Literature

Feminism, Frankenstein, and Freedom

The individualistic works and lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley

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Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley, by Charlotte Gordon, Random House, 672 pages, $30

Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughter, Mary Shelley, shared life on earth for a mere 11 days. But though fate kept them apart, the two women together managed to change the Western world's conception of women's rights, human reason, education theory, and romantic love. Not to mention invent modern science fiction. In Romantic Outlaws, biographer Charlotte Gordon makes a compelling case that each woman's intellectual legacy has been underappreciated. She also argues persuasively that the two were linked by more than just blood: Wollstonecraft's life and principles had a profound impact on her daughter, an influence critics largely have ignored.

Both Marys led lives that captured the public imagination at least as much as their path-breaking writings did. Their dramatic personal stories, coupled with well-meaning family members' attempts to manage their reputations after their deaths, help explain how their ideas got lost in the sensationalist shuffle. But Gordon sees the Marys' private lives not as obstacles to be overcome but as extensions of their philosophies. Mother and daughter, she argues, tried to craft independent and meaningful lives of the mind in times when a self-supporting, freethinking woman wasn't just an oddity but a scandal.

"Without knowing the history of the era, the difficulties Wollstonecraft and Shelley faced are largely invisible, their bravery incomprehensible," Gordon writes. "Even those who revere mother and daughter do not fully realize how profoundly they challenged the moral code of the day. Yet both women were what Wollstonecraft termed 'outlaws.' Not only did they write world-changing books, they broke from the strictures that governed women's conduct, not once but time and again. Their refusal to bow down, to be quiet and subservient, to apologize and hide, makes their lives as memorable as the words they left behind." Gordon's admiration for the two is clear and contagious.

Mother Mary and Independence

"Independence is the grand blessing of life," Mary Wollstonecraft wrote. Hers certainly was hard-won. Wollstonecraft was born in Spitalfields in 1759 to an unhappy family dominated by an alcoholic and abusive father. Self-taught and determined to provide for herself and her younger sisters, Wollstonecraft pursued the only jobs deemed socially acceptable for a woman of the era: a lady's companion, a governess, a teacher, and a school administrator. These experiences gave her a front-row view of the failures of women's education across the social and economic spectrum, inspiring her first published work, Thoughts on the Education of Daughters, in 1787.

Romantic Outlaws

Drawing on John Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Wollstonecraft believed that education could shape people—and, conversely, that miseducation could misshape them. She had witnessed ample evidence that when women were taught at all, they were taught to be ornamental and attractive, not to reason logically or to provide for themselves. She argued that proper education could empower women to become independent, rational individuals in a way that past miseducation or lack of education had not allowed them to be.

This would be Wollstonecraft's lifelong refrain, one that would be repeated often in the classical liberal tradition: Independence is the goal, and education is the road that leads there.

A fan of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's egalitarian philosophy, Wollstonecraft was taken aback at his portrait of the ideal woman Sophie, a vapid character trained to dependence and submission, in Emile, or On Education (1762). Wollstonecraft responded with Mary: A Fiction (1788), now considered the first novel in English literature to celebrate a rational, opinionated genius of a heroine—and the first to highlight the tragedy of shackling such a unique mind in the legal and social chains of a traditional marriage.

Wollstonecraft didn't simply talk of economic and intellectual independence for women. She walked the walk, forging a path as she went. Thanks to Joseph Johnson, the influential English publisher and editor of Analytical Review, Wollstonecraft made a living with her pen. This led her where others, men as well as women, feared to tread. She traveled to Paris during the French Revolution and the Terror to report on the struggles there. She took on the conservative English philosopher Edmund Burke in 1790's Vindication of the Rights of Men, then sealed her reputation as a philosopher in her own right with 1792's Vindication of the Rights of Woman. She was barely in her thirties, and her work already was considered required reading by intellectuals on both sides of the Atlantic.

