8 – J. Marion Sims, M.D., the father of gynecological medicine, bought slave women (prior to the end of slavery) and experimented on them attempting to perfect these surgical interventions – often without anesthesia. (what about the Hippocratic oath and doing no harm?) – Also noteworthy is the 1887 scholarly article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) by E.W. Cushing, M.D. declaring that removal of the ovaries cured “melancholia- induced masturbation”.

9 – Another fascinating development in the late 1800s was the treatise, “Sex in Education or a Fair Chance for Girls”, by Edward Clarke, M.D., supposedly proving that women were incapable of being educated due to their limited nerve forces – the idea being that women’s vital nerve force was located in the womb and that education caused this force to travel upward to the brain thereby depleting her reproductive ability. As a result, when women’s higher education was offered by the prestigious 7 sister colleges, women students were required to rest every 2 hours to keep their vital forces in balance. These colleges came under significant scrutiny because they were disrupting the normal order where women limited their activities to those involving child bearing and rearing.

10 – The “Flapper Era” of the 1920s represented incredible freedom for upper class women. No more corsets, tapeworms and arsenic. Hair was “bobbed” short, dresses were loose and short and drinking, smoking, dancing and sex were all part of the new culture – picture the Great Gatsby’s estate parties that lasted for days. . . .this era also heralded the use of makeup and hair product and all related consumerism we see on display today as we walk the aisles of our local pharmacies and department stores.

11 – For the first time in American history, a youth culture began. Prior to this time, most young people did not go to school and were often isolated from each other. School attendance was not mandatory until the 1910s. As more youth attended school and had the opportunity to congregate, their own culture developed – a culture including their own language (slang), their own dances and their own clothing styles. The advent of cars and rumble seats allowed for privacy and sexual exploration opportunities as never before. For the first time in history, the youth culture was leading the way. The chasm between teens and adults had never been greater. The magazines published during this era were replete with stories and concerns about the extent and rapidity of what may have been one of the greatest social changes this country has ever known. (so glad I wasn’t a parent during this time!)

So, as I always say in closing . . .

WE’VE COME A LONG WAY . . . BUT THE JOURNEY IS NOT OVER!


ANNE HAULE, WRITER FROM BOOMERFEMINIST.COM
ANNE IS A WRITER AND CURRENTLY WRITES “MUSINGS OF A BOOMER FEMINIST”, HER GOAL IS TO EDUCATE AND ENTERTAIN WOMEN ON WHAT IT WAS LIKE FOR THE BABY BOOMER GENERATION AS WE TACKLED WOMEN’S ISSUES IN THE WORK PLACE AND ON THE HOME FRONT. SHE IS ALSO A CONTRIBUTOR TO THE SAN DIEGO FREE PRESS, THE SAN DIEGO READER AND THE UPTOWN NEWS. YOU CAN FOLLOW HER ON TWITTER @HAULEANNE