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William Lee Howard.

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cut them out with a knife; then you are ruined as far as womanhood is
concerned.

Young age has wonderful powers of repairing injuries. If it were not
so, but few would ever reach full growth. But there are some injuries
youth cannot correct, and these are the distortions and displacements
of woman’s sex organs――the internal ones. If you jar or tear these
organs, the ovaries and womb, while you are growing, you do not know
of the injury at the time. Everything at this age is strange to you
in feeling and function, and slight pains in the back or groin,
irregularity or too little flow, you think is nothing. But it is
EVERYTHING to you when you reach the marriageable age, or when your
time comes to become a mother.

The womb is pear-shaped, big end upwards. It should hang nearly
straight in the body. The small end is the outlet which opens at the
time the baby is to be born. It also opens slightly every month to let
out the blood, then closes when it has emptied itself. Now you can
readily see that if it is twisted, tipped backwards or otherwise out of
shape, birth can only be given at great risk to both the babe and its
mother. It may be out of place so that nothing but an operation will
save life. It may be so turned backward that the child is smothered
while trying to grow, and then must come a horrible operation. Even
the unmarried woman will suffer from any of these misplacements of the
womb. Every month the blood tries to pass off it finds obstruction;
pains, griping pains occur, sometimes the blood cannot pass away but
remains to cause inflammations and tumors, and unless corrected by an
operation the poor woman’s life is one of torture and invalidism.

Ignorant, never having been told of these important matters, you
may have tried to vault in the gymnasiums, played a fierce game of
basketball or gone to a dance when your flow was on. This, strange as
it may seem to some, is the most frequent cause of “Women’s Troubles,”
“Female Weakness,” etc. Now there is absolutely no reason for a woman
to have “troubles” or “weakness.” Nature has so made woman that in
reality she can stand much more strain and endurance of a certain
kind than man can. At the start she is possessed of everything which
makes a strong and well being throughout all her life. She has to be
of this nature, for just think, she does the work of two beings. While
the child is growing in the womb she has to watch and feed herself to
give the little one good blood――HER blood. When it is born, she has
to do the same thing――give it good, health-giving milk. Then as the
child leaves her breasts, she has to watch and care for all its growing
years. Besides all these cares she has her household, her husband, her
hundred and one duties to perform. Surely all this requires a strength
of body, a determined will and an all-absorbing love. No man could or
would do all this――Never!

A perfectly well woman, a woman whose sexual parts are in their
places and strongly attached there, does all this tremendous work
happy, smiling, and reaches the grandmother’s chair with the sweetest
countenance to be seen on a human face.

It used to be so; we see but few happy and uncomplaining mothers now.
And there is but one cause for all the present misery and race suicide.

Ignorance of sex laws and prudery in all the most vital matters
pertaining to young girls is the reason and cause.

No exercise which puts a strain on the body should ever be taken by
the growing girl. Especially true is this when you are having your
menstrual period, for then you should be as quiet as possible. In many
cases it would be best for the girl to remain away from school. If you
have to go to school, that is if you cannot make your mother understand
the matter, you should be allowed to sit and not stand at your lessons.
Every girl should be placed in the unembarrassing position to leave and
go home at any time during school hours.

Thousands of girls have been ruined in health because their male
teacher or gymnasium instructor could see only a pupil and not a
growing woman, because a condition which should excuse one girl or make
allowance for another, or a state of sexual nervousness which means the
girl ought to be sent home at once, are subjects that are not talked
over between a male principal and a woman teacher――that is, not as they
should be talked over. It is an old story to the doctor, these nervous
and sexually-ill young women. Taken unwell in school, perhaps suffering
pains caused by a previous “standing it out,” the poor girl increases
the injury to her organs, and besides being unable to put her mind upon
her school work, she suffers the humiliation of a low mark.

