According to Dr. Melendy, falling in love, courtship, and wedlock are the most important events in a young maiden’s life. Love makes the world go round, and she sternly warns women that if they are not “pure at heart,” they will become an old maid. An old maid is a single gal over the age of 21. In preparation for marriage, Dr. Melendy tells women to look into their souls and rid themselves of unrealistic expectations, such as being happy after the wedding. She said that marriage is about sacrifice and duty, and that it has little to do with happiness.
Here’s how everything was suppose to work. During the courtship, a young maiden was to be coy, and unassuming. The man was to be dashing and respectful. Dr. Melendy describes courtship as the voyage of discovery. During the engagement period the young maiden was to gather items for her new home and make plans for the wedding. The man, again, was to be dashing and respectful. After the wedding a young maiden, now a wife, was to be obedient and empty-headed, and the man was to rule his spouse. Dr. Melendy said women were meant to suffer because Eve screwed up in the Garden of Eden. Gee, thanks Eve.
Dr. Melendy said that marriage would keep a woman safe as long and she knew her place and didn’t rock the boat. She told women never to ridicule their husband if he came home late at night smelling of alcohol. She said that men work hard during the day and that they deserve to go out with the boys, and with the ladies, whenever they want to unwind. Dr. Melendy also said that if a man was a savage, it was the woman’s place to tame the beast. If the man remained a beast, it was because the woman wasn’t properly doing her job. Dr. Melendy wrote, “Kindness and love is the chief glory of woman—it is, indeed, her true prerogative—her scepter and her crown. It is the sword with which she conquers and the charm with which she captivates.” Personally, I would prefer conquering a womanizing husband with a cast iron skillet.
Dr. Melendy said that a good wife gives herself to her husband whenever he wants sex. She said that it’s a wife’s duty even though virtuous women do not enjoy sex. If a woman enjoys sex too much, she’s a slut. She tells readers love isn’t found in a physical union, and that the wife shouldn’t expect too much from her husband. Dr. Melendy said that women shouldn’t look for pleasure in the bedroom. She told women to look for pleasure in little tasks and duties, which when added together make a grand total of human happiness.
In the final installment, we will discuss Dr. Melendy’s ideas on how to have the perfect pregnancy.