Meredith Holley’s Reviews > America's Women: Four Hundred Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines > Status Update

Meredith Holley
Meredith Holley is on page 55 of 576
Starts cool, ends with trouble: "Women were expected to enjoy sex - indeed, the colonists felt it was critical. Most people believed conception could occur only if a woman reached orgasm. New Haven justices dismissed a young woman's claim that she had been impregnated while in 'a fit of swooning' by arguing that 'no woman can be gotten with child without some knowledge, consent & delight in the acting thereof.'"
Jun 05, 2012 11:46PM
America's Women: Four Hundred Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines

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Meredith Holley
Meredith Holley is on page 170 of 576
"The Buffum sisters were always ahead of their time. As a child, Elizabeth recalled listening to her older sister Sarah read a futuristic essay she had written about twentieth-century America in which "she pictured Negroes as in possession of the government and at the head of society" and "great consternation existed at the capital because the daughter of the President of the United States had married a white man."
Jun 24, 2012 09:48PM
America's Women: Four Hundred Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines

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message 1: by Marie (new)

Marie Well, that's...disturbing. Amazing the kind of dichotomies of thinking people can manage.

message 2: by Maya (new)

Maya I'm regularly at a loss for words when thinking about all the completely idiotic things people used to imagine and believe, and even still do believe today o_o

In this case I almost do wish they'd have been right, though. Would solve some problems, I guess, but nature really doesn't care about it.

Meredith Holley hahaha! Good point! If only . . .

The book goes on to say,

". . . Men who read books about sex, like the popular Aristotle's Master Piece, got tips on how to arouse their sexual partners. ("Women choose rather to have a thing done well than have it done often.") Colonial women were seen as flawed, but not particularly fragile creatures. One of their great failings, in fact, was believed to be their lustiness.

"Many couples believed that when they made love, the man and the woman each emitted a 'seed' and that conception occurred when the two seeds mixed. Others thought that a woman's womb contained seven sacs, three on each side and one in the center. The ones on the right produced boys, the ones on the left girls, and the one in the center, hermaphrodites. After sex, a woman was advised to lie on her right or left side, depending on which sex baby she hoped to bear."

So that's all interesting! I particularly like the sac thing.

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