A Heartwarming Holiday Play

Mr. Dickens and His Carol

‘Twas a dark and stormy night.

Seriously. ‘Twas. Would I lie to you?

Big, spongy globs of snow were flying at us sideways, and hitting our coats with a splash. As this weird snow hit the ground, it immediately intermingled with the blanket of previously accumulated powdery snow, resulting in a mélange of wet, muddy, slippery slush pies. The winter wonderland of the morning was quickly turning into an evening winter wasteland.

Our feet made squelching noises as we walked. We were drenched through and through. And it was cold and raw in the way it can only be in the Pacific Northwest. I could feel it in the very marrow of my bones. No sane person would be out in this crap. Oh, but we had theater tickets.

On a night like that, I’d much rather be snuggled up with my dog in front of a warm fire, clad in flannel pajamas and bunny slippers (me, not the dog or the fire) and wrapped in a fuzzy blanket (both me and the dog, but definitely not the fire). It is the kind of weather that calls out for one to stay home, engrossed in a good book. There are very few things that would make me shed those jammies and venture out into a slushy hellscape.

I will admit that I have been known to run down the street and pick up some pho on a night light that. It’s the ultimate comfort food. But then I’d run back home to enjoy it before the fire, with the dog and the bunny slippers. The only other thing I can think of that would make me face soggy misery, short of an urgent need for an emergency room, is a play.

Plays, when done well, are magical things. They allow you to get all cozy in your seat and be transported to another world. You don’t even need bunny slippers. You just need some imagination.

A wonderful play can feel all the more decadent when you know that the weather outside is frightful. You are one of an exclusive group of people who get to leave that place where one uses the words “trudge” and “galoshes”, and instead sit back, warm and dry, while passively observing a marvelous adventure. Sign me up.

The play in question on this night was Mr. Dickens and His Carol, based on the book of the same name by Samantha Silva. It’s a fictionalized literary cloak draped over a non-fiction skeleton of Charles Dickens‘ true circumstances as he wrote A Christmas Carol.

At the time, Dickens was partway through his latest serial novel, Martin Chuzzlewit, and it was turning out to be a shocking failure after his huge success with The Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, and The Old Curiosity Shop. This was extremely bad news as he was already under a great deal of financial pressure.

His wife just had the fifth of their ten children, and there were a whole host of people counting on him for their livings as well, including agents, publishers, newspapermen, and household staff, in addition to a father who was so financially irresponsible that growing up, Dickens was able to see for himself what life was like for a patriarch in a debtor’s prison.

Based on that information, Samantha Silva weaved a story about what it must have been like for the author to desperately write A Christmas Carol simply to keep his financial head above water. She turned Dickens into a Scrooge himself, bitter at all the hangers on who were intent on draining him of all his money. She allows Dickens to transform in the end, just like Scrooge did, and that is what inspires him to write A Christmas Carol as we know and love it today. God bless us, every one.

This preview performance of the world premier of the play took place in Seattle Rep’s Bagley Wright Theater. We had never been to this venue. It felt intimate. It gave me the same kind of butterflies I feel when I burrow deep into the stacks of a dusty old library filled with mahogany and possibilities. And the play would soon follow suit with its own inner flutter of butterflies.

The director announced that this was a preview performance to work out the kinks, but I saw no kinks whatsoever. Not only were the actors amazing, but the costume and set design were superb as well. I love how the actors seamlessly moved the furniture on and off the stage as the play was going on. They also provided the sound effects from just off stage.

The stage itself had a rotating floor, which allowed elements of the set to be used for different purposes as they were turned to different angles. I’m impressed when actors remember their lines and move and emote at the same time, so it’s a thousand times more impressive when they do all of that along with walking on a moving floor, keeping time with the other characters, and always managing to orient themselves to the audience, along with keeping track of what furniture needs to go where for any given scene.

That the cast and crew managed to pull all that off without a hitch was quite a feat. In the end, we were treated to a deliciously deep dive into Victorian London, with all its struggles and triumphs. And I’m pleased to say there was no slush involved.

The good news is that you can still get tickets to see this play as it will be here in Seattle until December 23rd. I hope it does, indeed, catch on and travel the world. I can imagine it becoming a delightful Christmas tradition. It was well worth a slog through the winter wickedness of the streets of Seattle to get there. For a delightful 40 second taste of this play that will leave you wanting more, check out this YouTube video.

I’ll leave you with a few photos I took while the actors were off stage. Even without people, it looks like a wonderful place, well worth exploring, doesn’t it? I highly recommend that you do so.

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Digestive Biscuits in Their Proper Context

We begin our search in the fetid mire of Victorian England.

Recently, Dear Husband brought home a box of iconic food from Great Britain. He helped some wonderful British clients buy a home in the area, and they were so happy to have his expertise in this competitive real estate market that they were generous enough to share the culinary wealth with us. One package really caught my eye. McVitie’s Digestive, it said. New to me.

I can’t think of a less appealing name for a foodstuff, but then the Brits are well known for their questionable food names. Two words: Spotted Dick. Not good enough for you? How about Rumbledethumps, Eton Mess, Mucky Dripping and Toad in the Hole? I can’t give a qualified review of most of these, having only tried Toad in the Hole (which is actually quite good.) But it’s as if the experts in the culinary arts across the pond have a singular goal of making things sound as unappetizing as humanly possible.

Frankly, British food has a bad reputation in general. Don’t believe me? Google it and a lot of articles will pop up. But having only changed planes in that neck of the woods, I can’t really speak with any authority on the subject. And after writing this post, I probably couldn’t make it through customs. They’d most likely spin me around and send me flying back home to McDonald’s.

But let’s get back to the Digestives. At first glance they reminded me of the dietary wafer that my grandmother used to force my mother to eat on her way to school in the 1940’s. My mother said they were disgusting, so she would throw them into the neighbor’s bushes. I have no idea what they were for, but my mother wasn’t having it.

Surely this couldn’t be a similar product, though. How would it have remained popular since 1892 if no one wanted to eat it? And this particular version sitting before me was coated in my Achilles heel: milk chocolate. As far as I’m concerned, anything covered in milk chocolate has got to have some redeeming qualities.

So I decided to give them a try. I wish they had been bad. I really do. But no. I could have eaten the entire sleeve of 16 in one sitting. This is a disaster. At 83 calories per biscuit, I’d weigh 900 pounds in no time. And now I’ll know these delicious things are out there in the world, calling my name, coaxing me to dash upon the rocks of obesity. Fortunately, they’re not as readily available in America, or I’d be doomed.

But why on earth would you name this ambrosia, this food of the Gods, “Digestive”? I had to get to the bottom of this. My research sent me deep into the fetid mire of Victorian England.

I eased my way into the subject by visiting Wikipedia. There, I learned that these biscuits were first invented in Scotland in1839. McVitie’s took up the torch in 1892 and started mass producing them at a time when mass production was very new. To this day, the chocolate covered ones are ranked as the U.K’s favorite snack by a wide variety of sources.

The commonly told story about the name for this devilish treat goes like this: One of the ingredients is sodium bicarbonate, which has antacid properties. I’d hazard a guess that those properties greatly diminish when you bake them into a cookie, but people in the 1800’s didn’t know that.

And that’s it. That’s all most people have to say on the subject. But the era in which they were created has long fascinated me. And after the hundreds of documentaries I’ve seen, I have developed a rather interesting back story for Digestives.

First of all, I’m amazed that humanity survived the Victorian era. The life expectancy in England in 1892 was 45 years. And it ranged between 40 and 50 years from 1852 to 1907. Talk about slow progress.

Disease was rife in Victorian England. Many died of smallpox, tuberculosis, scarlet fever, measles, and influenza. (Three cheers for modern vaccines!)

The first cholera epidemic was in 1831, and it took the Victorians until 1866 to figure out what caused it and successfully combat it. It was cholera that caused them to create boards of health with the goals of regulating clean water supplies, better drainage, and, in the 1870’s, the focus sharpened to combat unsanitary urban living conditions. They were fighting an uphill battle.

The Victorians were rather obsessed with health, probably because it was in short supply in urban slums. They didn’t have cures for any major diseases, and this led to some rather unorthodox treatments. They swore by emetics (which cause vomiting), laxatives, and leeches. There was no such thing as aspirin. They thought arsenic was something you should take for anemia. Asthmatics were instructed to inhale tobacco smoke. In 1899, people were prescribed laxatives for chicken pox. Mind you, this was some 60 years after the industrial revolution. Some sectors of their culture were advancing more quickly than others.

