Good morning, all!
Well, we had trick-or-treaters... again... last night. Apparently, it was decided by absolutely no one but somehow almost everyone that anyone who missed out Thursday night would be out last night. (Clear waeather.) So we saw about another 20 kids at the door all told. Totally freaked us out. We'd checked, and the "Powers That Be" hadn't rescheduled... It was like this spontaneous mass parental decision based on a lot of cranky kids.
Have a lovely Dia de los Muertos! to those who observe:-) This day is also a day of observance of the departed in many other cultures, not just Mexican/Latin American. For example, it's "Grandfathers' Day" in some SLavic cultures, or was before the SOviets, and you'd set out a shot of liquor at each place at table for the "grandfathers" --- in this case, a generic term for the departed who might come to see you on this day, like "old ones" or "ancestors". We observed it in my mom's family until her mom passed away about ten years ago. (And if the liquor was still in the shot glasses at evening's end, you drank a toast to the departed loved ones.)
Today in 1776, William Demont became the first traitor to the colonial (US) side in the American Revolutionary War, but was of course followed by others, including Benedict Arnold.
In the UK, in 1960, the trial of the novel (yes, the novel) "Lady Chatterly's Lover" was found not guilty of obscentiy. Yes, they put the BOOK on trial. A book. Not an author or a publisher or what-have-you. An inanimate object. Whenever you think US law gets weird, just remember this fun foray by the Brits! ;-)
Today in 1921, the American Birth Control League was founded when Margaret Sanger merged her National Birth Control League with the Voluntary Parenthood League founded by Mary Ware Denett (whose ex-hubby was a cad and notorious for once publicly advertising to ask if Mary Ware Dennets would join him, his girlfriend, and his girlfriend's hubby in a Love Quadrangle). THis being the 19-teens... Yeah. Dennet believed in sex education of the scientific kind, and information for all,, and repealing the statute that said such things were obscene. Sanger thought only doctors should be informed, and from doctors, the patients.
Dennet was operating out of her experience as a woman who had no idea what these things were about (sex included) and wanted to avoid others meetin gher fate (confusion, spousal alienation b/c abstinence was the only option to avoid pregnancy, etc.)...
Fair being fair, Sanger did truly think women needed omre control over the whole "when do we have kids" thing. As did Dennet, who nearly died in childbirth more than once, all b/c she couldn't have "normal relations" with her husband and not risk that fate.
Dennet ened up on trial, and her case is summed up by this excerpt from a magazine of the era:
"There is, of course, nothing indecent in that pamphlet; on the contrary, it is notably prudent and clean. The author wrote it for the instruction of her own young sons, and its superiority to most other such literature was so apparent that it was reprinted at length in a medical journal, and circulated in great numbers by clergymen, Y.M.C.A. secretaries, social workers, and other such chemically pure persons. This went on for four and a half years. Then Mrs. Dennett, who is engaged in birth-control propaganda, began annoying the wowsers of the U.S. Post Office by exposing their gross stupidity and disingenuousness in the enforcement of the Comstock Act, and they retorted by barring her pamphlet from the mails. No plainer case of the use of an idiotic law to punish an inconvenient critic could be imagined." (source: Wikipedia, archives of the American Mercury)
Dennet's pamphlet, in fact, was so clean that it was practically sanctified. I've read part of it in an old history class.
Sanger, meanwhile, was a nurse and was dismayed when doctors told women "You can' thave your cake and eat it too" when the women pled for ways to avoid pregnancy-after-pregnancy-after-pregnancy. The women would resort to self-induced abortions (which Sanger disapparoved, thus her preference for prevention of conception), and some would die. Absintence, btw, was not really an option ---- husbands in those days could beat a woman for refusing to have sex, and nobody'd blink an eye. Bible says so, blah blah blah, women are evil, blah blah blah, Sanger ended up in olegal trouble, blah blah blah...
All this, folks, b/c it was that unthinkable guys not get what they want and women get a say in the matter.
Sanger, incidentally, did indeed think that birth control should be available to preven tthe reproduction fo the "unfit". Hint: none of the "unfit" were white upper middle-class like her. She also believed in mandatory sterilization of the "retarded" (and mentally ill), and in strict limits on immigration, as she felt the Catholic immigrants were a big problem. (She herself was raised Catholic.) Sanger disdained the immigrants' adherence ot religious strictures versus common sense (as she saw it).
The Comstock Act forbade obscene materials to be shipped via US Postal Service, btw, but targeted ... birth ctonrol pamphlets, sex ed pamphlets, condom shipping, diaphragm shipping, etc., as "obscene and illicit". Porno mags apparently didn't meet the definition of "obscene"... Just sayin'. Playing cards with naked ladies on the back were still shipped same as ever. This despite the fact tht the Comstock Act specifically targeted also "obscene, lewd, etc." reading material.
The Comstock Act was passed in 1873, and as far as I could find out, was never actually fully repealed. As of the late 1990s, it was still "on the books". It hasn't been enforced much sinc ethe 1960s, or even late 1950s.
Laws allowing for the involuntary sterilization of thos edeemed "unfit" were still on the books untilt he 1980s.
And on that cheery note, I'm off to eat breakfast. Sorry for the dissertation. I am not taking a position on birth control, etc., just pointing out that the struggle to even get us gals thsoe dorky vaguely worded pamphlets on our "special changes" has been... well, kind of ridiculously complicated and difficult. I'm old enough to remember when they wouldn't even use the word "uterus" in thsoe damn things. Really? "Once a month a girl's body prepares for conception. When there is no conception, her body rids itself of unneeded tissue. Buy Kotex." OK, and the relationship with all this is?! ... *sigh* APparently, "But Kotex". *headdesk*
Sorry. I was cleaning out my mom's stuff that she still has here --- some old boxes --- and found the stupid pink-flowered pamphlet on "Your Body", and it set me off... Mom has it marked up with notes, LOL< but still...
Hugs and purrs, and if you're not angry at me, thank you. If you are, I accept that.
Pleasant weekend to all, no matter what.