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Book Review: Why You've Never Met A Man Named Shirley

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The psychology of a woman raised without a mother.

Battle between the manufacturers and Luddites (frame-breakers). Includes comments on problems caused by war, poverty, and an unhelpful government.

Will the Napoleonic wars end in time for this community, and for the country, to prosper?

An examination of poverty. (With a well-written vignette of the classic image of a poor man crying because he cannot feed his family.) [ This thread would be of interest to Occupy Wall Street activists and theorists.]

A personal struggle with pride and ego, with references to Shakespeare's Coriolanus.

Love between rich and poor. The economics of courtship.

Can men and women be friends?

Transgender issues. While this book does not offer a character who is physically or completely transgender, there are interesting passages where Shirley explores her identification with men. Also, suggestions of how men accept "manliness" from most women vs. Shirley, who is bolder and richer.
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Demonstrates how various people or groups respond to patriarchy. Examples include: rich and poor (1% and 99%); men and women; young and old; powerful and powerless.

Love and bonding between  two women.

Adjustment and reactions to immigrants (A Yorkshire community in England opposite a family from Belgium with French customs.)

How does fashion relate to: cultural assimilation, social class, domestic duties? (Note: This text does not allude to gender fashion reform. Shirley does not wear pants.)

Running thread of commentary about French language versus English language, and the impossibility of translation with some words.
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Observations on the value and treatment of servants, tutors, governesses, and the lower classes.

Why might a revolution get violent?

How and to what extent can violence/violent revolution be prevented through charity, public relations, empathy, etc.?

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Kimberly Wilder is a poet, musician, teacher, and peace activist. She enjoys creating short videos to entertain and inspire. Kimberly and her husband live in Long Island, New York. They have two family websites: and (more...)

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Thanks to the person who rated the article already... by Kimberly Wilder on Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 2:56:45 PM
Please share the name of the activist website. And... by Ned Lud on Thursday, Jun 28, 2012 at 7:30:47 AM
Dear Ned,Many thanks for your opinion. I misspoke ... by Kimberly Wilder on Thursday, Jun 28, 2012 at 6:36:41 PM
I don't know what a 'list-serve' or an 'off-list' ... by Ned Lud on Friday, Jun 29, 2012 at 6:41:12 AM
Actually I did know a man named Shirley--he tended... by Wayne Straight on Thursday, Jun 28, 2012 at 4:01:27 PM
Are you sure it wasn't a man named Sue?Shirley use... by Kimberly Wilder on Thursday, Jun 28, 2012 at 6:39:27 PM
"Questions, battles, and plot lines in Shirley by ... by Paul Daniggelis on Thursday, Jun 28, 2012 at 4:27:33 PM
Thanks for your interest and comments.Okay, I am f... by Kimberly Wilder on Thursday, Jun 28, 2012 at 6:43:49 PM