Saturday, May 7, 2011

Feminists, Historians, Mothers: Take Note

I found this booklet at an estate sale today.

It is a pamphlet developed by Modess Sanitary Napkins in 1953; a handy little guide for all those tough questions every girl has about puberty but is too embarrassed to ask her mother.

That's right, "Phooey".  The pamphlet goes into the social aspects of growing up, the biology of menstruation, and some helpful advice on how to cope with the changes in your body.  Here are my favorite pages:

It fascinates me how much womens' lives have changed in just 58 years.  I think it would be interesting to compare this pamphlet to a similar "what's happening to my body?" book published today.  The biology is all the same, only the perception of how we may use our bodies is different now.

I have the whole book scanned to a pdf document.  If you are interested in reading more of it, please let me know and I'll e-mail it to you.  It was clearly written by Modess because of the advertising in it, but there are no copyrights printed in it, so I assume it's ok to reproduce for academic purposes.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Finally Spring

The month of April was desperate for me.  The dark, cold days weighed me down, made me feel choked and repressed.  I had plenty to be anxious about as it was, and the fact that the sun refused to shine just made everything worse. 

Today, May 2, I finally felt that Spring might actually be here.  We started the morning sunny and 33 degrees, but the temperature quickly rose.  But the time I made it to my friend's house for a playdate with the kids, it was warm enough to play in the backyard.  I basically spent the rest of the day outside.  While the kids slept, I got a chance to weed the garden.  I love weeding.  It's a simple, repetitive task with immediately gratifying results.  I like to pull each weed out by the roots, one at a time.  I consider each root pulled in its entirety a victory for my garden, knowing that it won't have a chance to sneak back later.  Now a good portion of the perennial garden is clean and ready for new growth. 

Now, I don't want to give you any mistaken impressions.  I am not the gardener of my family.  Far from it.  My husband labors all summer to maintain and develop our gardens.  For the most part, I usually look on from my spot in the shade and give unnecessary advice.  But I do like to weed, which works out because it isn't his favorite task.

Now I have a sunburn on my nose, and a list of things I need to gather together to prepare my family for spring weather: buy new sunblock, sunglasses (I lost my prescription lenses last year), tupperware for the outside toys, umbrella for the picnic table (because we left it open in the wind last year and ruined it).  I also need to wash the outside blanket, hook up the hammock, find the sidewalk chalk...and on and on.  But still I feel that I came out ahead today.  My list of things to do is only a list, and does not gnaw away at my tummy and keep me up at night.  For now I am relaxed and happy.  Tomorrow: 63 and sunny.