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Nobody responding to my last cri de couer, and thanks to all, wondered why I attributed the discovery of the little often-finger-operated female thingie to Columbus.  Yes, the clitoris was discovered by Columbus, Rainaldus Columbus (no relation to the more famous Christopher, I guess more of a stay-at-home guy), in the 16th c. sometime.  What it means to "discover" an organ that certainly a lot of women and even a number of men had always sort of completely known about, and that was also known to antiquity, described by Galen etc., was interestingly discussed by Thomas Laqueur in Making Sex


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 28th, 2006 02:31 am (UTC)
A "discovery" that has a lot in common with the "discovery" of America, apparently.
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 28th, 2006 03:36 am (UTC)
Both involved Italian men taking credit for discovering things that plenty of people not only knew about, but made a part of their daily lives.
Nov. 28th, 2006 04:26 am (UTC)
That was hilarious!!!!!
Nov. 28th, 2006 09:07 am (UTC)
* laughs, then looks round embarrassedly *
Nov. 28th, 2006 12:41 pm (UTC)
Hilarious. (Worst thing about this journal is the inability to actually lol and to be required to say it. I did lol.)
Nov. 28th, 2006 04:09 pm (UTC)
That's the best early-morning laugh I've had in a long time.
Nov. 28th, 2006 03:56 am (UTC)
Licence my roving hands, and let them go
Before, behind, between, above, below.
O, my America, my Newfoundland...

(Deleted comment)
Nov. 28th, 2006 05:41 am (UTC)
And undone.

(Deleted comment)
Nov. 28th, 2006 12:36 pm (UTC)
cut it out -- and keep 'em coming
Nov. 28th, 2006 12:35 pm (UTC)
I was awaiting this reply from someone, and of course it was you.
Nov. 28th, 2006 05:06 pm (UTC)
But where is the mouse?
It's all well for you old hands, who know the ropes, to jest about these things, but in C's last post even he admits he's had trouble using his mouse. And I can't even find the thing! I swear it wasn't there when I unpacked the box.
Nov. 28th, 2006 07:14 pm (UTC)
Re: Newfound lands?
To change to a more serious tone, try reading some of the transcripts of the witch trials that detail examination for Satan's mark by committees of godly women. A few contain notations that they found a strange bump in the privates of the accused witch that when pricked sent the witch into paroxysms--and the examiners were sure they themselves had no such thing.

[paraphrased, but pretty close to the original. . .]
Nov. 29th, 2006 09:38 am (UTC)
Re: Newfound lands?
This historical reference instantly reminded me of Carlo Ginsburg's works on heresy, Inquisition and the Benandati (not quite sure of spelling).

Funny how wild the brain can make connections that are not completely improbable but highly contrasting.

I mean, clitoris and the Inquisition...

A teacher of Latin who used to be a colleague of mine found the etymology of the name -- apparently, the clitoris is the "little mound" [of Venus? I wonder if the expression comes from here...].
Jan. 16th, 2007 12:53 pm (UTC)
Hey there! I saw that clitoris was mentioned here.. Read my last article dedicated to this interesting thing.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )