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Was Catherine Eddowes Menstruating?

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  • Was Catherine Eddowes Menstruating?


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by m_w_r
    He has been around the UK for the last six and a half years at least, and everywhere he has gone he has claimed that Eddowes made use of her apron as a sanitary towel. He has spoken to the Whitechapel Society about it, to the Docklands Museum, at a Conference: he has received a good deal of feedback from the general public and Ripperologists alike, much of which must have been to the effect that his interpretation was not a very likely one, and that other more likely interpretations existed.

    I view a lot of Marriott's comments and "insights" as just marketing tools. He says something different and outre and viola! there's a TV special and lectures to be given.

    That aside.....Eddowes cannot have used her apron as a sanitary towel. It is simply impossible for a alcoholic woman of that age in that era with that diet (she is clearly emaciated in the mortuary photos, poor soul) to have been menstruating.

    It's not possible. Not even debatable in a field where almost everything is up for debate. Twenty year old women with anorexia stop menstruating in 2013. Eddowes in 1888 couldn't have been menstruating.

    Precisely the kind of point you'd expect a detective to grasp.

  • #2
    The poor soul was 46 at the time of death.

    Alcoholic, chronically malnourished, emaciated at the time of death, and 46 in the Victorian era.

    It was a physical impossibility.

    Comment


    • #3
      I mention this for a very straightforward purpose - the claim that she was has been raised by Trevor Marriott. He lay claims to some expertise as a homicide detective, and I would have thought his training would have provided some clue about when and where blood from a woman might have been found.

      It's really elementary stuff. As I have said, I believe Marriott raises claims that are outre just for the sake of having something to say on a lecture.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by m_w_r View Post
        Hi Trevor,

        I don't know whether you've got a competing source, but I'm going by Minna Rintala and Pertti Mustajoki's article, "Could mannequins menstruate?", published in the British Medical Journal in 1992 (= BMJ 1992;305:1575-6). They take their figures for the percentage of body fat needed to enable menstruation to occur from R.E. Frisch's article, "Fatness, menarche and female fertility", published in Perspectives in Biology and Medicine in 1985 (= Perspect Biol Med 1985;28:61 1-33).

        Regards,

        Mark
        Putting Mark's astute comment here.

        TM's telling reply was "you can't compare 1888 street women with modern day women."

        Correct, you can't. Which of the two would be more likely to be biologically older than her chronological age?????????????

        Again, this has to do with judging a particular source's ability to gain insight from a homicide site. Expertise has been claimed.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by SirRobertAnderson View Post
          TM's telling reply was "you can't compare 1888 street women with modern day women.
          Hi Sir Bob,

          Like you, I'd be grateful for a bit more clarity in this regard. What is the evolutionary leap which has rendered the modern woman biologically incomparable to her predecessor of the late Victorian period?

          In the absence of a monolith moment, I'd suggest that we are comparing like with like.

          Regards,

          Mark
          I bet your Ripper feels better now.

          Comment


          • #6
            As i mentioned on the other thread.

            If she were mensturating or rather able to, the fact remains for Trevor's theory to be corrrect, she had to start mensturating at the pint she was in the police cell, alledgedly without her rags. There is a 1/28 chance of this being the case.

            I think thats pretty unlikely
            "be just and fear not"

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Jennifer Shelden View Post
              If she were mensturating or rather able to, the fact remains for Trevor's theory to be corrrect, she had to start mensturating at the pint she was in the police cell, alledgedly without her rags. There is a 1/28 chance of this being the case.
              Hi Jenni,

              I don't think it's possible to reduce things to raw probabilities, but surely there is a 1/28 chance of Eddowes commencing her period on the day of her arrest. The chances of her commencing her period during her four-hour incarceration are 1/168.

              Just to put that into perspective, the chances of her not commencing her period during her four-hour incarceration are, accordingly, 167/168.

              Regards,

              Mark
              I bet your Ripper feels better now.

              Comment


              • #8
                Bob:

                Mark's fine post and insight aside, even if she could get her "friend", she wouldn't use the apron for hygienic purposes.
                First of all, there's the cost. Eddowes carried around everything she owned. Why destroy something that is going to cost you a few drinks ( if we look at it from that perspective) ?
                Secondly, what woman would schlep around the street with half an apron ? Its undignified and frankly, makes her look like a freak.
                Third...this idea is...and you'll pardon me for the visual...this idea is the mirror image of a working class man ripping his shirt and using half of it for hygienic purposes.

                I agree that the idea she had her period or had a bowel movement and used the half apron for that purpose is gimmicky. I've brought this up to Trevor 5 years ago elsewhere.
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                • #9
                  The proposition that Eddowes couldn’t have been capable of menstruating is somewhat undermined by the 12 pieces white rag, some slightly bloodstained, that she had about her person.
                  I wonder what R.E. Frisch's explanation for these items would be?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Edward Stow View Post
                    The proposition that Eddowes couldn’t have been capable of menstruating is somewhat undermined by the 12 pieces white rag, some slightly bloodstained, that she had about her person.
                    I wonder what R.E. Frisch's explanation for these items would be?
                    I think this a fair point. Cathrine had just walked back from Maidstone. No mean feet.

                    I dont think she was in the same physical condition as Annie Chapman. The fact that she had pieces of clothe on her suggests that she was still able to menstrate..

                    But I'm happy to listen to any evidence that periods stopped earlier in general in 1888

                    Yours Jeff

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Edward Stow View Post
                      The proposition that Eddowes couldn’t have been capable of menstruating is somewhat undermined by the 12 pieces white rag, some slightly bloodstained, that she had about her person.
                      I wonder what R.E. Frisch's explanation for these items would be?
                      Hi Edward,

                      I don't suppose R.E. Frisch has ever thought about it. On the other hand, I also doubt that he got to the end of writing "Fatness, menarche and female fertility" and, flipping the Tears for Fears record, thought to himself, 'Well, it's not a bad article, and it takes into account all the carefully-captured physiological statistics available to me, and I've considered the statistical and scientific implications of my data pretty closely, and in line with my expertise and many, many years of clinical experience ... but if anybody ever discovers that a woman from the past possessed twelve pieces of white rag, then I'm completely ****ed.'

                      Regards,

                      Mark
                      I bet your Ripper feels better now.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yes and she walked there first as well - and stopped off for beer on the way back! She must have been quite tough.

                        MWR
                        Yes she obviously wasn't capable of menstruating - that nails it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          In the back of my head somewhere, is the suggestion Kate had Brites desease..

                          If this were the case might this also be a factor

                          Curious here rather than having an opinion

                          Yours Jeff

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            There would have been many reasons why a woman like Kate would carry around so many rags.

                            I'm no expert on the evolution of human biological traits, but I do know that one's lifespan was considerably shorter than it is now. Most females had children when they were in their teens. And 46 was well past anyone's prime. Even now days, most of the women I know who reach this age, are already going through menopause ( I know because I've got the battle scars to prove it.)

                            Show me some records where women normally had children in their mid-forties back then.
                            Best Wishes,
                            Cris Malone
                            ______________________________________________
                            "Objectivity comes from how the evidence is treated, not the nature of the evidence itself. Historians can be just as objective as any scientist."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Cris,
                              Some women did continue to have babies into their mid forties. These women generally had very large families, no birth control. Women nowadays start the menopause earlier because girls are starting their periods at a much younger age, possibly due to extra female hormones in the water supply.
                              Saying that, I have to agree that it was unlikely that eddowes was menstruating regularly because of her health issues. And stress has always been one reason for missed periods.

                              Jackie x

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