Improper food storage had caused its fair share of illness, or at least it was often blamed for it, right along with “miasmas”. People were streaming into the cities for work, and therefore the need to transport and store food became more urgent. City folk couldn’t eat fresh and local as they used to do on the farm.

The good news is that trains made food much easier to transport, and this was also the era when food with a long shelf life was invented. Thank the Victorians for condensed milk, dried eggs and soups, and bottled sauces. Meat canning started around 1865, causing most middle-class families to obtain can openers, which were first patented in 1855. Refrigerated meat transport started in the 1880’s.

So while people were becoming less worried about obtaining food, they were still worried about their health, and a lot of quack medicine was available. People were willing to try anything.

Snake Oil Linament was actually a thing sold in pharmacies, and it was supposed to cure Rheumatism, Neuralgia, Sciatica, Lame Back, Lumbago, Toothache, Sprains, and Swellings. Obviously it didn’t work. That’s where we get the term “Snake Oil Salesman” for a person who is trying to sell you something bogus.

In a time when cocaine and morphine were often given to children and radium baths were offered in hotels, people really must have dreaded getting sick, so they’d look toward prevention.

From all these bits and pieces, I have a theory about Digestives. You probably wouldn’t want to market your product as a delicious biscuit when bakeries were the place people normally went for such things. So some brilliant marketer probably suggested they should market it, instead, as an aid for digestion. (Who knows? They may have even believed it at the time. But I tend to take a cynical view of marketers.)

Thus, this product was named to target the many people with stomach issues or those wishing to avoid such maladies. Eventually, as life expectancy increased and the need for Digestives decreased, I’m sure that people remembered how delicious these things were. I suspect that’s when this product began a slow transition from being an intestinal cure to being “just” a biscuit as they are viewed today.

So why hasn’t the company changed the name to suit more modern sensibilities? Tradition. Name recognition. Most Brits probably don’t even realize how strange the name is, because strange names quickly become commonplace to our ears. For example, I work with a great guy who goes by the name Skeeter. For about a week and a half, I struggled to call a grown man a cutesy name for a mosquito. But after a while, I became accustomed to it, and now I can’t imagine calling him anything else. If a cookie were delicious enough, I’d buy it even if it were called Skeeter, so why not Digestive?

Now, the challenge becomes finding ways not to order Digestives online. My waistline will thank me if I succeed. But they really are good, so please don’t send me any. I’m serious. Don’t. I would not appreciate the gesture at all. I’m having a hard enough time resisting the urge to dive face first into one of their boxes as it is.

Sources:

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Sheele’s Green: The Color of Death

The denial of science can be toxic.

In the Victorian age, people started having gas lights in their homes. This was dangerous and could be deadly for obvious reasons. But then there were any number of deadly things to be found in the Victorian homes. One real killer, oddly enough, came about because of that gas lighting.

Before gas lighting, most people wanted to paint their walls white, because houses were extremely dark, and they needed all the light surfaces they could get to reflect the candlelight. But according to this Youtube video entitled “The Deadly Fashions of the Victorians”, once gas lights lit up the home, people wanted to enjoy bright colors. Wallpaper became all the rage.

According to this article in Smithsonian Magazine, a man named Carl Sheele developed a bright green wallpaper, and people began calling the color Sheele’s green. The problem was that that color green was made with arsenic. William Morris, the most famous wallpaper manufacturer of the time, often used Sheele’s green in his designs.

Morris either didn’t believe, or denied, that arsenic in wallpaper could harm anyone. It is interesting to note that in the video mentioned above, they mention that Morris owned an arsenic mine. He only stopped using arsenic green due to public pressure.

Sadly, Sheele’s green also appeared in paint, clothing dye, candle coloring, and printers ink. This substance was especially toxic to children and the elderly. Bright green rooms were known to wipe out all the children in many families. According to Wikipedia, it may have even played a role in Napoleon’s death.

There is a book called “Shadows from the Walls of Death” that was produced by a doctor who was trying to warn people about toxic wallpaper. It contained 100 samples of said wallpaper. You can read all about it in this article in Atlas Obscura. It is said to be one of the most toxic books in history. If you touch it with your bare hands, it can kill you. Fortunately, only 4 copies of the book remain, and they are housed in extremely controlled environments.

