Pamphlet From 1918 Gives a Suffragette's Comically Ruthless Advice on Marriage | "Do Not Marry at All"
We live in a world where people shamelessly give unsolicited advice. Whether you like it or not. While most of it comes from the know-it-alls of the world, sometimes it is offered by folks who'd like to add a different perspective to the endless ocean of conventional pearls of wisdom.
@historyinmemes on Twitter shared one such unconventional take from a suffragette on the topic of marriage. It shared a pamphlet—that is said to be currently on display at the Pontypridd Museum in Wales—which features eight tips "on marriage to young ladies."
The 1918 pamphlet's target audience is young ladies and the author absolutely does not mince her words when warning them about the realities of marriage. "Do not marry at all" is the first piece of advice in the pamphlet, giving great insight into the suffragette's personal feelings on the subject.
It is followed by, "But if you must avoid the beauty men, flirts, the bounders, tailor's dummies, and the football enthusiasts." The pamphlet then jumps to the type of man one should ideally choose if determined to tie the knot. "Look for a strong, tame Man - a firelighter, coal-getter, window cleaner, and yard swiller," it states.
It then goes on to address the expectations most women have when choosing a partner. "To not expect too much, most men are lazy, selfish, thoughtless, lying, drunken, clumsy, heavy-footed, rough, unmanly brutes, and need taming," the pamphlet states.
Sorry, gentleman. We know it is a hard pill to swallow.
It continues: "If you want him to be happy, feed the brute. The same remark applies to dogs." Ouch!
The pamphlet concludes with the most crucial marriage advice: "You will be wiser not to chance it. It isn't worth the risk."
Advice on marriage written in a pamphlet by a suffragette in 1918. It is currently on display at the Pontypridd Museum in Wales pic.twitter.com/8XyA64qEsL— Historic Vids (@historyinmemes) February 4, 2023
The tweet went viral in two days with more than 2.5 million and 16,400 likes. Some Twitter users affirmed the pamphlet's advice. @JoshEzzell wrote: "I am sure the person who wrote this had a great personality." Another Twitter user, @PatrikPastor2, said, "I mean, the person that wrote this is not technically wrong. No marriage is the best marriage. It all depends on whether you want to have offspring. But marriage is a historical artifact mainly created by religion."
A third user, @BouncyMilk, said: "If you look at the big picture and do not focus on details, it is pretty accurate, to be honest."
Meanwhile, some other users contradicted this. @karlmart wrote: "What a budding feminist would say (back in the early 1900s.") Another Twitter user, @theashtoncohen, turned sour and commented, "The good thing about women like this is that they don't reproduce."
As we are on the topic of marriage, we're reminded of another funny story involving Emily St. John Mandel—the bestselling author of the book Station Eleven and Sea of Tranquility—who asked a journalist to interview her so as to change her marital status on Wikipedia to divorced.
Friends, did you know that if you have a Wikipedia page and you get a divorce, the only way to update your Wikipedia is to say you’re divorced in an interview?— Emily St. J. Mandel (@EmilyMandel) December 17, 2022
It began with Mandel tweeting: "Friends, did you know that if you have a Wikipedia page and you get a divorce, the only way to update your Wikipedia is to say you're divorced in an interview? It sounds crazy, but Wikipedia runs on citations. So anyway, all I want for Christmas is for a journalist writing a story for publication (online only is fine!) to ask me if I'm still married. Also, if you're reading this and you're one of my girlfriend’s friends, she’s not actually dating a married woman, it’s just that my Wikipedia page is a time capsule."
Brilliant move, huh! Dan Kois from Slate came through to help her out and did an email interview with the author titled, "A Totally Normal Interview With Author Emily St.John Mandel." Mandel's Wikipedia page has since been updated with the information that she is divorced from her former husband and now has a girlfriend. Moreover, it says that "she has one daughter from her marriage to Kevin Mandel, which ended in November 2022."