Almost a century later, Gordon explains, when activists for women's suffrage such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Carrie Chapman Catt invoked Wollstonecraft's memory, they would pay particular tribute to A Vindication of the Rights of Woman as a foundational work of feminist thought. It contains Wollstonecraft's most famous articulation of her message: "The most perfect education, in my opinion, is such an exercise of the understanding as is best calculated to strengthen the body and form the heart. Or, in other words, to enable the individual to attain such habits of virtue as will render it independent. In fact, it is a farce to call any being virtuous whose virtues do not result from the exercise of its own reason. This was Rousseau's opinion respecting men: I extend it to women."

Wollstonecraft left France not just with an international readership but with a baby girl, Fanny Imlay—and a broken heart, courtesy of her daughter's father. Wollstonecraft had not wanted to wed the American privateer Gilbert Imlay, because she believed the institution of marriage aided in the oppression of women, but she had hoped their relationship would endure. His abandonment caused her despair and shame; finally, in the throes of depression, she attempted suicide. Gordon does not shy away from the contradictions—calls for reason and independence sit rather awkwardly beside extravagant anguish at failed romances—but she also underscores how Wollstonecraft channeled her pain in a productive direction.

Wollstonecraft made the personal political and vice-versa in her genre-blurring Letters Written in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark (1796). Part travelogue, part philosophical treatise, and part self-directed therapy session, the book enchanted readers. In particular, it caught the attention of the anarchist philosopher William Godwin, best known for An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice (1793). He wrote, "If ever there was a book calculated to make a man in love with its author, this appears to me to be the book. She speaks of her sorrows, in a way that fills us with melancholy, and dissolves us in tenderness, at the same time that she displays a genius which commands all our admiration."

Godwin's words proved prophetic. After Wollstonecraft's relocation to London, the two intellectual luminaries became lovers. Events then moved swiftly. March 1797 brought an unconventional marriage with separate homes and independent careers; August brought the birth of Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, who would one day make history as Mary Shelley. Eleven days later, Wollstonecraft was dead of septicemia, and William Godwin was left alone to raise her two daughters and revere her memory.

William Godwin and the Wollstonecraft Legacy

When it comes to the latter endeavor, Gordon gives Godwin a mixed grade. In his grief, he threw himself into writing a biography of his late wife, which would be published the following year as Memoirs of the Author of a Vindication of the Rights of Woman. His intentions were noble. He hoped to celebrate the genius and courage of a woman who had proved herself the equal of any man; who had lived and thought and loved with passion and without apology; and who had provided living proof that women should have the same opportunity as men to develop their reason, take responsibility for their own lives, and contribute to society as productive, independent persons.

But the results were disastrous. Readers, even of the allegedly freethinking and revolutionary sort, were not yet ready for a bereaved husband to write of his wife's past love affairs and illegitimate child in admiration for her adherence to the principles of free love and sexual egalitarianism. What was intended to be an homage to a liberated woman was read by most as a sordid exposé that left the deceased in public disgrace. According to Gordon, the scandal of Godwin's ill-advised biography threw a shadow over Wollstonecraft's name and intellectual legacy that remained for generations.

But Godwin also published a second book that year: Wollstonecraft's Posthumous Works. The largest part of the volume is the incomplete novel Maria: or, The Wrongs of Woman, a bold fictional restatement of Wollstonecraft's ideas in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. In Maria, the heroine's husband deprives her of her child and commits her to an insane asylum for his own convenience, despite the fact she is not mentally ill. (Wollstonecraft had researched the famous Bedlam Hospital to see firsthand the inhumane conditions suffered by the mad and the merely inconvenient.)

The novel indicted the patriarchal structure of marriage that treated women as commodities and the legal tradition that protected men's privilege at the expense of women's natural rights. Maria is wronged not only personally by her husband, but politically by a larger unjust system. Scholars today recognize this unfinished tale as a key evolutionary step in the development both of the novel and of feminism. Maria also portrays women's sexuality frankly and depicts cross-class connections between female characters as well, underscoring how women at different points on the socio-economic spectrum share similar experiences of powerlessness and abuse. Godwin clearly deserves credit for his foresight in rescuing and publishing this work.

