I came across this in a box of stuff from a friend of my mothers. Mum told me I could grab anything I wanted before everything went to the local charity shop, so I fished around. I discovered a book by the name of "On Becoming a Woman". It's a book that you'd give to teenagers to show them the 'facts of life'. Kind of like "Where do I come from" and sequels, but instead of cartoons there is full blown horror.
This book, you see, is a few generations old. This is the kind of information your moms and grandparents got. This is the scariest bloody thing I have read all year.
Behind this cut are several scans. They mention sex, though not in any positive way. You have been warned.
First of all I have to mention that I have no idea from what time period this book comes. There's no date in the book itself, but from the inside cover picture...
...I'm guessing around the fifties. ETA: 1951! Hooray for the internet! That's about 50 years ago. Remember this, as you read the tome of information known only as:
Written by Harold Shryock, M.A, M.D. And you know, I'm not certain, but I'm pretty sure he's not a chick.
So, it starts off mildly enough, with an introduction. We look to the future, and the joys of backbreaking labour that await you as a homemaker.
And here we have the book's rationale. I actually did wonder about the level of detail the author was willing to go into, but here we see the idea behind it all. It's for wholesomeness! Whew!
So, we have a little bit about the importance of decision making before you are pressed into your god-given role.
Then we get to the good bits!
Well, so you'd think. In actual fact the whole thing is written in much the same way as a medical textbook. There are all the proper parts and their functions in intricate detail, and it's all kind of simultaneously enlightening and baffling.
Until we reach the end of the chapter, in which we learn that teenage boys are slaves to their penises and can only be saved by the calm, rational teenage girls. Well, thank goodness for that.
So the next chapter, personal problems. It's starts off innocently enough, with more musing on the wonderfulness of serving men:
It came as rather a surprise to me then, to learn the actual theme of the chapter.
Or, more specifically, how masturbation is so evil, it sucks away your life force and makes you become stupid! OhmygodARRRgh!!
You think that's bad? This is plain disgusting:
Yes, that's right. Female circumcision is not at all hazardous. Jesus.
Now that masturbation's out of the way, we have actual sex. Of course it's evil, but it shouldn't be a problem to stop it, because woman only enjoy it because they're giving a man pleasure. Of course.
So, apparently sex is out, masturbation is out, dreaming of a future as anything other than a housewife is out. Can we have any fun at all, you ask?
And the answer is:
But wait, what's this?
We can toast marshmallows next to a wholesome fire! Yay!
And that's becoming a woman, in a nutshell. Are you as depressed as I am? No wait, I'm moreso, having read the chapters on homosexuality.
We've come a long way, baby.
ETA: Okay, okay :-). Here's a chapter on homosexuality. It's appalling. Don't say I didn't warn you!
ETA (again): People have asked lots of questions. I therefore proudly present the FAQ. Read and be enlightened.