Records for the Feminine Lifecycle | Zine-o-File | Chicago Reader

Records for the Feminine Lifecycle 

From the pages of MYSTERY DATE, One Gal's Guide to Good Stuff. Number 5, January 1997 (P.O. Box 641592, San Francisco, CA 94164; $1.50)

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Records for the Feminine Lifecyle

By Lynn Peril

Early childhood is a time for whimsy, wonder and not-so-subtle indoctrination techniques. What little girl wouldn't want to sing along with this ditty from the Songs for a Mormon Child LP (Covenant Recordings, Inc., 1976), called "I Want to Be a Mother": "When I grow up I want to be a mother / One little, two little, three little babies of my own / Of all the jobs I'll choose no other / Four little, five little, six little babies in my home." What fun! (Guys: There's no equivalent song about fatherhood for you on this record, so why don't you just lean back and hum along to "I Know the Prophets": "I know what a prophet does / And I can name some too.")

The vinyl life, as you may have noticed, moves at a faster clip than real life. Almost before you know it, you'll be ready for a special grownup listening experience. A Child's Intro to Sex (Wonderland, ca. early 1960s) will tell all you need to know about the "special place just for babies" in your mother's body, as well as that thing daddy has, "shaped something like a finger." But Dr. Milton I. Levin ("the principal au-thority") and Melba Rae ("hostess") don't deliver that information until late on side 2 so, unless you really want to know why you have a belly button, you might want to get a snack in the meantime...

Now that you're a little older, it's time for another special discussion, this one courtesy of Dr. James Rogers Fox and the "Your Health and Sex Education Program for Parental Instruction" series (tape provided by the glamorous Paul Wilson). Dr. Fox goes on and on about length and regularity of periods in a talk called "Menstruation Is Normal." Remember, girls, "from the standpoint of medicine, having premature exploration with a boy is a dangerous thing because you can get an infection which could cause you severe consequences. You can have a reaction which will not let you have children in years to come. You can get yourself emotionally disturbed by this exploration." Poor Dr. Fox just couldn't bring himself to use the words "sex" or "pregnancy." (Guys: Sit back and listen to Dr. Fox's "Menstruation Facts for Boys." Remember, it's normal, and what's more, "if the girls did not get the menstrual cycle, if the women did not bear the child, we would therefore have no race."

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Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Cover of "Mystery Date" No. 5.

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