Despite a long list of parenting missteps, Godwin also deserves credit for giving his daughter Mary both an excellent education (for a child of either gender) and an abiding sense of connection to the mother she had lost. As an adult in 1827, she wrote to a friend, "The memory of my Mother has always been the pride and delight of my life; & the admiration of others for her, has been the cause of most of the happiness."

Daughter Mary and Responsibility

One of Romantic Outlaws' significant accomplishments is to stress the intellectual continuity between the two Marys' acts and works. Mary Shelley, Gordon explains, "was a staunch disciple of her mother. Her body of work is notable for her commitment to the rights of women as well as the bleak picture she painted of unchecked male ambition. She had devoted her life to upholding her mother's philosophy."

Mary started young, falling for a Romantic poet who had read and revered her mother's works: Percy Bysshe Shelley. (Their secret meeting place was Wollstonecraft's gravesite at St. Pancras Churchyard.) At 16, Mary ran away with the already-married Shelley, her stepsister Claire in tow—traveling Europe with him, reading classics of philosophy with him, and bearing his children along the way. (Only Percy Florence Shelley, born in 1819, would survive infancy.) In 1816, the famous "year without a summer," Mary joined Shelley, Claire, Lord Byron, and Dr. John Polidori at the Villa Diodati near Lake Geneva in Switzerland. It was one of the most famous meetings of the minds in literary history, a gathering that yielded Polidori's The Vampyre (1819) and Mary's first work of fiction, Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus (1818).

Mary Shelley did not pen overt political treatises as her mother had, but her seven novels, two travelogues, and 23 short stories had similar philosophical content. Take Frankenstein. Gordon notes the unchecked male ambition represented by Victor Frankenstein as he seeks to procreate without benefit of a female partner. But the book's echoes of Wollstonecraft's thought go well beyond that.

Unlike later film adaptations, which turned the Frankenstein tale into a warning about crossing the limits of science, the original novel focuses on responsibility: that of the creator to the created. Wollstonecraft often used the term "duty" in her works, as in the duty of a parent to educate a child. In Frankenstein, the titular scientist shirks his duty toward his Creature, and this begins the cycle of tragedy. For a time, in Wollstonecraftian fashion, the Creature exercises his reason and benefits from the stimulating, if in part unintentional, education provided by the De Laceys who, exiled from France and stripped of their wealth unfairly, nonetheless lead a loving and industrious life in their modest little cottage, closely observed by the Creature. But the miseducation of suffering repeated unjust cruelty ultimately misshapes him, though he remains more reasonable and sympathetic than his despicable creator.

Shelley also showed herself to be her mother's daughter in the way her work's structure plays to the reader's rationality. Earlier Gothic novelists filled their stories with sensational, apparently supernatural events, playing on the emotions; some, such as pioneer Ann Radcliffe, eventually clued in the reader that every seemingly fantastic twist and turn possessed a rational explanation, but only at the conclusion of the tale. Shelley flipped that scheme and prefaced her novel by noting that the "event on which this fiction is founded has been supposed, by Dr. Darwin, and some of the physiological writers of Germany, as not of impossible occurrence." In other words, her fictional extrapolations about galvanism and the spark of life rested on firm scientific foundations.

In this way, she stood with her mother against the novels of sensibility (the "chick lit" of the era) that Wollstonecraft faulted for giving female readers a one-sided education involving only the heart and not the head. In the process, Shelley invented modern science fiction.

