Somebody needs to write a good book on how Mary Wollstonecraft invented sociology via all her stuff on gender socialisation. Who else was doing that shit? Rousseau insulated himself too much from the unpleasant aspects of social life to be much of a sociologist in my opinion. Wollstonecraft was way more empirical: she worked shitty jobs much of her life, maintained financial independence (pretty damn impressive in the 18th C for a woman with no inhereted money), lived in revolutionary France while she was pregnant and based most of her writing on what she had experienced or observed about gender, class, politics and assholes firsthand. Plus, Wollstonecraft tried to kill herself a bunch of times, which in a strange way makes me want to claim her for sociology even more. Sociologists share a common understanding that once you begin to understand how societies work, you do kind of want to kill yourself a bit. They try to hide it from first-years, but really the suicidal impulse is how you know that you are learning.

This comic was first published in STRIKE!

– Matt




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