Leapin’ for the Altar

Ladies, rev your engines! It’s Leap Day, and you know what that means: It’s the one day out of every four years that you can ask a man to marry you and not seem like a wayward whore. 

In a custom that dates back to 5th-century Ireland, folks thought of Leap Day as a day that was sort of beyond the law. Tradition was out the window, and it became a veritable Wild West of love, ladies and gentlemen. You see, during leap years (but particularly on Leap Day), it was fine for a woman to act the aggressor. As one Irish site put it, “Consequently, women who were concerned about being ‘left on the shelf’ took advantage of this anomaly and proposed to the man they wished to marry.”

Not a love match? Then the fella better prepare to pay up. In 1288, Scottish law was supposedly passed stating that a woman could propose marriage in leap years, but if she was turned down, the man owed her a kiss, a silk gown, or a pair of gloves (take the dress!). In Denmark, scorned ladies came away with a dozen pairs of gloves.

Ladies lying in wait.

Men, it’s time for you to slug back a Leap Year highball, and get ready to grin and bear it. Happy Leap Day!

(Thank you to Bridget for the tip! And happy birthday to Lori!)

American Men = Chumps

“American men have been raised on a fiction: that American women are soft, feminine and alluring. They forsake the freedom of single bliss and the grubby affairs in motels and automobile back seats for the fantasy that is held up on all sides of soft female flesh, partially hidden by a sheer black negligee; sex on silken sheets with a perpetually young and sylphlike wife with red lips and nails by Revlon and hair always in place by Toni. They dream of gay, perfumed nights of love courtesy of Sortilege.

Even before the honeymoon is over, the sucker discovers that in marrying an American woman, he sold himself into bondage to a domineering, sexless individual who regards marriage as a contest with a husband to see who is going to be the boss. And the poor chump always loses.”

Women Confidential

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Them’s the breaks.

By the by, I had to look up Sortilege — while the author is probably talking about having a gay time (ahem) with the Canadian brand of whiskey/maple syrup liqueur, I’m choosing to believe he meant the ’80s French heavy metal band.

Oh My Lands and Stars! A Gynecological Manual from 1880

Recently, I had the pleasure experience of perusing a gynecological manual from 1880. Those poor women! Sure, going to the gynecologist is never a walk in the park, but my lands! Pretty much every illustration had me rocking back and forth, hugging my torso, and apologizing to my ovaries for ever thinking mean thoughts about them.

Some of the more disturbing aspects were simply the names of the instruments used. How is it the inclusion of the person’s name in a surgical instrument makes it so much worse?

Among the many, many gynecological instruments mentioned:

• Hick’s Wire-Rope

• Kibbee’s Fever-Cot

• Molesworth’s cervical dilator

• Cutter’s “T” for anterior displacements

• Budd’s elastic probe

• Simon’s Scoop for removing cancer

• Sim’s Screw for removing tampons (in this case, “tampons” were used to stop hemorrhages

• Thomas’s Spoon-saw for removal of uterine fibroids

• Thomas’s flat elastic whalebone

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Speculum

“Shhh, just keep sleeping.”

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procedure

I would be completely fine with never, ever seeing the word “vaginal fistula” again.

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gyno procedure 2

Hold on tight, Ellie Mae, and thank Bozeman’s securing apparatus!

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The book also contained helpful hand-written cures for a number of other ailments. Please be sure to see the Hersteria Library for how to cure Hysterical Bladder and Fibroid Tumors in Womb.