Gordon proves even more insightful regarding Shelley's post-apocalyptic novel The Last Man (1826), which casts Shelley herself as the lone survivor left to deal with the fallout of the brilliant but reckless Romantics, who ultimately found liberty far more to their taste than the responsibility that must come with it. Both Percy Shelley's and Lord Byron's real deaths are depicted metaphorically in the book, as is the collapse of the world Mary Shelley had known. Gordon is equally adept at mining the rich philosophical content in Shelley's historical fiction, such as Valperga (1823), a feminist answer to Walter Scott's masculine narratives, and Perkin Warbeck (1830), a gender-inclusive narrative that challenged the male-centric perspective of power politics. When critics praise contemporary novelists like Philippa Gregory for restoring women's voices to our understanding of history, they generally don't mention that Mary Shelley was doing the same thing a century and a half before.

Debates and the Shelley Legacy

Gordon is at her best when she responds to ongoing debates about Mary Shelley. For example, she proposes a solution to the mystery of an infant named Elena Adelaide Shelley who was registered in Naples as Percy's child while he was there with Mary. Was this child, many have asked, the result of Percy's affair with another woman? Or did she represent an adoption that somehow went wrong? Gordon's answer not only fits the facts better than previous theories, but it also follows what we know of Mary's lifelong and well-documented commitment to helping unwed mothers and other legally and economically vulnerable women (in this case, Gordon says, probably a servant who had been sexually assaulted by Lord Byron). Surely Mary would not think twice about her husband lending his name to the newborn. This is, after all, a woman who helped her friend Isabel Robinson and Isabel's lover, Mary Diana Dods—male pseudonym David Lyndsay—run away together to live in France as "man and wife."

In another case, Gordon puts to bed some critics' exasperating tendency to overemphasize Percy's involvement in editing Frankenstein. She points out that he influenced Mary's text far less than professional editors affected the texts of other classic works such as The Waste Land and The Great Gatsby, and no one accuses T.S. Eliot or F. Scott Fitzgerald of not authoring their own works. More to the point, she compares Percy's modest impact on Frankenstein to Mary's extensive involvement with his various texts, putting the couple's professional achievements in a most instructive light.

Gordon makes it clear that Mary Shelley, like her mother, was the victim of a well-intentioned but rather disastrous biographical tribute that obscured her intellectual accomplishments. Mary Shelley died in 1851, a decidedly less revolutionary moment than 1797, and her devoted daughter-in-law sought to reframe Shelley's life in the properly Victorian setting of the domestic sphere: not as a feminist or a philosopher or even an author and editor who earned her way with her pen, but simply as the pious, modest, and selfless wife of the late Percy Shelley. This required a wholesale rewriting of some facts. Tragically, many of Mary's personal papers were burned lest they dispute the result, which Gordon calls an "antiseptic little volume." If Godwin's depiction of Wollstonecraft made her scandalous, then Jane Gibson Shelley's Shelley Memorials (1859) made Mary Shelley safe. And that, perhaps, has proved to be the worse fate.

Fortunately, Charlotte Gordon's compelling dual biography sets the record straight about mother and daughter, their outlaw ways, and the trails they blazed. As Gordon rightly says, "They asserted their right to determine their own destinies, starting a revolution that has yet to end."

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  1. What I know about these subjects:

    1) Wollstonecraft is a cool name, and it would work well for a pen-and-paper RPG that was designed to be a super-authentic recreation of 15th century England

    2) Frankenstein’s monster is not named Frankenstein, as was pointed out in an episode of MONK

    IOW, not much. But no one had left a comment yet, and IT HAD TO BE DONE.

    1. 2) Given that Dr. Frankenstein was the closest thing the monster had to a father, his name could very well be Frankenstein too.

      1. Hey, I never thought of it that way before, I just thought I could go around snickering, “Frankenstein is the scientist, not the monster, huh huh.”

      2. Oh, come on, everybody knows Frankenstein’s monster’s original name is Abby Normal.

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      3. Oh, you think children should by default take the name of their fathers? Male chauvinist pig!

      1. You mean Frau Blucher? . . .

          1. My first thought was Ward Bond . . . (where did that come from?)

    2. Dr. Frankenstein IS the monster.

  2. (note to F d’A’s cardiologist ? please keep your patient from reading this post, thank you)

    “Wollstonecraft pursued the only jobs deemed socially acceptable for a woman of the era: a lady’s companion, a governess, a teacher, and a school administrator.”

