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I went to a flea market today and saw this book and had to get it.… - Rocker Girl
August 2007
Thu, Dec. 22nd, 2005 01:49 am
I went to a flea market today and saw this book and had to get it. It was written by Dr. J. Rutgers, published in 1940, and it's called How to Attain and Practice an Ideal Sex Life: Ideal sex and love relations for every married man and woman. I picked it up expecting a lot of hogwash about the biological determination of gender roles along with stereotypes about how men and women perceive and enjoy sex.

So I read the precluding pages to the book and find out that Dr. Rutgers was one of the leading pioneers in contraception and family planning. Additionally, he was the first to require a personal examination of all of his female patients before recommending a contraceptive method. And he set up safe abortion clinics all over parts of Europe. This is information presented not through a contemporary, more accepting lense, but through statements made by the doctor's peers in the field at the time of the book's release. Even still, the author was obviously well-respected and considered an expert on the reproductive system by his contemporaries.

So far, there seems to be a good deal of misinformation in this book, yes. But the source of this misinformation seems to be the crude experiments performed in this area at the time, not the conclusions drawn from them. In fact, even though most of the experiments are obviously biased, many of Dr. Rutger's conclusions are consistent with modern-day notions of hormones, sex organs, and their influences on the body during puberty and the embryonic stage.

Dr. J. Rutgers writes of an experiment where the physical genitals of rats were removed and replaced with those of the opposite sex. The study's published results report that the male rats who were implanted with female sex organs acted more 'effeminate' in their sexual play (i.e. they liked to take it up the butt), with the opposite being true of the female rats (they liked to fuck the other rats). The doctor then goes on to discuss another study where a homosexual man asked his doctor to remove his testicles and replace them with those from a heterosexual. This was reported as having been successful and the homosexual man entered into a "happy, though sterile, marriage."

And now the point of this post:

Concerning these pieces of research, Rutgers writes: "Even should this type of operation prove successful, the majority of homosexual individuals will probably hesitate to have it performed on them. They are not unhappy on account of their peculiarity, but rather on account of our prejudices. It is we who are diseased and in need of cure. We must accept the fact that Nature has not endowed all people with the same sexual desires. Even the separation of the sexes is not absolute."

I had to read the paragraph about three times to validate that this was, in fact, a statement boldly made in defense of homosexuality. How shocking this must have been to many of his readers, who were intended to be both doctors (well-known to be biased against the LGBT community - any minority culture, actually) and the informed general public! And still this smart man knew that the kinds of experiments he was reviewing had a great power for social control and oppressive discourse, so he stood up for the rights of those who might easily become lab monkeys in the medical/scientific community's search for sexual clarity and stated that this type of research is not only unsubstantiated, but most importantly, unnecessary. Of course, the medical/scientific community and the Committee for the Study of Sexual Variants did go on to practically torture those perceived as homosexual in search of clear definitions for sex and gender, and there are still plenty of people today who would be happy to bludgeon the doctor to death for his comments, but that doesn't matter. The fact that a reputable man was daring enough to publish such a statement in the year 1940 fills me with extreme happiness, and most of all it makes me look to the future of this struggle with great hope. I truly hope that there are people in this world who are just as visionary and independently-thinking as Dr. Rutgers was 65 years ago, and I hope that they too do not allow themselves to be silenced.

Current Mood: hopeful hopeful


Thu, Dec. 22nd, 2005 05:20 pm (UTC)

I love it when i come across things like that. Yay for people that aren't blinded by faith, society, and the acedemic community (specifically that era). Happy holidays and have a great new year.

Fri, Dec. 23rd, 2005 04:18 am (UTC)

You have a great Christmas/New Year too and also have a great party! So sorry I couldn't be there for your party, but it's not because I wouldn't like to, as I'm sure you know. Please tell everyone I say hello and have a great time. Maybe we can get together and catch up when I am in LaGrange the night of January 5 or the early afternoon of January 6. Let me know, k?

