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a man who approaches a woman covered with menstrual excretions utterly
perish." It will be seen that these ideas are impartially spread over
the most widely separated parts of the globe. They equally affected the
Christian Church, and the Penitentials ordained forty or fifty days
penance for sexual intercourse during menstruation.
Yet the twofold influence of the menstruating woman remains clear when we
review the whole group of influences which in this state she is supposed
to exert. She by no means acts only by paralyzing social activities and
destroying the powers of life, by causing flowers to fade, fruit to fall
from the trees, grains to lose their germinative power, and grafts to die.
She is not accurately summed up in the old lines:--
"Oh! menstruating woman, thou'rt a fiend
From whom all nature should be closely screened."
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