    Don’t forget nun or abbess ? wait, we’re talking Protestant England here, never mind.

    Too bad England defected from Catholic Christendom and closed the convents, thus denying women access to a life free of stereotypical wifely responsibilities:

    “The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband.” – 1 Cor 7:34 (NAB)

    “Wollstonecraft left France not just with an international readership but with a baby girl, Fanny Imlay?and a broken heart, courtesy of her daughter’s father. Wollstonecraft had not wanted to wed the American privateer Gilbert Imlay, because she believed the institution of marriage aided in the oppression of women, but she had hoped their relationship would endure.”

    /facepalm

    PS – “Dr. Darwin” is probably Erasmus, not Charles.

    1. Eddie makes unsolicited religious post so everyone will know how pious he is.

      News at 11.

      1. F d’A’s stalking officially becomes a creepy obsession. News at…now.

        1. Ya know, eddie, if you didn’t sling your skydaddy bullshit, you wouldn’t get called on your skydaddy bullshit.

              1. Your link had Obama, but my link had the unexpurgated lyrics – which of us is more hard-core?

                  1. Link is SFed.

                1. Notorious G.K.C.|5.23.15 @ 2:51PM|#
                  “Your link had Obama, but my link had the unexpurgated lyrics – which of us is more hard-core?”

                  Your link is a lame effort to direct attention away from your skydaddy bullshit. Does it make you feel better to blame others for your bullshit?

                  1. To quote from the Book of Psalms:

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOphGZZrE44

                    1. Gee, what a defense of sky daddy bullshit!
                      Are you feeling better now that you’ve tried to blame others and now just revert to your nati8ve stupidity?

                    2. I know you are, but what am I?

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ye5BuYf8q4o

                    3. Quit slinging your skydaddyd bullshit and you won’t get called on your skydaddy bullshit.
                      Assholes have a hard time learning, and you’re obviously one from the shallow end of the gene-pool.

                    4. I reply to you with my “sparkling wit and unbelievable intelligence:”

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kU0HQlJzrbI

                    5. Fort an asshole who seems to hate being called on bullshit, you sure seem to sling a lot of it.

      2. Francisco has his third period of the month. If it bleeds it leads at 11.

    2. “Wollstonecraft pursued the only jobs deemed socially acceptable for a woman of the era: a lady’s companion, a governess, a teacher, and a school administrator.”

      You forgot Empress of the British Empire (Victoria) which at the time included Australia, India, Canada, Scotland, Ireland etc… perhaps the most powerful monarch of the time. So the whole women were completely undervalued argument is falacious on its face. Furthermore, the rules described were for highborn women not commoners. Women participated in a number of occupations – mill workers, farming among many others. Lets also remember that most of the “occupations” of men weren’t all that wonderful either – coal miners and manufacturing for instance were long hours in dirty, dangerous conditions 6 days a week. Except the wealthy and nobility, few people- men or women had an easy.
      Women just like to complain – I’d much rather stay home and do the cooking, cleaning and laundry than spend 10-12 hours mining Coal.

      1. Women just like to complain – I’d much rather stay home and do the cooking, cleaning and laundry than spend 10-12 hours mining Coal.”
        Nonsense. Patriarchy was invented by men for the sole purpose of screwing women over to make men’s lives easier. I have it on good authority that most men in the 18th century ate 3 gourmet meals a day, lived in male-only mansions where they got the best quality healthcare and read Shakespeare while smoking pipes filled with the best tobacco and getting blowjobs from their sex slaves all day long.

      2. Yup. And coal mining was actually a job that women and children did back in those days in England as the shafts were very small and they could be paid very little.

        Feminists have always been upper class women and never cared about anything but themselves. While the rest of the women on the planet were working, they were sitting around bored complaining that they couldn’t work or vote while their maids were cleaning their beds and filling up their tea.

