9 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2017
    1. to hold it in thought as sacred, holy, consecrated to the highest of all functions, that of procreation. Recognize that, conserved and controlled, it becomes a source of energy to the individual.

      This is again a bourgeois feminist belief of the early 20th century. Sex for procreation, within marriage, was a positive force. This undercuts the belief that sex was universally seen as sinful in the late Victorian/early Edwardian era; however, it must not be mistaken for modern second-wave feminist arguments for more radical sexual freedom (though there were a small minority of radical feminists at the time who advocated for that, as well.)

    2. As the reproductive system awakens to activity it naturally attracts the attention of the girl, and an effort should be made to call her thoughts to other themes.

      Discussion of hysteria in girls, making sex taboo for girls and also stating that there are "other things" that they should be taking care of. What would the view towards men's sexual development be?

    3. arouse in the reader a thrill through her own sexual organism that tends to increase its activity and derange its normal state

      This implies that women are naturally sexual creatures; this reflects the view of early feminists, which eventually became subsumed into the project of marriage.

    4. Are the family tendencies such that you would be willing to see them repeated in your children?

      This is a mild example of eugenicist thinking. The belief that people should make matches with the goal of passing on desirable traits to children, thus improving "the race."

    5. It is unfortunate that girls generally have the idea that it is not modest to think of marriage further than the ceremony.

      This is now the era where a woman thinks past the ceremony of marriage and about the possibility of future children; because of this, it is now the woman's responsibility as the one who actually bears the children to make sure that they are not messed up genetically and educated correctly.

    6. What is their worth? I do not mean in money,

      "Worth" here seems to be intended to refer to intrinsic/genetic qualities, but these qualities were often related to class - and, as such, often related to money.

    7. and see whether it is wiser to pass the border line, or to remain only friends.

      This puts the decision to get married and to have sex firmly in the hands of individual women - not in the hands of their families or of society. However, as we will see, women are expected to consider social and familial realities when making their choice.

    8. But she has the power to decide what shall be the paternal ancestry of [213]her household; and if she is duly impressed with the responsibility of this power, she will not allow herself to fall in love and marry a man of whose family she knows nothing, or knows facts that do not promise well for posterity.

      This is also the idea that the poor chose to be poor. If the women did not choose to marry poor men there would not be poor children.

    9. We all believe it very important that mothers should know how to direct and govern their children

      This emphasizes the importance of traditional gender roles (mother as nurturer, mother in the private sphere) in relation to marriage.