ReplyThread Parent
Fri, Dec. 23rd, 2005 08:21 am (UTC)

It is lame but i go back on the 2nd and have class on the 3rd. it is sad but true. Sorry to have missed you but happy holidays and have a great new year's!!!

ReplyThread Parent
Thu, Dec. 22nd, 2005 07:57 pm (UTC)

What a great entry. Sounds like a profound book, but what you wrote about it was very articulate. Way to be an adult. ;) :)

Fri, Dec. 23rd, 2005 04:09 am (UTC)

Well I wouldn't perhaps call the book profound - it definitely mentions habits of the "lesser races" and shows a lot of the archaic notions of gender I was hoping to laugh at. But, Dr. Rutgers does impress me as quite a visionary.

Way to be an adult? I don't know what that's supposed to mean....

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maximum freakout potential
Thu, Jan. 12th, 2006 04:55 am (UTC)

okay so here is your l word spoiler... i might leave a few things out, i'm going on memory.

the episode picks up, i think around six months after season two ends. jenny went back to live with her mom and stepfather in skokie, her mom says she's sick for being a lesbian. jenny has a girlfriend tho, this very gender-ambiguous woman (more so then shane!), you can only tell she's a girl from her voice. they go back to jenny's place to sex up, and her stepfater walks in on them, tells them to beat it, jenny tells him off and they beat it. apparently the therapy's done and she's feeling a lot better, and she's taking her girlfriend with her back to l.a.

shane and carmen are steady, they're all cute and in love (and shane has a really awful wavy hairstyle), so carmen is taking shane to meet her folks - shane has to pretend to be straight. carmen's mom is this slightly overweight and very kind woman who, upon hearing that shane was adopted, proclaims that "you are part of our family now!" (she's really sweet and i love her) they go upstairs to force shane into this nasty dress for some reason, the mom leaves, we get to see shane without her shirt on, the two make out, yum yum.

dana told alice that she needed "closure" with lara, but it looks like dana left alice for lara. :( alice is turning into this (seriously) crazy wreck who pops pills and cries during yoga and chases dana in her car, she's got like this shrine with candles and a full-sized cardboard standup thing, it's seriously bizarre.

helena got her tarot cards read, the woman correctly predicted that helena was buying a movie studio. thus, when the woman said that helena would have a new love soon, she paid attention: the new love would be brunette, bisexual, female, and drive a blue car. alice fits all these descriptors, although helena doesn't know whether alice is a natural brunette and stopped bleaching her hair, or whether she just dyed it brown for kicks. helena seems to be a LOT less of a bitch, she took alice to yoga to make her feel better and blah blah.

kit is going through menopause. finally, a believable storyline for kit.

bette and tina are back together, and practicing "attached parenting", where they try to have the kid in contact with a person at all times, so they don't even have a crib since the kid (apparently) sleeps with them. this understandably has led to some sexual issues (mostly lack of), so they're seeing this woman... seems to be like a personal shopper for sex toys/sexual therapist. they're also going to one of those groups for new parents, where they do stuff like fingerpaint and sing and dance around in circles. they're celebrating angelica's 6 month birthday, so they passed out invitations and asked the group leader, some guy with a guitar, to play at their party - he said sure, could always use the money (i included that because i think he's in the new credits, so he must become a major character, or maybe i'm crazy).

bette has to have a social worker come over so she can legally adopt angelica, but it's a total disaster - the social worker is a crazy, self-rightous bitch. she's in a wheelchair, so the van she drove is one of those big white ones. alice comes by to bitch about dana and crashes into the van, and yells at the social worker for having such a big-ass car... basically, the social worker visit was a mess. they do get a second chance, tho.

and i think that's it!

maximum freakout potential
Thu, Jan. 12th, 2006 05:01 am (UTC)

or you know what, just look at this thing

ReplyThread Parent