But we cannot do these necessary things at the public schools, girls so
often tell me. Well, there is but one answer to such a complaint. If
the schools are so regulated that a growing girl cannot have the best
of care, consideration and instruction in these vital matters, we had
better close them all――every one. But what we can do is to have schools
for girls only, and these must have teachers whose first thoughts
are the physical welfare of all the pupils and who are thoroughly
conversant with sex hygiene and all this means to the future women of
our land.

I have to speak of this most important matter to you girls because in a
few years most of you will have daughters to send to school, and as it
is almost a hopeless task to bring the present generation out of their
mucilaginous prudery, YOU must take hold as mothers and demand that
such care and instruction will be given your girls that we shall no
longer have this sad condition of suffering and childless women as has
existed the last forty years or so. You will find the young men of your
generation aiding and forcing these common-sense forms of education,
for they, too, are being instructed in the matter from their side of
the question.

I remember a beautiful girl of fifteen years of age, who was brought
to me suffering from a nervous breakdown. There was nothing the matter
with her except everything. Never having had that care and instruction
she should have had, one day in school her pains became unbearable. She
cried, and when she went to ask her teacher to excuse her, this misfit
of a teacher sent the embarrassed girl to the PRINCIPAL. Of course she
would not go and tell HIM what the trouble was; she left of her own
accord and was marked for it. But this was not the worst of it; some
evil-minded boys in her class laughed at her when she returned a few
days afterwards and uttered those despicable hints which go straight to
a good girl’s heart. And she never told her mother, because her mother
had never told her anything. A girl in the school――oh, there are a lot
of these kinds, I dare say you all know one or two of them――told her
what to do to keep the monthly flow away.

So she finally had to go to the doctor, who found a frightful state of
things――one ovary ruined for life. For three years she remained an
invalid, and the shock she received, added to the drugs she had taken,
had made her one of those many unfortunate women which fill our land.

All heavy lifting is dangerous to the womb and ovaries during the
growing period; therefore all the apparatus in the gymnasiums for
testing the strength of arms and back should be avoided. Many a foolish
or uninstructed girl has made herself a girl of muscles, but ruined her
WOMANLY POWERS in so doing. Save all your strength and force for what
Nature intended a woman to DO; don’t throw it away in doing gymnasium
stunts. No real youth or man likes to see a girl do these things; his
applause does not come from the heart, but only from the head. Such a
girl may have strong arms in which to carry a baby, but the chances
are some other woman will have to give her the baby to carry. Of
course every girl should exercise, but it must be such exercises as is
governed with her sexual organs ever in view. As an example, dancing is
good recreation and exercise, but it should not be indulged in two days
BEFORE the menstrual period and not until two days AFTER.

Another thing which affects the womb――retention of urine. That is,
keeping the bladder full. Many girls have been brought up in such
ignorance and under such false ideas of prudery that they will suffer
pain from distention of the bladder rather than allow the slightest
hint to escape them that they need immediate relief. This brings about
not only a weakness of the bladder, which will in later life be very
annoying and really embarrassing, but the pressure of a full bladder on
the surrounding parts――the womb and its attachments――is apt to displace
it and irritate it. Then again, a girl may be within a few days of
her flow, and here the pressure of a full and hard bladder may set
up an inflammation and bring on the period before its time. All this
tends to start an irregularity, and when this irregularity is fairly
established, the girl’s, and later on the woman’s, life is only an
existence full of misery.

In fact, I think I am justified in saying that ninety per cent. of
the women suffering from nervousness, hysteria, restlessness and
pain, comes from the sexual organs being out of place, twisted, early
inflammations and general lack of care of them from want of knowledge.

And it is so easy for a girl to grow into complete womanhood, full of
life, good health and scarcely any unnatural knowledge that she has
ovaries, womb or breasts. Most women to-day only know they have a womb
from the severe pains and that “bearing down” feeling about which they
constantly complain.

