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Was Catherine Eddowes Menstruating?

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  • Originally posted by admin tim View Post
    You may scoff, but remember, Howard's ancestors at that time were using cotton bolls for sanitary napkins and corn cobs for the purpose next slot over.
    Solitary vices were a competitive sport in Philly until 1936.

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    • Originally posted by SirRobertAnderson View Post
      The main problem with this entire discussion is that the answer to the thread's initial question Was Catherine Eddowes Menstruating? is "most likely she was menopausal". Some posters are taking her possession of blood stained rags as proof of menstruation; they're not.
      Hi Sir Bob,

      I don't think anyone on this thread - not even Trevor - has claimed there is any 'proof' that Eddowes was menstruating, or even capable of menstruating, when she was murdered.

      Trevor has argued that she could have chosen to use a piece of her apron, rather than one of her dozen rags, for personal hygiene purposes (apparently front and back), before dumping it in Goulston Street. And indeed she could, but most of us have come up with reasonable objections, based on the evidence, personal experience or a good dollop of common sense, as to why it is much less likely than the conclusion that her killer took it for his own purposes.

      The bloodstained rags are merely seen by the female posters here as evidence that at one time she had most probably used them for the obvious purpose (certainly she'd have needed rags just like them when she last menstruated), but no, it's not 'proof' of why she was still carrying them around with her. She could have used them for anything from nose bleeds to nephritis.

      The thing is, even if we could eliminate any possibility that Eddowes had used her apron, or was keeping her rags, for menstrual purposes, we still have blood and fecal matter on the former and bloodstains (not described as fresh) on the latter. So if Eddowes was suffering from any condition or illness that caused her to bleed that night (and you seem to be arguing for the possibility) Trevor would technically be right: she at least had the option of using her apron instead of the rags. If she opted for the apron piece (I just don't believe she would have been deprived of all 12 rags while in the nick - they must have been used to finding such rags on female prisoners and understanding the need for them) and the fecal matter got on it as a result, it might explain why it was dumped and not kept to be washed and used again.

      Again, just for the record, I don't personally think there is any reason to believe Eddowes was bleeding that night before her throat was cut, so naturally I don't go along with Trevor's theory for how the blood ended up on the discarded apron piece.

      Humor me for a moment.

      Let's ASSUME for the moment that the Lusk Letter was legit. And/or Eddowes had nephritis. What would she have used for personal hygiene?

      The rags.
      Quite possibly. But it boils down to the same argument, because both the apron piece and the rags were found sporting blood in one form or another and we'll never know the absolute truth of its origins. All we can do is make sensible guesses.

      Love,

      Caz
      X
      I wish I were two puppies then I could play together - Storm Petersen

      Comment


      • Originally posted by SirRobertAnderson View Post
        The post mortem photos are obviously imperfect for examination but I thought the folds on the abdomen interesting from that viewpoint. It's the only area that isn't lean. I had a brother in law with severe kidney disease and he was skin and bones except for his belly area.
        I might well be wrong, but I had assumed those folds were the result of Eddowes having given birth. The skin loses elasticity with age and I imagine such folds would have been common in very thin or petite older women whose bellies had once expanded as their babies grew in the womb.

        Love,

        Caz
        X
        I wish I were two puppies then I could play together - Storm Petersen

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Caroline Morris View Post
          The bloodstained rags are merely seen by the female posters here as evidence that at one time she had most probably used them for the obvious purpose
          I think part of the problem is that the thread has gotten to be about gender more than about reasonable conjecture. All I was saying is let's look at the odds Eddowes was even capable of menstruating. (Marriott's theories change and 'develop' and I was attacking the idea of apron as sanitary napkin.) I've gotten the distinct vibe from some of "how dare a man tell us about this". My initial calculations were wrong and I made the grevious error in Ripperology of not changing my mind and posting the same thing 300 times.

          She was highly likely to be in menopause. The nephritis angle is interesting, no? The one illness the Lusk kidney manifested is precisely one that can cause blood clots in the urine.

          I found that of interest and more worthy of discussion than the lighting in Buck's Row.....on its 80th iteration.

          There is of course the OTHER solution to the blood on the rags - it was from the wounds Jack inflicted. That's the most likely explanation.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by SirRobertAnderson View Post
            I think part of the problem is that the thread has gotten to be about gender more than about reasonable conjecture.
            I didn't really get that vibe from the posts here. I certainly don't think any gender based hostility was intended. For me it's all about the instincts and personal experience that can lead to the most reasonable conclusions - at least re the dozen rags, some slightly bloodstained. I would not expect that to ring immediate bells with 90% of men, but for any woman with any experience at all of the dreadful old sanitary pads - or "jam rags" - endured by themselves or their mothers (the latter in my case) those bells I can assure you are nigh on deafening. I don't expect you to hear them as well, just to acknowledge that we can and our reasons are sound.

