Females Are Nuts

On a late night last week, for fairly obvious reasons, a song from some thirty years ago sprang to mind. It featured the opening line:

All the girls who used to love me, come back to haunt me in the night.

While humming it again, it got me reminiscing about the various females I've known during the course of an unconventional life. Then I started to question whether I might have been the level-headed one and they the kooks.

Right before hitting the hay, I stumbled upon the following and got my confirmation; it seems my suspicion was correct. Take a look:

 
Can you guess what it is? Ponder it a moment.

This is a log of the West Virginia Hospital for the Insane, indicating the reasons for committal from 1864 to 1889. Presumably the incoming patients were mostly female.

In a flash, I relived all manner of dalliances with the dainty sex. Will you permit me to remind you of some of them? As usual, names are cloaked for delicacy. But their crimes against nature are shown in bold print. 

From junior high on, I've tangled with girls guilty of Over Study of Religion, Religious Enthusiasm and probably tainted by Hereditary Disposition as well. Check out Marilyn at the taco restaurant in Synthesis for a prime example. And then there's Sharon's vinegary roommate described in Johnny B. Goode. Religious babes not only make substandard escorts, but are equally vile as chaperons. Either way, the Victorian physician who compiled this list was surely on to something.

From high school, a different Marilyn comes to mind. As reported in Leaving the Nest, her stupid parents tried like the dickens to prevent her from being locked up for Novel Reading. Recall that they lost that battle thanks to the perspicacity of Mrs. Shell and the quality of John Steinbeck's prose, but then failed poor Marilyn with regard to Menstrual Deranged and Bloody Flux. Had she lived back in 1864, she would have been incarcerated thanks to Mom and Dad...

In undergrad years, I hung out with all manner of chicks guilty of taking Medicine to Prevent Conception. Not that Saran Wrap comes from Merck by any means. Hell, 249 Norton Street by itself would have swelled the membership of the sanatorium. I'll confess, however, that was never much of a concern to me, since as a rule a tongue produces no seed.

At that time, I was quite becharmed of Kay about whom I've gushed in Anasyrma. She definitely ran the distinct risk of committal for leading an Immoral Life. Preparing Sonny Barger's daily breakfast guaranteed that. As far as I know, however, she avoided Imprisonment, though wanted in five states for grand theft auto. Then again, she might have been nailed for Snuff Eating for Two Years! Then there's Tobacco and Masturbation--isn't it great when lovers share the same hobbies? We can also throw Periodical Fits into that mix... Later on, in 1985 or so, she was swiping my Scotch and diluting it with water, so the claim of Bad Whisky might be leveled. And that is a serious misdemeanor. But I loved her nonetheless.

And then we come to Babs, who might never have been released from the asylum. Whoa! Masturbation for 30 Years, and in public Suppressed Masturbation. Then a complete litany: Nymphomania, Deranged Masturbation, Excessive Sexual Abuse, Venereal Excesses and Self Abuse. I could readily imagine her wearing out the Marquis de Sade. By all means, for prurience sake alone look up Babs in The Devil in Miss Jones, Redux.

Or how about the girlfriend briefly alluded to in Synthesis whose first job straight out of college was as some sort of copy editor for Hustler magazine. She very easily could have been netted by the men in white coats for Sexual Abuse and Stimulants. Poor girl always had a runny nose, but her tenure with the smutty periodical definitely gave her a piquant view of life.

Whew! This could go on and on, but I think you get the picture: were I in 19th century West Virginia, I'd be hard pressed to find any female company; they'd all be living in padded cells.

But to be serious for a moment, readers in 2016 might shake their heads in disbelief that such a list ever existed and that women were actually incarcerated for these "infractions." Such ignorance or blind prejudice surely can't exist nowadays can it? Well, look again. Society, with succor from its malignant henchman, religion, has only expanded the number of perceived maladies. Year by year I see nothing but an accelerating erosion of the rights of individuals. The devil of it is that the PR campaign has been so successful no one cares anymore. Liberty was a dirty word in the 1950s when I was born but at least it stirred passion; now it only provokes yawns.

We have become H. G. Wells' Eloi in one generation. 
  
I count 33 diagnoses in this list (out of 86) that might have been leveled at my female acquaintances over the years. This suggests an interesting experiment for you to try. Read over the symptoms once more and ask yourself which could have found you behind bars. I know there's one in particular that would have landed me in Colney Hatch.

Hence the song I penned all those years ago, which introduced this entry.

Next installment: A Couple of Enthymemes

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