Please understand that in this CHAT we are only considering general
and common conditions which injure all growing girls and result in
miserable health in after life. I am only hinting about the errors due
to ignorance which produce our hysterical women and childless wives.
And I want to repeat this fact, that there is absolutely no reason for
all this invalidism and suffering among women and girls.

The general rules I shall give you for perfect condition and good
health must be followed by all girls and young women, but I shall have
to devote some time to the special needs of girls who work in shops,
large stores, factories and those who are brought into close intimacy
with men in offices.

Those dragging pains in the small of the back so many suffer from
during the menstrual flow, and those racking headaches, are not
natural. The pains mean that the womb is dragging or else pulling upon
its supports; that you need to rest and keep off your feet as much
as possible. If you are a schoolgirl, you MUST stay at home and rest
upon your back much of the time. There is no excuse for your not doing
this. To force you to go to school to take an examination or make up a
certain lesson is criminal. STRIKE! It would be a good thing if you all
formed a union for the protection of your future health, and demanded
your sex rights. Rest you should, and must, from all mental or physical
excitement if you wish to be a woman who will be a blessing to those
around her instead of a burden.

Which had you rather YOUR daughter should have, a certificate of
perfect health, with the knowledge that when she marries she can
become a mother without danger to herself and child, that she can
remain happy in the nursery instead of miserable in the hospital, or a
diploma stating that she can read French poetry and write an essay upon
“Woman’s Career”?

Some of these statements you girls will have to read to your mothers.
Then if prudery has blinded them to the truth, take the matter into
your own hands. It is upon you, in the future, that depends the decent
regulating of instruction in the public schools. The girl who goes to
dances or any evening entertainment lightly clothed, low neck and short
sleeves, while she is menstruating, as thousands do, will certainly
land in the doctor’s hands or become one of those pitiful things, a
drug fiend. And the drug habit starts from taking “some harmless thing”
to ease the pains or stop the flow.

That curse of the American girls, constipation, does as much if not
more, to hurt the womb than a full bladder. We shall have a lot to say
about this matter later on in our Chats about the skin and complexion.

When the menstrual period first makes its appearance the swelling and
tenderness of the breasts, the itching, a feeling of fullness in the
region of the womb, are all natural and should not cause any worry.
If you are in perfect health and KEEP so, these little symptoms will
become less noticeable as you grow into full womanhood. So do not get
frightened, do not take any medicines nor act upon the foolish advice
from other girls. The flashes of heat, frequent blushing, dizziness and
the frequent desire to pass your water, are all natural. There are some
fortunate girls who approach and pass this first period without all
these uncomfortable symptoms, but most of you will have some or all of
them.

The itching of the skin, pimples on the face and body, sometimes a sore
throat, all these are nothing but indications of the great revolution
you are going through from being a girl to becoming a glorious woman.
Then there are the toilet duties to be done at this period and
throughout your life which make for perfect health.

Oh, yes, I shall tell you all about these matters and what to do.

During the periods of the first year or so you are in a
condition to catch many of the diseases all around you, such as
tuberculosis――consumption――erysipelas, tonsilitis, scarlet fever and
the mumps. Remember I do not say you are liable to catch such a disease
as consumption, only that you are in a condition when the germs can
find lodgment better than at other times. Of course you should never
sleep in a room with a consumptive or even be around one at any time,
but should it happen that during your developing period anyone with the
disease was liable to be brought into contact with you, keep away, away
in the open air.

At this period also mumps may be a serious matter for you, so if you
have a little brother or sister who is suffering from this disease of
childhood, you should keep out of the room and, if possible, out of
the house. No matter if you did have the mumps when a little girl. If
you catch the mumps during the first years of your young womanhood the
affection MAY go to your ovaries. This, of course, produces a painful
swelling and, if not attended to by a reputable physician, will go to
destroy the usefulness of the ovaries――prevent you from ever having
children. This has happened in girls who did not know――or rather their
mothers did not know――what the danger was, and when the girl grew up to
be married and no children came, she was blamed, often accused of being
one who did not want children. Many a time when a young woman had been
married several years and was childless, I have asked the mother if her
daughter had the mumps when she was growing into womanhood, and if she
suffered pain in the groin and back.

