THE MONSTROUS REGIMEN OF WOMENAdapted From:
Other incidental results follow from the equality of the sexes. The early marriages which are the curse of India do not prevail among the Nairs. Consequently the schooling of girls is continued later. And this State holds the record in all India for female education. We visited a school of over 600 girls, ranging from infancy to college age, and certainly I never saw school-girls look happier, keener, or more alive. Society, clearly, has not gone to pieces under “the monstrous regimen of women.” Travancore claims, probably with justice, to be the premier native State; the most advanced, the most prosperous, the most happy. Because of the position of women? Well, hardly. The climate is delightful, the soil fertile, the natural resources considerable. Every man sits under his own palm tree, and famine is unknown. The people, and especially the children, are noticeably gay, in a land where gaiety is not common. But one need not be a suffragette to hold that the equality of the sexes is one element that contributes to its well-being, and to feel that in this respect England lags far behind Travancore.
Echoes of the suffrage controversy at home have led me to dwell upon this matter of the position of women. But, to be candid, it will not be that that lingers in my mind when I look back upon my sojourn here. What then? Perhaps a sea of palm leaves, viewed from the lighthouse top, stretching beside the sea of blue waves; perhaps a sandy river bed, with brown nude figures washing clothes in the shining pools; perhaps the oiled and golden skins glistening in the sun; perhaps naked children astride on their mothers’ hips, or screaming with laughter as they race the motor-car; perhaps the huge tusked elephant that barred our way for a moment yesterday; perhaps the jungle teeming with hidden and menacing life; perhaps the seashore and its tumbling waves. One studies institutions, but one does not love them. Often one must wish that they did not exist, or existed in such perfection that their existence might be unperceived. Still, as institutions go, this, which regulates the relations of men and women, is, I suppose, the most important. So from the surf of the Arabian sea and the blaze of the Indian sun I send this little object lesson.
Compiled From Sources In The Public Domain.
I have a graduate degree in history and I love history in all it’s forms–especially women’s history. A graduate degree in women’s studies was not an option at the university where I received my MA in History so I had to make do with a more generalized degree. However, in every class I made up for the lack by researching the condition of women in each age that I studied. I have always been fascinated by women’s history, so I thought I would start sharing some of the lost treasures that I uncover. I believe that most people have curious minds and like glimpses of how the world was, and how things were perceived in the past. I firmly believe in the idea that we must remember history in order to learn from it, grow and hopefully cut down on the number of stupid mistakes that random impulse and intellectual curiosity and greed and a thousand other human motivators lead us to make.
Smiles and Good Fortune,
Teresa Thomas Bohannon
It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one’s dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank and independent.
– W. Somerset Maugham (1874 - 1965) Of Human Bondage, 1915