  3. “A fan of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s egalitarian philosophy, Wollstonecraft was taken aback at his portrait of the ideal woman…”

    She’d have been better off losing both the baby and the bathwater, but that is the perpetual mistake of the modern left, isn’t?

    1. When I think “reactionary, tradition-based patriarchal oppression,” the first name that comes to mind is Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

      /sarc

      1. When I think of JJR the first thing that comes to mind is how someone could be so wrong for so many reasons.

        When even Voltaire says you’ve gone off the deep end you have gone off the deep end.

  4. This thread sucks.

    Nice try by some of you though.

    /hat tip

    1. Zero-comment posts are inconsistent with a pro-life position. That’s what block told me, and I’m trying to live up to that standard.

  5. OT:

    The Oregon Trail Generation

    We’re an enigma, those of us born at the tail end of the ’70s and the start of the ’80s. Some of the “generational” experts lazily glob us on to Generation X, and others just shove us over to the Millennials they love to hate ? no one really gets us or knows where we belong.

    Interesting article. As one of those early 80’s kids that technically falls on the Millennial side, I’ve long felt that I have a more developed connection with the GenX generation’s cynicism, but I always attributed that to merely being born during the murkier overlap period and being the youngest of three siblings. But this angle on the point in tech history that corresponds with the coming of age of those born in late 70s/early 80s I think has persuaded me.

    1. Thanks for sharing, that was very informative. Right there with you age wise, I’d say I tend more towards the millennial optimism but I definitely don’t share the love for trigger warnings, puppy rooms and special snowflakeism…

      1. Is optimism really a characteristic of millennials though? Narcissism, solipsism, yes. But I don’t see anything optimistic about millennials writ large.

      2. Is optimism really a characteristic of millennials though? Narcissism, solipsism, yes. But I don’t see anything optimistic about millennials writ large.

    2. I don’t know. I spent the last couple of weeks at various places along the Oregon trail route. I can’t fit into my head any association between the whiny, politically correct, entitled, trigger-warned, scared-of-GMOs-and-everything-else generation with the people who actually made that trek.

      They’re a different species.

      1. It’s more relating to the old Oregon Trail game for the Apple IIE than the actual trail itself.

        1. I realize that, but I was struck by the contradiction in the folks, then vs. now. I don’t exempt the boomers, of which I’m one. Boomers are even sorrier because we had a somewhat better class of parents as examples than GenX and subsequent cohorts did.

      2. I think the point is that those of us born in the early 80s aren’t really millennials as we think of them now as their cultural zeitgeist of the larger generation takes hold. Most of my friends that fall into this subset are more gen X in temperament than millennial while my younger friends are more fully millennial.

        Not sure if it’s as relevant for the late 70s crowd though. My sister was born in 78 and I don’t think her formative coming of age years were as tech forward.

        1. Watching libertarians collectivizing groups of individuals based upon arbitrary criteria like date of birth is a nice weekend treat. Watching our resident Papist and his usual critics snipe at one another is like a cherry on top.
          I kid, I kid because I love. I hope everyone has a great holiday.

          1. I’m trying to get my wife drunk on Mike’s Hard somethingorother. We’ll see how this goes.

          2. Really? I don’t consider shared historical context to be “arbitrary”. Is it collectivist to state that a 12th century Mongol horse archer would have no clue on how to operate a car radio?

          3. Watching libertarians collectivizing groups of individuals based upon arbitrary criteria like date of birth is a nice weekend treat.

            Watching someone being purposely fucking dense is doubly entertaining. The idea that recognizing trends that are characteristic of larger population subgroups is some insidious collectivizing is BS. It doesn’t mean every single person within the population subgroup demonstrates that collective ethos of the group, but to pretend that there wasn’t a different cultural zeitgeist between the millennials, GenX, the boomers, and the WWII generation is being willfully blind.