So, Morris denied the science at the time because he had a profit motive. Sounds a lot like those people who are denying global warming and saying, “Drill, baby, drill!” Or people who are denying the danger of COVID-19 for political reasons. Evil is motivated by greed and power and, make no mistake, those motivations can kill us all.

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The Rational Dress Society

Women should not have to harm themselves for fashion.

I first learned of the Rational Dress Society by watching a show on Youtube entitled, “The Deadly Fashions of the Victorians”. Not only did it discuss their love of lead paint, and of gas heat which was prone to explosions, and of baby bottle designs that were impossible to clean and were therefore bacteria factories, but it also went into detail about the wearing of corsets.

Corsets were in fashion for 500 years. Heaven knows why. They restricted breathing to the upper lungs, often causing the lower lungs to fill with mucus. There is a reason that women were often described as “breathless” or having a “heaving bosom”. Women practically had to hyperventilate to breathe in one of these contraptions. A recent study shows that a woman wearing a Victorian corset of the most extreme type from the 1860’s had to breathe 25% faster to avoid fainting. Women who wore corsets were prone to lung infections.

Further, corsets caused livers to be squashed upwards. Many Victorian livers, after autopsy, were shown to be deeply ridged as they attempted to push through the rib cages in a desperate search for enough space to function. Corsets pushed the stomach and abdomen down as well, and were the source of many a prolapsed uterus.

According to Wikipedia, some mothers forced corsets upon their daughters at very young ages, and this caused distorted bones. Sometimes women’s rib cages would crack and puncture their lungs, bringing about death by fashion. The strictest of mothers would force their daughters to wear corsets even at night, and some even resorted to tying their daughters hands or chaining their waists to prevent them from taking the corset off for a comfortable sleep.

The Rational Dress Society was founded in 1881 in England, to protest such harmful fashion. The members felt that a woman’s movement should not be impeded, her health shouldn’t be put at risk, and her figure shouldn’t be deformed. I have no doubt that I’d have joined this society, and gladly. I’m all about comfort. I haven’t even worn heels in decades, and can’t imagine that I ever will again. The society also spoke out against high heels, and any clothes that were heavy for any reason other than warmth.

The RDS wasn’t promoting radical fashion changes. They just believed in comfort and convenience, and perhaps a style that wouldn’t render the wearer sterile. Was that too much to ask? Some of the most ardent members of the society were women cyclists, who wanted freedom of movement to cycle, as riding a bicycle was “an opportunity to escape overly restrictive societal norms.”

Unfortunately, the existence of this society didn’t seem to alter the popularity of the corset. It continued to be worn into the early 20th century. What seemed to bring about the change was a combination of things. The hobble skirt came into fashion, and it required a wider waist. In exchange, ironically enough, it severely restricted the legs. That fashion got women out of the habit of wearing corsets for about 6 years, which was the beginning of the end for corsets.

But the thing that really took the corset down was something I love: The fact that women were finding their voices. They were learning to speak out as suffragettes, and when they got the vote for women in 1920’s America, they found the time to look up and say, “I don’t want to be uncomfortable anymore!”

Good on them! We owe those suffragettes a debt of gratitude not only for getting women the vote, but also for taking our bodies back. That is why I look on in horror when I hear girls today complaining about the size of their waists.

I think the Rational Dress Society would be proud of me, sitting here in my t-shirt and baggy shorts and bare feet. No woman should ever be restricted in any way! Never again.

The internal results of tight lacing a corset.

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The Gaches Mansion

I love Victorian houses, with their elegant porches, dormers, scrollwork, and spindles. I particularly love the Queen Anne style, because towers and turrets make my imagination run wild. I can see myself living in one of these magical manses, wearing high-collared, full-length dresses. I just can’t picture me paying the heating bill.

One of my favorites is the Gaches Mansion (rhymes with “mashes”). It’s in La Conner, Washington, and it was built in 1891. It’s 4700 square feet with 11 foot ceilings, which is why I wouldn’t want to heat it, but oh, is it ever gorgeous. Its Douglas fir floors and trim, and its fireplaces with original Italian tile make you almost forget that there are no built in closets, which was typical of this type of architecture.

The Gaches Mansion La Conner

My favorite room, of all the rooms on earth, is the 3rd floor tower room. It’s circular, has windows on all sides, and the pointed roof is covered with a gorgeous turquoise blue mural which sets off the woodwork nicely. Whenever I enter that room, I never want to leave.

