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title: 'The Day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, April 08, 1915, NOON EDITION, Image 22',
meta: 'News about Chronicling America - RSS Feed',
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
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CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE
MOTHER WAVERLY'S PURITANICAL IDEAS
(Copyright, 1915, by the Newspaper Enterprise Association.)
Yesterday Harry, Eliene, Jim Edie
and Mother Waverly happened in at
the same time. -v
During the evening Eliene and I
spoke, as a matter of course, about
what we would do when our babies
I did not realize until after they had
gone and Mother Waverly began to
talk to me about the "holy instincts
of motherhood" and "how terrible it
was that the sacred secrets pertain
ing to it should be disclosed" that
according to the puritanically in
clined, Eliene and I, with our tender
love and perfect spiritual joy in the
coming important events, were not
only vulgar women but menaces to
the young and shocking to the adult
members of decent society.
"I cannot understand, Margie,"
said Mother Waverly, "how you and
Eliene can talk about your babies
when they are not yet born. I think
it is not only immodest but indecent.
Why, did you realize that Mr. Edie
was'there, an unmarried man?"
"Why shouldn't we do this?" I
asked. "Surely, even you will con
cede there is nothing ribald or inde
cent about a baby, we all were babies
once. And while nature has decreed
the manner of a child's birth, I do not
think it has even sentenced the wom
an, who for the sake of bringing an
immortal soul out of the vast vacu
um of the unknowable and giving it
a chance in immortality is willing to
suffer the torments of the damned for
hours, to a speechless prison.
"As for birth or motherhood being
secret, there is nothing in the world
more public. It is almost as univer
sal and common as marriage.
"I certainly believe that "the birth
of a child is a sacred thing, but that
is no reason why I should not talk
about it. One holds his religion sa
cred but withal feels privileged to
shout it from the housetop. True
love is sacred, but it's the most talked
of thing in the world and nothing is
taken from the sacredness of these
two wonderful ideals of humanity be
cause some benighted people with
vulgar minds scoff and" ridicule them.
"These people would have us be
lieve there is nothing in love but de
sire, nothing is religion but self-deception.
"They seem also to forget that
while love, which is an emotion, and
religion, which is faith, can be ig
nored by the materialistic, but that
birth like death is a fact and can
not be put aside.
"The schoolboy in the stree.ts
should be taught the sacredness not
only of childbirth but of the woman
who is willing to brave the tortures of
hell to become a rother and replace
the dying race.
"Instead of ridicule and vulgar re
marks he should take off his hat in
reverence, as they did in ancient Ath
ens when an expectant mother
walked the streets.
"When these mock-modest people
prate about the holy instincts of
motherhood I want to tell them that
the 'instincts' of motherhood are not
holy they are only the natural ones
that a woman shares with every oth
er female animal that bears young.
"Holiness implies soul and 'in
stincts' have no soul."
My baby, little book, is holy to me
because it already possesses a soul
the beautiful sul of Dick's and my
love. I would not desecrate it by
talking of my instincts iiWegard to
it, nor by considering it an indecent
subject of any remark I might make
We have certainly outgrown the
old testament idea that a woman is
unclean for 40 days after she has
borne a child and today we should
know that a woman wears no stigma,
during the months of gestation.
l , n ?'.