The Need for Health Regardless of Gender
Pp. 74-76 It has been thought vulgar to possess health, - rude health; not that any one would acknowledge herself so ridiculously absurd, yet the old adage in this case is true, - "Actions speak louder than words." It is generally believed that the beautiful, fragile beings, too delicate to meet the first rude blast without shrinking are most interesting to those whose taste is all-decisive on this matter. Man, strong and robust, likes to be the defender and protector of the weak; he likes, too, that his superiority should be felt and acknowledged. The natural delicacy and weekness of the other sex are thus fostered. That it should be so is owning to a refined state of society that has its many advantages, and this one among its evils. But the arduous, imperative duties that in life's progress devolve upon woman call for physical, as well as mental, vigor. To hover around the couch of sickness, and smooth the pillow of the dying; to bear patiently with the querulous impatience of the aged, and the petulance of childhood; to lead into the right path the boisterous waywardness of youth; and to soothe, by unwearied kindness, tempers rendered harsh and irritable by intercourse with a cold, unfeeling world; - are not these a part of her humble ministry? It seems preposterous to urge the necessity of health; but when we consider the many ways in which it is heedlessly injured, we reason as if it were considered of little importance. Want of exercise at one time, and too violent exertion at another; exposure to cold and dampness; imprudence in dress and diet; all these conspire to impair the constitution, and produce premature old age.
Mrs. Louisa C. Tuthill. The Young Lady's Home. Boston:1847. G526 T966 Y847.
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