Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Skylarking Uteri

This snippet is from a late Victorian medical book written by a (male) doctor.

I just love the line:

"... I am afraid the poor little uterus would be constantly skylarking from one part of the pelvis to the other."

My first thought upon reading this was that Aristotle's theory of hysteria certainly took a looonng time to die. (This was the theory that a roaming uterus was what caused women to become over-emotional (hysterical). Thus by definition only women could be hysterical. Men had no uteri to make them behave so emotionally.)

My second thought was, no wonder so many women died in childbirth, if that was the state of their gynecological knowledge.

Although, it would make for a great call-in-sick excuse:
"I'm sorry, I can't come in to work today. My uterus has gone skylarking."