            Yes, Eddowes was highly unlikely to be having regular periods, I agree, and there is zero evidence that she was using, or in need of any sanitary protection the night she died. But that would apply equally to nephritis 'protection' wouldn't it, if you are suggesting she may have had blood clots in her urine to mop up? In which case, back we go to Trevor, with a possible reason why she might after all have needed a larger piece of cloth from her apron for that particular mopping up! I just don't buy it myself.

            And I think it would have been evident and therefore noteworthy if the blood on her rags had been freshly deposited - either by recent clots in her urine or from the wounds inflicted during her murder.

            Love,

            Caz
            X
            I wish I were two puppies then I could play together - Storm Petersen

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Caroline Morris View Post
              IYes, Eddowes was highly unlikely to be having regular periods, I agree, and there is zero evidence that she was using, or in need of any sanitary protection the night she died. But that would apply equally to nephritis 'protection' wouldn't it, if you are suggesting she may have had blood clots in her urine to mop up? In which case, back we go to Trevor, with a possible reason why she might after all have needed a larger piece of cloth from her apron for that particular mopping up! I just don't buy it myself.
              Would blood clots in the urine have led to only one corner of the apron being wet with blood and the rest very lightly smeared?

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Caroline Morris View Post
                I didn't really get that vibe from the posts here. I certainly don't think any gender based hostility was intended.
                It's there, intended or not. But thanks for that. After all Ripperology is such a female dominated field with progressive viewpoints we few males that still participate need coddling and protection so we can dare to freely express our opinions.

                Originally posted by Caroline Morris View Post
                for any woman with any experience at all of the dreadful old sanitary pads - or "jam rags" - endured by themselves or their mothers (the latter in my case) those bells I can assure you are nigh on deafening. I don't expect you to hear them as well, just to acknowledge that we can and our reasons are sound.
                I would love to say your reasons are sound....but they fly in the face of probability. It's bad analysis. Maybe bad is too harsh but it's not the way things probably went down that night in 1888. It's not even a coin flip of 50-50 whether she was in menopause. You are arguing from personal experience, I'm arguing from probability. If the numbers were reversed, you'd have more of a point.
                Basically this thread comes down to women looking at the crime scene so to speak and saying "Hey, I know what those rags were for. I know where the blood came from. Been there, done that."

                And I'm saying err....IF she was in good health and had regular health care, there would have been about a 70% chance she was in menopause.


                Factor in the malnutrition, venereal diseases, alcohol abuse, hard work....the whole lifestyle of a street walker in Whitechapel....and you cannot tell me the 70% doesn't go to 90%.
                Trevor Bond, who is a nurse, has described her as emaciated. So does Dr Mank.

                It would be worthwhile for someone to get more statistics on menopause in the LVP. Also rates of VD in prostitutes in the era. I've taken a stab with the data I've found or been sent.

                All these things matter if we want to figure out the puzzle of the blood stained rags....

                Originally posted by Caroline Morris View Post
                Yes, Eddowes was highly unlikely to be having regular periods, I agree, and there is zero evidence that she was using, or in need of any sanitary protection the night she died. But that would apply equally to nephritis 'protection' wouldn't it, if you are suggesting she may have had blood clots in her urine to mop up?
                I have a Board meeting with Dr S the urologist in about three weeks and will happily ask any follow up questions. I think people have this notion that she would have been peeing blood...and my understanding is it would be more episodic and with clots of varying sizes. One knows when you need to pee versus the flow of menstruation....

                All I am saying is that MAYBE she used the rags to blot up after urinating.

                She had to have used something for hygiene, no? Irrespective of all our points she'd have needed some rags.


                Originally posted by Caroline Morris View Post
                In which case, back we go to Trevor, with a possible reason why she might after all have needed a larger piece of cloth from her apron for that particular mopping up! I just don't buy it myself.
                I have gotten PMs saying the effect of "you idiot you are playing right into Trevor's hands".

                First off, I'm interested in the truth. If Trevor was right - and he ain't - so be it. But he's far from correct.

                There is nothing about any of these theories that require her to rip up her apron to deal with blood flow or blood clots. And then there is the scenario where the blood on the rags was from the wounds Jack inflicted.

                And if that isn't enough, the gaolers probably would have given her fresh rags if she needed them for menstruation. They would have been found with her body I would imagine.

                All I am trying to do is puzzle out an angle that has not - to my knowledge - ever been considered and which has distinct implications for the Lusk letter.
                Attached Files

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                • Aha! The chart says "menstruation ceased".

