6 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. 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.

    3. She can endow them with mental power by not frittering away her own powers of mind in foolish reading or careless methods of study. By her own self-respecting conduct she helps to give them the reverence for self which will insure their acting wisely.

      According to this text, the most important goal of female life is childbearing (passing on good genetics) and childrearing (passing on good behaviours). Female worth is equated with motherhood, both biological and as a practice.

    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. 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.

    6. 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.