Polygamy’s Such a Drag

“It is worth while to say that such practices [polygamy] lead to degeneration. The woman who acknowledges more than one husband is generally sterile; the man who has several wives has usually a weakly offspring, principally males. Nature attempts to check polygamy by reducing the number of females, and failing in this, by enervating the whole stock. The Mormons of Utah would soon sink into a state of Asiatic effeminacy were they left to themselves.”

–The Physical Life of Woman

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Who here can venture a guess as to what “Asiatic effeminacy” means? Anyone?

There are Communists in the Funhouse

Oh, the many terms by which we refer to menstruation!

“It is also called the catamenia or catamenial flow. Other terms are: the periods, courses, monthlies, turns, monthly changes, sickness, flowers, to be unwell, to be regular.”

–Woman: Her Sex and Love Life

Of course, while catemenia certainly does the job, there are plenty of other euphemisms to refer to this monthly event, including these international phrases, gleaned from The Gloss and Flow: the Cultural Story of Menstruation, by Elissa Stein and Susan Kim.

• The Netherlands: “The tomato soup is overcooked”
• Brazil: “I’m with Chico”
• China: “Little Sister has come”
• many parts of Latin America: “Jenny has a red dress on”
• Australia: “I’ve got the flags out”
• Denmark: “There are Communists in the funhouse”
• Ireland: “I’m wearing a jam rag”
• England: “I’m flying the Japanese flag”
• Japan: “Little Miss Strawberry”
• France: “The English have arrived”
• Germany: “The cranberry woman is coming”
• Puerto Rico: “Did the rooster already sing?”
• South Africa: “Granny’s stuck in traffic”

I also put out the question to followers of the @hersteria Twittergraph. Here are some favorite answers. So many aunts visiting and Soviets invading!

“Riding the tomato boat” and “Aunt Millie is visiting” – Tammy

“‘The eagle has landed, I repeat, the eagle has landed. Anyone have a landing pad?’ That’s what I heard in high school. Lutherans, eh?” – Jim

“Red Dollar Day Sale” and “a visit from Aunt Flo” – Wendy

“Ride the cotton pony”

“Crimson tide! I was salty when I realized that was the nickname for Alabama, I thought I made it up.” – @DazzlingRayn

“The painters are in” and “shark week” – DJ Intel

“fallen to the Russians” and variations of “my friend” – Rose Red

“Riding the crimson wave, god’s gaping gash, walking the red line, bloody hell Mary, river runneth red, Dexter Morgan’s crime scene” – boots electric

“BLABBT (Bleeding Like A Big Bleedy Thing)” – Amy C

What Does Your Week Look Like?

“An ardent spur-of-the-moment tumble sounds very romantic, especially when a few casually conceived kisses reveal previously unsuspected, keenly mutual desire. However, ineptly arranged intercourse leaves the clothes you had no chance to shed in a shambles, your plans for the evening shot, your birth control program incomplete, and your future sex play under considerable better-be-careful-or-we’ll-wind-up-in-bed-again restraint. Best keep your by-play mild until you know that further sexual activity will not stir later regrets.”

–The Marriage Art

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Remember, the wise Hersteria reader knows to schedule any and all intercourse at least two weeks in advance, lest something as unseemly as passion enter into your lovemaking.

Whoa, Momma

Your first attraction to your spouse might trace from some resemblance to your parent or your sister, for instance… Thus sexual advances and attentions which would have been improper with the original figure may carry guilt because of the transference… The barriers to incest rear up between you and your somewhat mother-like or father-like spouse.

You can help your spouse to achieve  a separate  image of you in several ways. Try to please him in your own way instead of falling into the family patterns. Cook your own way instead of getting his mother’s recipes, for instance… Set styling of your hair, clothing and so on to emphasize differences of similarities between yourself and close family figures.

–The Marriage Art

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Um, ew.

Menstruation and Marriage: Forget Midol

“The causes of painful [menstrual] periods are various…. A large, hot linseed-meal poultice, over which a dessertspoonful of laudanum has been sprinkled, or a large mustard-plaster, spread on the lower abdomen, will afford much relief…

A common belief is that such troubles are cured by marriage. Sometimes they are, but we do not approve the remedy.”

–The Physical Life of Woman

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Hersteria cautions its readers against the overuse of laudanum, lest they become one of those filthy opium eaters. However, we do endorse the overuse of marriage in curing physical ailments.