“Why, yes, Doctor――but what has that to do with it?”

“Didn’t you know that the mumps sometimes went to the ovaries and
destroyed their function?”

“Why, no; it can’t be possible?”

“Yes, possible and probable. Your daughter can never have children
because you did not tell her all about her sex organs, and when her
little brother had a swelling and pain in the glands of throat and
jaws, you did not know enough to send her away or keep her away from
him, telling her plainly why you did so.

“But you were never allowed to mention these things when you were a
young woman――you never knew these important things? Exactly so, and
this is the punishment thousands of mothers and daughters are receiving
for this prudery.”




CHAPTER III

THE DISORDERS OF MENSTRUATION AND GENERAL HEALTH


Civilization has brought many unnatural effects upon the monthly
period of women, and ignorance of how to care for the body has made
matters worse. It is with these unnatural disturbances that you are
mostly concerned. The inability to understand certain symptoms of your
menstrual flow, the consequent neglect of these symptoms or ignorantly
taking drugs and medicines for the troubles, are the causes for so many
girls and women being miserable and invalids struggling on under most
distressing conditions.

There is always a good cause for any irregularity or stoppage of the
monthly period; some reason why the flow is scanty or too profuse.
These causes can readily be discovered when the girl knows herself and
all that pertains to that self.

In the healthy girl the flow should come and go without any marked
pains or distress. Of course during four or five days there will be
a feeling of weakness, lassitude, a “please-let-me-alone” attitude,
and in many girls, a desire for pure love and caresses. These various
feelings are natural and only go to show that you are a full-blown
woman.

There is nothing to be ashamed of in this feeling for love and
caresses, this peculiar desire to want protection and a something that
you cannot exactly explain to yourself. It is really an awakening of
all your womanly desires, and these are your greatest powers over man,
children and the best of everything in the world. These feelings should
not be suppressed, but kept under control. They should be carefully
saved, for they are the feelings which bring future happiness, and you
want to give them as little attention as possible except that attention
which keeps them pure and holy.

Avoid all women who scoff at motherhood, who deride the domestic life
for women, who stand and shout their demands in public places instead
of sweetly using their influence for a better condition for men and
women so that the future babies will have a proper birthright. No
discussion or knowledge which will make better fathers and mothers can
be wrong, but every attempt to ignore the subject is sinful.

There is nothing to be ashamed of in maternal feeling and impulses;
what a girl is to be blamed for is a want of control over these natural
instincts and giving way to them. The care of the company she keeps,
the kind of thoughts she lets get into her mind and the way she cares
for her body, are the factors which make for a good and chaste girl or
otherwise.

But how can we blame all those girls who accidentally go wrong? I
certainly do not. They have never been told just what to do, where the
danger lurks and all the consequences. Should we blame and shun the
girls who have been sent out into the world amid the dangers and snares
laid for them; young women who see chastity mocked, virtue a thing
to bargain for, the glitter of gold pouring into the laps of those
thousands who find “the easiest way” out of their poverty and struggles?

Yet the truth is, hard as it may seem and as often as it has been told
to you, that virtue and chastity in deeds and thoughts DO bring rich
awards. These awards may be a long and tedious time in coming and the
struggle is hard, but in the end all this will be proven to have been
worth while.

As I have told you, the monthly period should come and go without much
physical pain. It should last from four to five days and be regular in
recurring about every twenty-eight days. But it is seldom so normal in
the average American girl, the girl who has been left alone to solve
her own mysteries and go her own way. This is equally true of the
high-school girl or the working girl. And why? Because she has been
brought up through her early developing days to go on and disregard all
her sex functions――the greatest factor in all life. The high-school
girl has been mixed up with all kinds of youths and not kept away from
tantalizing and embarrassing conditions. The shop and working-girl has
been forced to do her work, day in and out, standing upon her feet or
working at a machine while the sensitive and full-blooded womb was
trying to empty itself.

