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.

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey made a heartfelt plea for Americans to “do better” on Tuesday after a gunman murdered 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.

Uvalde is a small town of about 16,000 residents approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio. The actor grew up in Uvalde until he was 11 years old when his family moved to Longview, 430 miles away.

The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

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Joy

50-years ago they trade a grilled cheese for a painting. Now it's worth a small fortune.

Irene and Tony Demas regularly traded food at their restaurant in exchange for crafts. It paid off big time.

Photo by Gio Bartlett on Unsplash

Painting traded for grilled cheese worth thousands.

The grilled cheese at Irene and Tony Demas’ restaurant was truly something special. The combination of freshly baked artisan bread and 5-year-old cheddar was enough to make anyone’s mouth water, but no one was nearly as devoted to the item as the restaurant’s regular, John Kinnear.

Kinnear loved the London, Ontario restaurant's grilled cheese so much that he ordered it every single day, though he wouldn’t always pay for it in cash. The Demases were well known for bartering their food in exchange for odds and ends from local craftspeople and merchants.

“Everyone supported everyone back then,” Irene told the Guardian, saying that the couple would often trade free soup and a sandwich for fresh flowers. Two different kinds of nourishment, you might say.

And so, in the 1970s the Demases made a deal with Kinnear that he could pay them for his grilled cheese sandwiches with artwork. Being a painter himself and part of an art community, Kinnear would never run out of that currency.

Little did Kinnear—or anyone—know, eventually he would give the Demases a painting worth an entire lifetime's supply of grilled cheeses. And then some.

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