Caraphernelia

Noun: a disease attributed to one who is affected by emotionally significant items

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Obviously, puberty was a turbulent period for Victorian girls, a potentially traumatic transition from the freedom of androgynous childhood to the confines of the adult feminine role. Prudery and embarassment prevented many mothers from preparing their daughters for menarche, so that the unsuspecting girls were “left in culpable innocence … terrified at what they could only construe as vaginal hemorrhaging”. Tilt reported that 25 percent of his female patients had been left totally ignorant of the menstrual cycle. When their first menstruation occurred, many were frightened, screamed, or even went into fits. Some thought themselves wounded and frantically tried to wash the blood away.

There were other psychological problems faced by Victorian girls at the onset of menses. Up until this point, their lives were not too radically unlike those of their brothers. But menstruation sharply marked the beginning of a different and more limited existence. Simply to manage the hygiene of menstruation in a household where it could not be acknowledged or revealed created a sense of anxiety and shame. Physical activities, traveling, exercise, and study were curtailed or forbidden. While their brothers went away to school, most middle-class girls were educated at home, their social life outside the home restricted to a few safe contacts with other girls, clergymen, or local philanthropies. No wonder that, as one Victorian doctor observed, “puberty, which gives man the knowledge of greater power, gives to woman the conviction of her dependence”.
The Female Malady: Women, Madness and English Culture 1830-1980 by Elaine Showalter (via filthiestlaugh)

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rogueofstars:

People with a uterus will get about 500 periods in their lifetime. Meaning that you’ll be on your period for a total of around 2500 days. With a loss of about 1440 ounces of blood. Which is approximately how much blood there is in 9 adult human bodies. That, my friend, is some very badass stuff.   

(via imhauntedbyhumans)

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