Let us first consider the girl whose monthly flow is scanty or entirely
absent. She has arrived at the age of sixteen years and has not “seen
anything.” But every month, for a year or so, she has had headaches,
felt extremely nervous, had some pains, the breasts have felt tender
and sore, and altogether she has had a miserable twelve months of these
symptoms, but no relief from a flow. What is the matter with such a
girl?

Remember I told you that the womb was pear-shaped, the small end
hanging down. Here is a little opening, through which the menstrual
blood flows, and then out of the body. The womb is in reality only a
big bunch of muscles so arranged that it can relax and empty itself
and then tightly close. In the unmarried woman, or before one has given
birth to a child, this little opening is completely closed except
during the period. Even then it is only very slightly opened, but open
and shut it must if a girl is to be in good health.

A girl may have over-exercised or injured herself when she was twelve
years of age or thereabouts, and brought about a little inflammation,
which at the time she knew nothing about. The womb was already
getting prepared to do its monthly work, and as the weeks went on the
inflammation increased. Inflammation always means some kind of an extra
growth at the injured spot; like a scar, for example, after a wound has
healed up.

The womb itself is not a sensitive organ to the touch or to slight
inflammations at the lower end, hence the little girl does not, at the
time, feel any pain. She may feel uncomfortable in that region, but as
she has been brought up NEVER to mention any matters concerning her
sex organs, of course she keeps silent while the injury goes on. The
little inflammation heals up, but in healing what does it do? Leaves
a scar, of course. Now this scar may be big enough to have CLOSED the
outlet for the monthly flow――to have made the entrance of the womb grow
together. It is under these circumstances a sealed bag; nothing can
come away from it.

The girl’s time comes, but the blood does not. All the other signs
being present, she watches and worries. Sometimes, alas, too many
times, she has never been told just what should happen. Backache
troubles her, headaches often drives her to take some harmful drug, she
becomes fretful, loses control of her temper in the simplest things and
finally loses friends because she “is so horrid, says so many cutting
things.”

Yet she does not mean to be disagreeable; she simply cannot help
it. How could she? There is a clot of blood in her womb that cannot
come away; it remains and hardens and each month is added to by the
banked-up blood.

It is a very sad condition, and one that often continues until a tumor
is formed, or some other complication makes an invalid of her in the
prime of her life――or what should be her prime.

This condition is frequently the cause of hysteria, of desperation, of
a gradual mental failing.

There is another condition which goes to ruin a girl’s health and
happiness, for the effects are the same as in a closed womb. There
is a membrane in all chaste girls called the hymen. This closes the
entrance to the vagina. Now there should always be a little opening, or
several little openings in this membrane to let out the blood. In some
girls this is closed from birth; so completely closed and tough that
the weight of the first monthly blood cannot break through it. Then we
have all the symptoms of the stoppage we have in the closed womb, only
the blood packs and hardens in the lower parts instead of the womb.
Often this produces greater distress than when the same conditions
exist in the womb. Here great bloody tumors form and the state of the
poor girl is certainly pitiable.

From birth also the womb may be closed, grown together. Then there are
some girls so nervously constituted that the least touch on the muscles
of the womb will shut it up spasmodically. Such a girl’s womb is not
grown together, but when the first drops of blood are trying to ooze
away, the womb shuts tightly. In all these cases the results to the
girl is the same as I have described.

The remedy for all this misery is simple, almost painless, and will
not detain you from your duties but a few days; sometimes not at all.
By simply cutting or snipping apart the growth at the entrance to the
organ, or opening it by a little stretching instrument, the fault is
remedied; the girl cured. And all this simple knowledge could have


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