Tower Room

Over the years, this house has been many things, from a private residence to the first hospital in Skagit County to an apartment building. Unfortunately a resident carelessly set it ablaze in 1973 with his cigarette. (Damned renters!) What a heartbreaking event that must have been.

Gaches Manion ablaze

The good news is that a bunch of citizens got together and purchased and restored the building a year later. That couldn’t have been easy. It then became an art gallery. But the reason I particularly love this mansion is because of what it houses now.

Intrigued? Watch this space tomorrow.

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Greetings from a Former Brothel

During my recent visit to Port Townsend, Washington, I explored a gorgeously restored Victorian edifice called the Palace Hotel. This brick building was built in 1889, and has housed many things throughout its history, including a billiard room, a saloon, a newspaper, a theater, a grocery store and several restaurants. But, most famously, for 8 years it was a brothel.

The restoration, which started in 1976, centered on the brothel era. All the rooms are named after the women who plied their trade here. You can stay in the Miss Abigail or the Miss Sara, for example. And there’s an intriguing lampshade on the second floor that was made from a corset.

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One of the most delightful traditions of this place is that even if you aren’t staying there, you can look in the rooms that are not currently occupied. And they will take your breath away. Each room is different, but they all have 14 foot ceilings and gorgeously quilted beds. Many have stunning views and luxurious bathrooms, some with clawfoot tubs. I really want to stay there at some point.

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While the restoration is faithful to the time period, with exquisite antiques as far as the eye can see, I’m sort of glad they weren’t as successful at bringing back the brothel atmosphere. Oddly enough, I’ve been in several hotels that were former brothels, and they would all like to romanticize the profession. They’d like to make you feel that these places were elegant, and employed nothing but whores with hearts of gold who were happy to be there and content with their lives.

I suspect that this is far from the truth. These women were servicing the loggers and seafaring men of the region. They were in an isolated community that must have been even harder to get into and out of than it is now. I’m quite sure there was absolutely nothing to do during their free time, if they had any. And I wouldn’t be surprised if the house madam, Marie, was as tough as nails.

If the restoration had actually been able to evoke the ghosts of the past, this would probably be a sad and tense place to be. But as much as they were on my mind, I could not feel any spiritual residue of these unfortunate women as I wandered the halls of this hotel. I wonder if they’d be amused to know that people are still profiting off of them 80 years after the brothel was shut down.

Today, the Palace Hotel is open and airy and a feast for the eyes. I can’t imagine a better spot for a romantic getaway. Check it out!

Too Perfect

If you’ve seen the movie The Truman Show, you have experienced Seaside, Florida in all its creepy perfection. I have never been there myself, but I have been to Celebration, Florida, which is another perfectly planned little hamlet. These places are cool to visit, but they kind of give me the willies.

Seaside, Florida [Image credit: misfitsarchitecture.com]
Seaside, Florida [Image credit: misfitsarchitecture.com]

These communities are regulated in the extreme. Individuality is very discouraged. The houses can only be a certain style and a certain range of colors. Your white picket fence must be of a particular design. And forget about unique landscaping. Seaside and Celebration are the Stepford Wives of communities, even more so than your typical neighborhoods with homeowners associations.

I am thinking of these places because recently I drove through Port Gamble, Washington. Port Gamble was established in 1853, and looks as if it has been frozen in time. The Victorian houses, many of them identical, are in pristine condition, and there’s one continuous white picket fence along the length of the main street. There are also some touristy shops, but we didn’t stop.

The reason we didn’t stop is that I got the shivers just driving through the place. Yes, it’s charming, and each building, if by itself, would be a delight. But as you drive through there, you start to notice that there’s a distinct absence of humans. And all the blinds are drawn. I could easily imagine an FLDS polygamist cult occupying the town, or an extended family of zombies. It’s downright disturbing. I wouldn’t want to be caught there after dark. It felt like an extremely sanitized ghost town.

Port Gamble's perfect little church.
Port Gamble’s perfect little church.

Port Gamble's perfect little picket fence. Taken from the safety of my car. With the window rolled up.
Port Gamble’s perfect little picket fence. Taken from the safety of my car. With the window rolled up.

I genuinely think that there’s such a thing as too much perfection. Humanity lies in the flaws; in the peeling paint and the tacky lawn flamingoes. When people start marching in lockstep, they seem robotic. When they force their surroundings to do the same, it feels otherworldly. I would definitely not thrive in that environment. It’s too much about appearances and what the neighbors think.

