A POINT I AM TRYING TO MAKE TO RYAN.....THAT HE IS NOT ALWAYS CORRECT AND I AM NOT ALWAYS WRONG.
IN OUR STUDY TODAY OF THE ORIGIN "RULE OF THUMB" AS IT RELATES TO MY RESEARCH ON "Princess Marie Bonaparte, great-grand niece of Emperor Napoleon I of France and daughter of Prince Roland Bonaparte." SEE PAGE BOTTOM FOR MORE ON HER RYAN DECIDED THAT THE TOPIC SHOULD GRAVITATE TO THE ORIGIN AND NOT THE SUBJECT. THIS IS MY REBUTTAL.....I'LL BE IN BED WITH THE HITACHI TONIGHT BUT DAMMIT I'LL WILL BE HAPPY AS A SQUIRREL IN A PLANTERS PEANUT FACTORY BECAUSE I AM FINALLY RIGHT
Feminists often make that claim that the "rule of thumb" used to mean that it was legal to beat your wife with a rod, so long as that rod were no thicker than the husband's thumb. Thus, one constantly runs into assertions like this:
someone might want to be careful using "rule of thumb" in a sarcastic way. my criminal law teacher at UCLA noted that rule of thumb started in England for punishing wives who cheated on their husbands. the rule was that the rod used to beat them could not be thicker than one's thumb.
However, Christina Hoff Sommers documents how the link between the phrase
"rule of thumb" and wifebeating is a feminist-inspired myth of recent vintage.
In her book "Who Stole Feminism" (NY: Simon & Schuster, 1994, p. 203) Sommers writes:
The 'rule of thumb', however, turns out to be an excellent example of what may be called a feminist fiction. Is is not to be found in William Blackstone's treatise on English common law. On the contrary, British law since the 1700s and our American laws predating the Revolution prohibit wife beating, though there have been periods and places in which the prohibition was only indifferently enforced.
That the phrase did not even originate in legal practice could have been ascertained by any fact-checker who took the trouble to look it up in the Oxford English Dictionary, which notes that the term has been used metaphorically for at least three hundred years to refer to any method of measurement or technique of estimation derived from experience rather than science.
According to Canadian folklorist Philip Hiscock, "The real explanation of 'rule of thumb' is that it derives from wood workers... who knew their trade so well they rarely or never fell back on the use of such things as rulers. instead, they would measure things by, for example, the length of their thumbs." Hiscock adds that the phrase came into metaphorical use by the late seventeenth century. Hiscock could not track the source of the idea that the term derives from a principle governing wife beating, but he believes it is an example of 'modern folklore' and compares it to other 'back-formed explanations.' such as the claim asparagus comes from 'sparrow-grass' or that 'ring around the rosy' is about the plague.
We shall see that Hiscock's hunch was correct, but we must begin by exonerating William Blackstone (1723-1780), the Englishman who codified centuries of legal customs and practices into the elegant and clearly organized tome known as Commentaries on the Laws of England. The Commentaries, a classic of legal literature, became the basis for the development of American law. The so-called rule of thumb as a guideline for wife-beating does not occur in Blackstone's compendium, although he does refer to an ancient law that permitted "domestic chastisement"....
In America, there have been laws against wife beating since before the Revolution. By 1870, it was illegal in almost every state; but even before then, wife-beaters were arrested and punished for assault and battery. The historian and feminist Elizabeth Pleck observes in a scholarly article entitled "Wife-Battering in Nineteenth-Century America":
It has often been claimed that wife-beating in nineteenth-century America was legal... Actually, though, several states passed statutes legally prohibiting wife-beating; and at least one statute even predates the American Revolution. The Massachusetts Bay Colony prohibited wife-beating as early as 1655. The edict states: "No man shall strike his wife nor any woman her husband on penalty of such fine not exceeding ten pounds for one offense, or such corporal punishment as the County shall determine."[Pleck] points out that punishments for wife-beaters could be severe: according to an 1882 Maryland statute, the culprit could receive forty lashes at the whipping post; in Delaware, the number was thirty. In New Mexico, fines ranging from $225 to $1000 were levied, or sentences of one to five years in prison imposed. For most of our history, in fact, wife-beating has been considered a sin comparable to to thievery or adultery. Religious groups -- especially Protestant groups such as Quakers, Methodists, and Baptists -- punished, shunned, and excommunicated wife-beaters. Husbands, brothers, and neighbors often took vengeance against the batterer. Vigilante parties sometimes abducted wife-beaters and whipped them.
Just how did the false account originate, and how did it achieve authority and currency?
see main article for more
She first examined and interviewed 243 women. One by one she measured the distance between their clitorises and the vaginas, then compared the distance to their frequency and ease of orgasm. What she discovered was a direct correlation between the ability to orgasm through vaginal sex and the measurement of space between the vagina and the external part of the clitoris. She categorized the findings from her subjects in three ways: paraclitoridiennes (para meaning “alongside”), mesoclitoriennes (meso meaning “in the middle”), and téléclitoridiennes (télé meaning “far”).
Paraclitoridiennes were the fortunate ones. The space between their vaginas and clitorises measured less than one inch. For the 69% of her test subjects that fell into this category, vaginal orgasm was easier than ever to reach. However, similar studies conducted in modern times prove this statistic extremely high.
Mesoclitoriennes had a space between their vagina and clitorises that measured exactly one inch. Only a mere 10% of women in her study fell into this category. These women did not have it as easy as the paraclitoridiennes but they could eventually reach orgasm with enough practice and position variation.
Téléclitoridiennes had clitorises located farther than one inch from their vaginas. This was the group in which the Princess belonged, along with 21% of her test subjects. They had the most difficulty reaching orgasm solely by penetrative sex – if ever at all.