On Becoming A Man Chapter 4

Chapter 4

Secrets About Girls

Now, teenage youngsters, I, an old fart, am going to tell YOU how a teenage girl’s body functions. I know all about this, because I am a doctor.

Now, y’see, every girls’ body is designed to enable  her to become a mother. Except girls who are infertile but we don’t talk about them.

This chapter is actually pretty short, probably because Shryock doesn’t think boys need to know much about girls, except the fact that they menstruate. No really, this chapter is mostly about menstruation.

Let’s begin.

There are certain functions in connection with the development of the female reproductive organs that should be discussed briefly so that you will understand what otherwise might seem to be peculiarities of womankind.

Don’t worry, guys, it’s not that she has a dumb little lady-brain, it’s that she’s MENSTRUATING!

Just as in a teenage boy the reproductive organs begin to function at an earlier age than is appropriate for him to become a husband and father, so also in a teenage girl the reproductive organs begin to function much earlier than a young woman should marry and rear children. This period of time between the age at which her reproductive organs actually begin to function and the time when she becomes a wife, allows an opportunity for the young woman to become adjusted to the new role of womanhood.

Her dumb little lady brain needs at least a good decade to get used to her menstrual cycle. Why else would it start when she’s 9-11 years old?

If I were designing the human body, I would never design such a shitty system. Menarche and boob development would never happen before 16, maybe 18. If I were an intelligent designer creating a procreating race of beings, I would never design them the way our bodies actually work.

Most boys, from what I’ve heard, don’t begin developing at 11. From what I’m told, they don’t start developing till they at least hit 13 or 14. I guess God feels men don’t need as much time to adjust to their nocturnal emissions.

The ovaries are essential organs of a woman. The ovaries are comparable to the testes of a man in 2 ways.

  1. They produce chemical substances that maintain the feminine characteristics

  2. They produce female germ cells


Shryock goes on to tell us that, while men are constantly producing spermatozoa (which still sounds like a rare species of virus or bacteria), women only produce “germ cells” once a month. The ovaries take turns producing ovum, first the right, then the left.

Shryock tells us about the Fallopian tubes, which connect the ovaries to the uterus. Except he doesn’t call them Fallopian tubes, he calls them “tubes” or “oviducts.”

The oviducts open into the uterus, one on each side. Each month, as an ovum is produced, it passes through the oviduct to the cavity of the uterus.

Question: was this terminology popular in 1960s medicine, or is this just another case of Shryock bringing Victorian (read: Ellen Whitian) ideas into his work? I have no idea, and google doesn’t either.

In any case, the uterus is connect to the outside of the body by a tube called the vagina. The opening of the vagina is between the thighs.

The uterus is what provides nourishment and protection for unborn babies. It’s very stretchy. Shryock hastens to add

But a child does not develop within the uterus unless and until a male germ cell provided by the husband unites with a female germ cell from the wife’s ovary. This union of the germ cells occurs in one or the other of the oviducts.

I’m confused, teach. I thought I was supposed to insert my penis into the woman’s vagina?  There goes my wedding night.

Note here, too, that in the middle of a discussion on reproduction, Shryock feels a need to tell us yet again that pregnancy can’t happen until a husband is in the picture. The amount of times he tells us this, especially in places where it has nothing to do with what he’s talking about… it’s almost like he thinks we won’t get the message or something.

That is, under conditions where parenthood is in prospect the husband places his body in contact with that of the wife and implants seminal fluid in the vagina.

So, where do I put it? Which body part is “it?” I’m confused all over again.

Yanno, as an adult reading this, my brain is just moving ahead and filling in the gaps. If I was a young teenager reading this, I wouldn’t have any information to go in the gaps, and I’d be screwed. Perhaps this is why so many parents give these books to their children. The adult brain fills in the gaps so well that they don’t realize there are gaps. Yes, I know that’s a very charitable explanation, let’s move on.

