What a Young Girl Ought to Know, by Mary Wood-Allen, Part Eight (Conclusion)

Twilight Talk XVI. Having boy friends is alright, but make sure they are good. Don’t get too intimate, even with your girl friends. Keep secrets to yourself, or with Mother. Don’t tell family tales to others. Girls and women should not kiss each other in public places, so I presume it is okay for them to do this in the privacy of their own home. Girls and boys should not kiss each other anywhere at anytime, and if you are the recipient of such a kiss and don’t want to tell about it, well, then you KNOW it’s bad news. It is particularly sad when little girls are “caressed and fondled by men. It often makes the little girls bold in their conduct, and certainly destroys the bloom of purity and self-respect.” Whoa. Little girls being touched by men? Hello, sexual abuse?

The onus is on women to be constantly pure and self-respectful in their conduct, but never for men. Well, Dr. Wood-Allen believes that the men should be as responsible for themselves as women are. Yeah, keep dreaming, honey. We STILL have this double standard, in various ways, a hundred years later.

We are clothed in a garment of thought (I thought our bodies were our clothing?) and people will know us by our thought-clothing.

Twilight Talk XVII. What’s happening to my body? is the subject of this chapter. The median age for puberty was fourteen. Marrying at this age is not a good idea, because the organs have not yet firmed up, and becoming a mother at this time could be injurious to your health. You are a bud, and you need time to blossom.

Be patient, because you’re going to be irritable and nervous. A little housework is always good, particularly dish washing, for it calls the blood to the hands and helps the backache. Don’t read silly love-stories, but let Mother pick your books for a little while longer.

So what is happening, exactly? Well, Mother will tell you when you’re a little older. In the meantime, enjoy the innocence of youth.

Twilight Talk XVIII. You might think you want to be a man, because men are freer and can do more things, but women’s work is better. Women make the man by the training in the home. Look at Abraham Lincoln’s mother, for example. It’s great responsibility to bring up a boy who will become President of the United States.

A woman would not be happy in business. But that’s okay, because men are dependent upon women, particularly for their good cooking. If you are a bad cook, you can make your husband fail in business. Always remember the Battle of Waterloo – lost because of bad food. The fate of an entire nation could depend upon your cooking ability!

It’s better that women are not in business, because if both parents worked, where would we be? And we would never be able to plan for dinner parties or anything like that. Our “moral and religious life” would also be in jeopardy, for men are always so busy that they haven’t time to think about right and wrong, or child labor, or tobacco.

Read together with father and mother; this way you will always be home for dinner, lest you miss another chapter of the book. Reading to oneself without ever reading out loud is selfish.

Twilight Talk XIX. Women help make man who he is, whether for bad or good. Mother’s influence lasts for a long time. The wife is almost as important, but not quite. The best times in the world are enjoyed by Christians. As a child of god, you are his heir, and therefore have divine possibilities. Use them for good, not evil, and above all, don’t touch yourself!

The End.

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