I stumbled across this 1901 book, “The Perverts” at The Center for Fiction in NYC.
It caught my eye because I thought it would be vintage erotica.
How wrong I was!
Instead, it’s a hilariously judgmental treatise written by an angry, bitchy old bastard named William Lee Howard. This lunatic rails on and on about the disgusting psychological traits that define “human misfits” “mental degenerates” “unsightly and subnormal beings who are the victims of poor mating” and my favorite, “mind roamers”.
Mr. Howard reserves a special pot of vitriol for women, who are naturally “insulated in the dark umbrage of ignorance.”
A few traits of the dreaded Female Pervert are that she:
1. Clamors for higher education
2. Spends time in saloons
3. Shouts “incomprehensible jargon” in crowded halls
4. Has masculine ideas of independence
5. Spends her mornings at the club, discussing “Social Statistics”
6. Proclaims her right to “decide questions of war or religion, the value of celibacy and the curse of women’s impurity”
7. Is “morbidly majestic”
Damn! That’s me right there! (Maybe #5 is a stretch. The only club I belong to is the New York Sports Club. And the only “Social Statistics” I discuss there involve trading celebrity gossip with Willy at the front desk. But fuck it. It still counts.)
The point is, I went looking for some retro filth; some florid, purple prose, some bodice-ripping, and instead I found out that I’m a Female Pervert.
So you see, it’s true–knowledge is power.
Mind Roamers unite!