That's a quote from page 62, Volume one of The Sexual Education Series in Ten Volumes by Dr. David H. Keller, then the assistant superintendent of Western State Hospital in Bolivar, Tennessee. These petite red-clothed volumes were published in 1928, and I discovered them in a tiny antique store in White River Junction, VT last summer.
Volume one is titled Sex and Family Through the Ages. Chapter one, The Beginning of Life discusses ". . .the one constant effort (has been) to obtain happiness" from the beginning of time. The good doctor's comparisons are fascinating, to say the least.
"For some reason, known only to herself and the God of Nature, the female stickle-back (a fish) is a modern woman in many ways. She is very fond of club life, refuses to stay at home, scorns the advances of her proper mate and whenever she has a chance eats her baby stickle-backs with a great deal of pleasure."
No, wait--it gets better.
"Under such circumstances it's hard to see how the tribe (of fish) exists. It would die out in one generation were it not for the male. (He builds the nest, yada yada). Then, he swims around hunting for the club of the independent females, and finally isolates one from her comrades. He drives this female to the nest, forces her to go in and stay in till she lays an egg or two." This brilliant male, the hope of mankind, then lets her go while he rounds up another ten or so females. He cares for the eggs by himself, poor soul. "He is a fearless fighter and a wonderful mother. It may be that if women continue to assert their independence, it will be necessary for man to imitate the stickle-back's conduct."
Here's the entire quote from page 62, chapter six titled Love and Marriage. "The man has the desire to possess the woman and take his pleasure in her bodily charms. The woman longs to be conquered and under that longing is the great desire, no less great because it is so often unrecognized, to become pregnant and, by giving birth to a child, to become a mother. "
The good doctor goes on to discuss the sacrifices necessary for a successful marriage, by both the male and female. And his thoughts on spiritual love are eloquent; "the relation of one soul to another, the molding of one spirit to another." Of course, he's pretty sure at the end of the day the woman needs to do most of that molding.
These volumes are a treasure. They go on to discuss sex and society, the prostitute, care of the aged, sexual life of men and woman after forty ( I was glad to hear there is one ;) ), sexual diseases and deviations . . . they go on and on. I'll share more words of wisdom on Thursday; try to curb your club-hopping, child-eating tendencies until then.
What are your research or old book treasures, either at home or in your public library? Does reading old text help you historical writers embrace the mindset of another time? And hidden among the antiquated ideals, do you ever find a grain of truth?