Exploring Washington State – Port Townsend

As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog entry, I had the privilege of tagging along with a friend to visit her parents in Port Townsend, Washington, and it was a fantastic two days indeed. Port Townsend is a charming, artsy, quirky, historic Victorian Seaport that is best reached by ferry. Whenever I ride a ferry I always feel as if I’m going on a grand adventure, and that was the perfect mindset to have.

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The town itself is divided into two parts: Uptown and Downtown. Uptown, as you might expect, is higher up, and sits atop a crumbling bluff, along with a bunch of amazing Victorian houses that I’m sure enjoy a stunning view of the water in exchange for their precarious perches. Downtown is the more touristy area, with amazing brick buildings, delightful restaurants, and quirky shops.

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It’s the home of the beautiful Palace Hotel, a former brothel, which merits a blog entry in and of itself, so stay tuned. And Port Townsend is also where the movie An Officer and a Gentleman was filmed. That kept me wondering if Richard Gere had touched the very same bit of pavement I was walking upon.

[Image credit: just5moreminutes.com]
[Image credit: just5moreminutes.com]

But this lovely town has some amazing natural beauty, too. There are rocky, seaweed-strewn beaches that are sprinkled with sea glass. I only found a handful myself, but my hosts generously provided me with a gallon sized bag of the stuff, and it’s beautiful. And there’s a lighthouse, and everywhere you go you see deer.

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With a population of a little over 9000, mostly retirees, it’s a quiet, sleepy, romantic little mecca. If you every get a chance to check it out, I highly recommend it.

The Weaker Sex

In the Victorian era exercise became all the rage for women, but if you look at instructions from the time, you’ll see that all the exercises were above the waist, because people believed that rigorous movement in the nether regions could cause women to damage their reproductive organs. They believed they weren’t firmly fixed to one area of the body. That seems silly to us now, but at the time it was a serious concern. If we were so fragile, then all our organs would probably exit our system the first time we experienced childbirth, but that never occurred to them back then.

Crazy beliefs about women’s health can be found throughout history. Some were sincere misunderstandings about the functioning of the body, and some were simply blatant attempts to keep women in their place.

The whole “hysteria” concept appears to have been a little bit of both. At certain points in history it referred to female emotional excess, and at other times it referred to sexual dysfunction, but it was thought to be caused by a “wandering womb”. The cure was genital massage by the physician. That must have made for some very strange doctor’s visits.

The whole concept of females being out of control has never quite left our culture to this day. I’ve actually heard it, quite recently, being used as a reason that women should not become president. Sigh. But one good thing came out of the whole hysteria concept. It was the reason for the invention of the vibrator. Hallelujah! Does that mean that my insurance company will pay for my batteries?

It was quite gratifying to see that women were finally allowed to participate in the ski jump competition in the most recent Winter Olympics. They had been prevented from doing so in the past due to absurd notions about health risks. So that was one step toward reality in a competition that had otherwise set human rights back at least a century. Much about Sochi did not show humanity at its best, but hey, at least we’re allowed to ski jump now.

And then there’s this, from a recent article in the Huffington Post: “You can thank Dr. Edward Clark, a physician and Harvard professor for this charming theory. In the 1870s, Clark published a book asserting that women who read and threw themselves into their studies were at risk for atrophy of the uterus and ovaries, as well as sterility.” Apparently knowledge isn’t power after all.

Lest you think all of this absurdity is a thing of the past, take a moment to contemplate that the medical world still understands almost nothing about the G spot or female ejaculation. That inspires confidence. Not.

Some people used to believe that if a woman were raped, her body would somehow flip some sort of internal switch and automatically prevent pregnancy. That belief is still held by some people to this day. The reason Republican Todd Akin got laughed out of office in a recent election was that he said “Legitimate rape rarely, if ever, results in pregnancy.”

I have been thinking about all this foolishness today because a friend of mine sent me a link to a recent CNN article entitled Saudi cleric warns driving could damage women’s ovaries. Well, then the future of mankind is doomed because it’s a rare country that doesn’t allow women to drive in this day and age.

The ironic thing about these absurd concepts about women’s health is they say less about women’s health than they do about the ignorance and and insecurity of Man.

Hysteria

[A montage of women’s hysteria via Wikipedia]