+
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.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

Keep ReadingShow less

Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

Keep ReadingShow less