Shryock talks about how the sperm moves up and into the uterus, traveling to the Fallopian tubes. If there’s a female germ cell available, the cells unite and become a pregnancy.

When parenthood is not in prospect the female germ cell produced each month passes through the oviduct, through the uterus, and through the vagina, to the outside. Such a cell simply parishes.

I read this book when I was 12, and I think this is the first time I’ve read it that I realize that the sperm and egg don’t unite in the uterus. Shows how much this book stuck with me.

As you can see from the above description, the lining of the uterus has a very important work to do whenever the life of a new infant is established…..so, each month at the time a female germ cell is produced, the lining of the uterus becomes thickened, softened, and loaded with food materials.

So, a woman’s uterus fills with burgers? Cool! Is this what they mean by “eating pussy?”

But if no male germ cells have been implanted in the vagina

Hang on, I thought they implanted in the Fallopian tubes?

this thickened lining of the uterus becomes unnecessary. Under such circumstances the lining is shed and eliminated. This shedding of the lining of the uterus is what constitutes menstruation.

In normal, healthy women menstruation occurs once a month except when an infant is contained in the uterus.

Nope, wrong again. Some women (sometimes I’m one of them, sometimes not, I’m extremely irregular) have theirs twice a month, because they’re on 28 day cycles. The minute I turned 18 I signed up for birth control so I could regulate and skip this process entirely.

During menstruation shreds of soft tissue accompanied by a considerable amount of blood pass out of the uterus into the vagina and thus to the outside.

It’s actually not that much. Most women lose less than 60-80ml, which is about 4-12 teaspoons. If you lose more than 60ml a month, see a doctor. Preferably not Shryock.

Menstruation usually lasts about 4 days, and is accompanied by a certain amount of pain the worst pain a woman has ever felt in her life.

Fixed that for you!

A woman does not feel so well at this time as she feels ordinarily during other times of the months, and there may be some things she will not wish to do.

I like his phrasing better here. In the other book he was all “U R delicut due n0t stress urself!” Here he just tells boys a woman “may not feel well.” The surrounding text would lead the reader to believe a woman might not feel well because she is in pain. Ok, I can agree with that.

Chivalry basic human decency requires that a young man be considerate of a young woman’s preferences. Whenever she declines an invitation to go somewhere or to engage in some physical activity, or otherwise indicates that she wishes to be excused, a genteel young man does not coax or press the matter or ask unnecessary questions. It may be that the young woman has reason to decline because of menstruation. A young man simply accepts the young woman’s expressed preference at face value and changes the topic of conversation to something else.

Fixed it for you again! You owe me, Shryock.

I like this paragraph, and I don’t. I like it because he is telling the men to accept the lady’s preferences without asking questions. I dislike this paragraph because he says men should do it on account of the fact that she might be menstruating.

How about a young man just accept a woman’s answer at face value without asking unnecessary questions regardless?

Womankind is spoken of as the”weaker sex” and also as the “fairest sex.”

Notice here she says “is spoken of,” not, “is.” I’m not sure if he’s trying to cover his own ass, or if he honestly believes that this means he’s totally not saying that we’re the weaker and fairer sex.

(Personally, as far as weaker sexes go, any sex that doesn’t have to go through the pain of childbirth and menstruation doesn’t seem particularly strong to me, but I digress.)

It is proper for a gentleman always to hold womankind in the highest esteem, not only as a matter of deference to his mother but as a proper courtesy to lady acquaintances, or to one’s sweetheart or wife.

I’m… not 100% sure what he’s talking about here. If women are to be held in high esteem, why are we speaking of them as the”weaker” and “fairer” sex?

Why must all this be framed in archaic chivalric values? Why can’t it just be based on human decency? If a woman says no, she means no. That’s not chivalry or “esteeming women highly,” that is basic courtesy.

It’s probably not terribly surprising, then, that most men I meet who babble on and on about how they respect women are also the creepiest.





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