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"Avoid football enthusiasts." The brutal 1918 marriage advice that is... still relevant.

In 1918, a suffragette wife took one for the team.

Reconciling the state of her marriage and her political views, she decided to advise “young women” on marriage… and whether’s it’s a good idea after all.

The note is titled “Advice on Marriage to Young Ladies” and is signed off by “A suffragette wife”. It went viral after being spotted on display at the Pontypridd Museum in Wales.

The list advises women on how to negotiate marriage as a feminist… and it’s surprisingly still relevant.

She begins the list by suggesting marriage is a ~bad idea~ but acknowledges that for many women it’s essential, especially given that marriage remained practical rather than romantic for many women in the 1900s.

With that in mind, she provided a list of things to look for, and things to avoid… like footy players.

Here’s what she has to say:

  1. Do not marry at all 
  2. But if you must avoid the Beauty Men, Flirts, and the Bounders, Tailor’s Dummies, and the Football Enthusiasts. 
  3. Look for a Strong, Tame Man, a Fire-lighter, Coal-getter, Window Cleaner, and Yard Swiller. 
  4. Don’t expect too much, most men are lazy, selfish, thoughtless, lying, drunken, clumsy, heavy-footed, rough, unmanly brutes, and need taming. 
  5. All Bachelors are, and many are worse still. 
  6. If you want him to be happy, Feed the Brute.
  7. The same remark applies to dogs.
  8. You will be wiser not to chance it, it isn’t worth the risk.
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Considering how long ago this was written, it may be evidence that the problems of marriage are eternal.

After all, there are few ways you can interpret the desire for a “Window Cleaner”.

But there are few, minor, details we are confused about.

What, exactly, is a “Yard Swiller” and what does football enthusiasm have to do with an unhappy marriage?

What defines a man as a part of the “Beauty men” category, and what the heck is a bounder?

Translations aside, this would definitely have gone viral on Twitter if it existed in 1918.

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