What a Young Girl Ought to Know, by Mary Wood-Allen, Part Six

Twilight Talk X. The body is a temple, and it’s made by God, and it’s sacred, and all that rot. Think highly of thyself, but not too much, for that is the way of arrogance. Your body is the most beautiful of clothes. Funny, that, because walking around nude all the time is not an option for most people. We’re made up of cells, and occasionally, the cells die and are expelled through various orifices in the body. Therefore, bathing is important. You must bathe every part of you, but don’t you DARE linger too long below the waist.



If girls don’t attend to their bodily waste removal every day, according to the good doctor, worms will begin to gather and then wander out of one orifice and into the other, causing great agitation. And then, horror of horrors, you might want to scratch yourself, and so accidentally acquire the habit of “solitary vice.”



Tea and coffee are bad for you. Only drink water, fruit juices and cow pus. To further drive home the point that coffee is bad for you, one only needs to look at little cousin Willie, who at the tender age of ten was having extreme caffeine withdrawal.



In short, you don’t require such things, and wise is the little girl who does not let herself form habits to which she will become a slave. BECAUSE SHE ALREADY IS. A HA HA HA!



And because Dr. Wood-Allen was a member of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, several paragraphs ensue about the dangers of alcohol. Beware the patent medicines, for they also contain alcohol, and may make you a drunkard.



Ladies are at fault for many men going to their graves due to abuse of alcohol, for they could not resist a pretty girl offering them the poison. Also, women are to blame for men smoking, particularly those that do it themselves, because they find it fun. One could argue that the men are weaker-willed and have no self-control, but nah, let’s just blame women; it’s easier! I’m ashamed of you, doctor.



The key to getting men to stop this foolishnesses is to disapprove of it, and magically, they will stop. Yeah, we tried that a decade and a half later with Prohibition. It worked incredibly well, and that’s why no one drinks today.



Mother wants you to grow up to be free, “from everything that fetters and chains you.” Except for marriage and family, because that is required.


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