New York: Max N. Maisel, 1916. Fourth edition. Copies of this edition were also issued in matte pink wrappers. All previous editions are scarce. OCLC records only six copies of the 1913 edition, six copies of the 1914 edition, and three of the 1915 edition. OCLC records thirteen copies of the present edition. Interestingly, a Yiddish translation was also published by Maisel in 1916. With three full-page illustrations, two of female anatomy and one of a faux advertisement (first printed in the socialist periodical The New York Call) mocking the United States Postal Service suppression of the present work. Light creasing to wrappers and to the corners of a few leaves, as usual. A very good, very clean copy in the original wrappers. Original pinkish orange glossy paper wrappers. Octavo (5 in. x 7 in). Item #16890
The present work is a sex education handbook for working class young women that covers topics like puberty and menstruation; the “sexual impulse” and masturbation in both women and men; birth control, pregnancy, and abortion; sexually transmitted infections; and marriage. The final section, which covers menopause, heralds it as a positive change rather than a sign of decline. In the conclusion, Sanger writes: “Women must come to recognize there is some function of womanhood other than being a child-bearing machine. Too long have they allowed themselves to become this, bowing to the yoke of motherhood…No other thought has entered the mind except to become a good mother — which has usually meant a slave-mother…The woman of today is gradually ridding herself of such archaic notions. More and more is she realizing that motherhood is only one of her capabilities, that there are certain individuals more fitted for motherhood than others,” (p. 90).
Margaret Higgins Sanger (1879 – 1966), who saw birth control as a civil right, founded the first birth control clinic in the United States in 1916. Sanger also founded numerous organizations that researched birth control and provided sex education primarily to working class women. The organizations included the American Birth Control League, the National Committee on the Federal Legislation of Birth Control, and Planned Parenthood. She was also the founder and editor of The Woman Rebel, a monthly newsletter that circulated information on birth control and bore the anarchist slogan “No Gods, No Masters.”.