            1. That’s exactly how I would expect your kind to respond. 😉
              Sorry Sudden and HM, I really was just taking the piss. I love everyone here and hope you are enjoying your weekend.
              Playa, a cider hangover sounds like something I should avoid but I hope your evening is wonderful. I’m just giddy because our boardwalk is (partially) rebuilt and finally open for the first time since Sandy.

              1. Fair enough. I got a little overly defensive

                1. No worries, I wouldn’t know anything being defensive (takes off dancin’ shoes, well worn from hoofing it to Botard’s beat).

    3. What on earth. Oregon Trail was already out when these kids were born. I was born in 1969 and I remember playing it at school in the early or mid 80s.

      1. I loved that game. Especially the hunting part. Killed so many animals I couldn’t carry just for fun. I guess that means I’m in spirit partly responsible for the near extermination of the buffalo.

        1. I still love the game–and still play it,on occasion (there are online site as that emulate the game). I even made a playlist on YouTube. Search for “cavalier973 Oregon Trail Hoe-down Spectacular”.

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    1. Finally a decent post!

  7. When we get together with our fellow Oregon Trail Generation friends, we frequently discuss how insanely glad we are that we escaped the middle school, high school and college years before social media took over and made an already challenging life stage exponentially more hellish.

    We all talked crazy amounts of sh*t about each other, took pictures of ourselves and our friends doing shockingly inappropriate things and spread rumors like it was our jobs, but we just never had to worry about any of it ending up in a place where everyone and their moms (literally) could see it a hot second after it happened.

    Lotta truth in that article.

    Off to pwn that trail as a farmer.

    1. Doctor or surveyor or GTFO

      1. Real libertarians play Lemonade Stand.

        1. Question: how many posters does one make, and how many cups’ worth of lemonade does one make on a rainy day? On a sunny day? On days that only a 30% chance if rain is predicted?

      2. Wrong, sir! Wrong!

        There are three professions: banker, carpenter, or farmer. AND NO FLIPPIN’ SKILLS.

        You can talk to three different people at each stop, max. There ain’t no fishin’, neither. If you want food, you carry your butt out to some rock and tree infested void and hope to heaven that a buffalo runs through on a path that you can shoot it, and don’t even think of trying to get into a better position because as soon as you move you know that twelve or more of the lumbering wretches are going to waltz right past the place you were at double lightning speeds and your family is going to STARVE.

        If’n you were good, though, you could start out as a farmer with half provisions and a box o’bullets and wind up in Orgin with all members of your family happy and healthy AND with full supplies AND your $400 seed money, plus some.

  8. “…she believed that the institution of marriage aided in the oppression of women…”

    And those jerks at the wedding pizza store said they wouldn’t cater a wedding for pirates. Something about religious objects to participating–however tangentially–in roamin’ and wench’n and plunder’n…

    1. “…she believed that the institution of marriage aided in the oppression of women…”

      And she was an unmitigated idiot for that belief.
      The institution of marriage was created to protect women and their children not oppress them. Women with children are in a very precarious position if the father of the children takes off. Think of what the lives of single mothers today would be like without the government acting (poorly) as a surrogate father. Most of them would be in dire financial state unable to raise children and work at the same time. It was worse back in those days because there was no way to conclusively determine paternity. So to protect the financial and social status of women, It was necessary to legally legitimize the marriage and the children so the woman didn’t get screwed.

      Furthermore, feminists can attempt to divorce themselves from the biological fact that they are, in fact… women but they ultimately fail.
      All they end up doing is making both themselves and men miserable.

  9. Circle gets the square.

    1. You show up with opaque comments, I presume in the hopes that no one realizes you’re a luddite ignoramus.
      Are you hoping someone might think your sophistry is worth other than a ‘screw you’?

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  12. Start making cash right now… Get more time with your family by doing jobs that only require for you to have a computer and an internet access and you can have that at your home. Start bringing up to $8596 a month. I’ve started this job and I’ve never been happier and now I am sharing it with you, so you can try it too. You can check it out here…
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  13. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.www.netjob80.com

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