                  It doesn't say onset of menopause.

                  There are 286 other conditions/diseases that can
                  cause amenorrhea.

                  http://www.rightdiagnosis.com/sympto...hea/causes.htm

                  Originally posted by Caz
                  I didn't really get that vibe from the posts here. I certainly don't think any gender based hostility was intended. For me it's all about the instincts and personal experience that can lead to the most reasonable conclusions - at least re the dozen rags, some slightly bloodstained. I would not expect that to ring immediate bells with 90% of men, but for any woman with any experience at all of the dreadful old sanitary pads - or "jam rags" - endured by themselves or their mothers (the latter in my case) those bells I can assure you are nigh on deafening. I don't expect you to hear them as well, just to acknowledge that we can and our reasons are sound.

                  Yes, Eddowes was highly unlikely to be having regular periods, I agree, and there is zero evidence that she was using, or in need of any sanitary protection the night she died. But that would apply equally to nephritis 'protection' wouldn't it, if you are suggesting she may have had blood clots in her urine to mop up? In which case, back we go to Trevor, with a possible reason why she might after all have needed a larger piece of cloth from her apron for that particular mopping up! I just don't buy it myself.

                  And I think it would have been evident and therefore noteworthy if the blood on her rags had been freshly deposited - either by recent clots in her urine or from the wounds inflicted during her murder.

                  Love,

                  Caz
                  X
                  Excellent post. I agree, except for "Eddowes was highly unlikely to be having regular periods".
                  Last edited by Livia Trivia; February 1, 2013, 05:47 PM. Reason: correction

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Livia Trivia View Post
                    Aha! The chart says "menstruation ceased".

                    It doesn't say onset of menopause.
                    You can torture the chart to see what one wants to see.....Menstruation ceasing is good enough for me. If you wish to interpret that as menstruation ceased but actually continued at a later date....be my guest. What can I say?

                    I'm looking for more meaningful samples online but suspect I will have to hit the main research library in NYC.

                    I suspect the Germans and the Swedes kept pretty good records of these matters too.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by SirRobertAnderson View Post
                      You can torture the chart to see what one wants to see.....Menstruation ceasing is good enough for me. If you wish to interpret that as menstruation ceased but actually continued at a later date....be my guest. What can I say?

                      I'm looking for more meaningful samples online but suspect I will have to hit the main research library in NYC.

                      I suspect the Germans and the Swedes kept pretty good records of these matters too.
                      I would agree, it seems to be a straightforward set of figures about puberty and menopause, despite the wording.

                      Robert, you seem to want figures that will show you the effect of venereal disease (did Eddowes have/ever have one of those for sure?) starvation (as you keep calling her emaciated) and alcoholism (where's the fatty liver?)on the menopause?! My guess is they will all have an affect on the age of the onset of menopause.
                      There are plenty of papers written in the LVP on venereal disease and prostitutes- Our own Dr Thomas Bond even had plenty to say on the matter and wrote papers but what will that tell you? That x amount of prostitutes in the LVP had a venereal disease?
                      How will any of this apply to Eddowes directly? I'm confused. Why isn't it acceptable to you to conclude that Eddowes was highly likely to have passed the menopause? There is no way to prove it-and even if you could, which you can't-that doesn't mean she had nephritis and used those rags to wipe herself does it?

                      Comment


                      • Because you're a nice guy, I'll save you the trip....

                        The Change of Life in Health and Disease: A Clinical Treatise on the ...etc
                        By Edward John Tilt, 1883

                        Google books

                        Includes data from London (Tilt's private upscale practice and
                        stats from Dr Guy of London Hospital), Paris, Germany and Denmark.

                        The Change of Life in Health and Disease

                        Have fun.

                        Comment


                        • Liv, are you able to post anything from this for those of us in the UK who can't see it due to copyright? I can see the heading for a table of last menstruation but the figures are cut off-are you able to post that bit at all, please?

                          Comment


                          • Scrap that Liv-the book is on the Internet archive too so I can see it there, although it must be an earlier edition as it says 1857 as the publication date.

                            Comment


                            • I was able to take a screen shot, but it's too small to read.

                              I've sent you the 4th edition, 1883 in pdf format through an MSN email
                              account (too big for yahoo apparently), but I neglected to give it a title, so check your junk folder too.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Livia Trivia View Post
                                I was able to take a screen shot, but it's too small to read.

                                I've sent you the 4th edition, 1883 in pdf format through an MSN email
                                account (too big for yahoo apparently), but I neglected to give it a title, so check your junk folder too.
                                Great stuff, thanks.

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