icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle

Extraordinary Stories That Touch The Heart And Challenge The Mind

What Happens When Women Stay In Their Place?

Attitudes toward birth control have historically been contentious. I learned that in the course of my research for writing a romance novel entitled SWEET IVY’S GOLD.

The character in that book, a married woman in America in the 1880s, used a primitive form of birth control, knowing she and her husband could be fined up to $2000 for each time they used birth control and imprisoned for up to five years at hard labor for each act. Yes, that’s right, you could be fined and imprisoned for using birth control. That applied to women and men of all faiths, or who had no faith at all.

It was all part of the Comstock Act. You’ve heard of that. It was a law enacted in 1873 prohibiting the distribution and/or sending through the mail any pamphlet or other information deemed obscene. The law also made contraception illegal since it was considered immoral. The only legal form of birth control was abstinence or the “rhythm method” which sought to allow couples to abstain during a woman’s fertile period. However, the biology was misunderstood since it was thought that a woman was most fertile during menstruation

The law was finally appealed in 1936. There’s no reason to believe that large segments of the population obeyed that particular law before it was appealed, however.

Another interesting aspect of the history of contraception is that many liberated or “blue stocking” women were against the use of condoms. The reason? They felt birth control should be in the control of women rather than men.

Women are still insisting that they have a say in the matter. But you know that, don’t you? Especially if you’ve seen or read the media reports about women protesting the all-male panel chosen to testify to Congress on matters regarding contraception.

Some women just won’t stay in their place, it seems. However, if they did, that would eliminate a lot of good characters for novels.

Be the first to comment