably a good thing he enjoys being married. Surely his spouse appreciates his stance as well.

Keep ReadingShow less

Humanitarian Helen Keller circa 1920.

In a 1954 documentary short, humanitarian Helen Keller expressed that her greatest regret in life was being unable to speak clearly. But given that she could not see or hear, her speech was quite remarkable.

Keller was born in 1880 and, at the age of 18 months, contracted an unknown illness that left her deaf and blind. But with the help of her teacher, Anne Sullivan, she was able to overcome her disabilities and become an outspoken advocate for the voiceless and oppressed.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

10 years ago, a 'Stairway to Heaven' performance brought Led Zeppelin's surviving members to tears

Heart, John Bonham's son and a full choir came together for the epic tribute.

Led Zeppelin got to see their iconic hit performed for them.

When Billboard and Rolling Stone pull together their "Best Songs of All Time" lists, there are some tunes you know for sure will be included. Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" is most definitely one of them.

It has everything—the beauty of a ballad, the grunginess of a rock song, the simple solo voice, and the band in full force. "Stairway to Heaven" takes us on a musical journey, and even people who aren't necessarily giant Led Zeppelin or classic rock fans can't help but nod or sing along to it.

Of course, it's also been so ubiquitous (or overplayed, as some would claim) to become a meme among musicians. Signs saying "No Stairway to Heaven" in guitar stores point to how sick of the song many guitarists get, and when Oregon radio station KBOO told listeners they would never play the song again if someone pledged $10,000, Led Zepelin singer Robert Plant himself called in and gave the donation.

Keep ReadingShow less