08-25-2017, 05:13 PM
#1
User Info
I'm a fan of Cecil Adams's The Straight Dope, and I get his weekly email -- but that's neither here nor there. This week's mailing features a Straight Dope "classic" from 2004, which might interest readers of this subforum: Is good personal hygiene a recent invention?

Cheers.

0 83
Reply
 08-25-2017, 05:26 PM
#2
  • Quando
  • Banned
  • Somewhere far-away, from Home
User Info
(08-25-2017, 05:13 PM)Viseguy Wrote: I'm a fan of Cecil Adams's The Straight Dope, and I get his weekly email -- but that's neither here nor there. This week's mailing features a Straight Dope "classic" from 2004, which might interest readers of this subforum: Is good personal hygiene a recent invention?

Cheers.

I thank God, every day, I was born, exactly, when I was.  

The past sounds awful.  Just, completely, disgusting.  No electronic air conditioning, no tall skyscraper office buildings, no disposable toilet paper, and, now, I found out, according to this article, no showers, nor deodorant?  That is just plain gross.  The past was utterly revolting.  Gross.  Gross, gross, gross.

1 589
Reply
 08-26-2017, 07:51 AM
#3
  • Rufus
  • Senior Member
  • Greater Toronto Area
User Info
Google London's 'Great Stink' of 1858 and Joseph Bazalgette, the civil engineer who built London's sewer system.

7 906
Reply
 08-26-2017, 12:28 PM
#4
User Info
(08-26-2017, 07:51 AM)Rufus Wrote: Google London's 'Great Stink' of 1858 and Joseph Bazalgette, the civil engineer who built London's sewer system.

Thanks! Wikipedia has an interesting article on it.

Quote:Bazalgette's work ensured that sewage was no longer dumped onto the shores of the Thames and brought an end to the cholera outbreaks; his actions probably saved more lives than any other Victorian official. His sewer system operates into the 21st century, servicing a city that has grown to a population of over eight million. The historian Peter Ackroyd argues that Bazalgette should be considered a hero of London.

0 83
Reply
 08-26-2017, 03:10 PM
#5
User Info
(08-25-2017, 05:26 PM)Quando Wrote:
(08-25-2017, 05:13 PM)Viseguy Wrote: I'm a fan of Cecil Adams's The Straight Dope, and I get his weekly email -- but that's neither here nor there. This week's mailing features a Straight Dope "classic" from 2004, which might interest readers of this subforum: Is good personal hygiene a recent invention?

Cheers.

I thank God, every day, I was born, exactly, when I was.  

The past sounds awful.  Just, completely, disgusting.  No electronic air conditioning, no tall skyscraper office buildings, no disposable toilet paper, and, now, I found out, according to this article, no showers, nor deodorant?  That is just plain gross.  The past was utterly revolting.  Gross.  Gross, gross, gross.

For women who long for a 'knight in shining armor' .... 
The knight's of the realm treated all non-noble women (and some nobles)  like trash.  They were more likely to rape them than to climb up a trellis to rescue them.  They also didn't bathe for weeks on end and often relieved themselves in their armor ... 

So - modern women wishing for a 'knight' are not going to get Richard Gere in 'First Knight'

I'd rather live now, than any time in the past too

3 203
Reply
 08-26-2017, 04:49 PM
#6
  • Quando
  • Banned
  • Somewhere far-away, from Home
User Info
(08-26-2017, 03:10 PM)1981Eagle Wrote:
(08-25-2017, 05:26 PM)Quando Wrote:
(08-25-2017, 05:13 PM)Viseguy Wrote: I'm a fan of Cecil Adams's The Straight Dope, and I get his weekly email -- but that's neither here nor there. This week's mailing features a Straight Dope "classic" from 2004, which might interest readers of this subforum: Is good personal hygiene a recent invention?

Cheers.

I thank God, every day, I was born, exactly, when I was.  

The past sounds awful.  Just, completely, disgusting.  No electronic air conditioning, no tall skyscraper office buildings, no disposable toilet paper, and, now, I found out, according to this article, no showers, nor deodorant?  That is just plain gross.  The past was utterly revolting.  Gross.  Gross, gross, gross.

For women who long for a 'knight in shining armor' .... 
The knight's of the realm treated all non-noble women (and some nobles)  like trash.  They were more likely to rape them than to climb up a trellis to rescue them.  They also didn't bathe for weeks on end and often relieved themselves in their armor ... 

So - modern women wishing for a 'knight' are not going to get Richard Gere in 'First Knight'

I'd rather live now, than any time in the past too

Well, I disagree with my ancestors being rapists, I can agree we live, in better times.  People back then were smelly.  Or, at least the commoners, would have been.

1 589
Reply
 08-27-2017, 03:25 AM
#7
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
User Info
(08-26-2017, 04:49 PM)Quando Wrote:
(08-26-2017, 03:10 PM)1981Eagle Wrote:
(08-25-2017, 05:26 PM)Quando Wrote: I thank God, every day, I was born, exactly, when I was.  

The past sounds awful.  Just, completely, disgusting.  No electronic air conditioning, no tall skyscraper office buildings, no disposable toilet paper, and, now, I found out, according to this article, no showers, nor deodorant?  That is just plain gross.  The past was utterly revolting.  Gross.  Gross, gross, gross.

For women who long for a 'knight in shining armor' .... 
The knight's of the realm treated all non-noble women (and some nobles)  like trash.  They were more likely to rape them than to climb up a trellis to rescue them.  They also didn't bathe for weeks on end and often relieved themselves in their armor ... 

So - modern women wishing for a 'knight' are not going to get Richard Gere in 'First Knight'

I'd rather live now, than any time in the past too

Well, I disagree with my ancestors being rapists, I can agree we live, in better times.  People back then were smelly.  Or, at least the commoners, would have been.

What constitutes “smelly” is very highly culture-imposed.  In 18th century France, in the court of Louis XIV, for instance, the problem of “smelly” was thought to be completely solved by the application of copious amounts of perfume to mask normal bodily odors; but at the lavish formal balls, where beautifully dressed men and women danced the exciting minuet, which one sees depicted in motion pictures, there were chamber pots in the corridors outside the room to accommodate certain other human needs, and so you know what the corridors undoubtedly smelled like.  Not to his face, obviously, King Louis XIV was often referred to as Louis the Putrid.

On the other hand, for centuries Japan, a nation blessed with thousands upon thousands of hot mineral springs, has had a culture in which bathing completely naked is an integral part of daily life.  Yr obdnt srvnt lived in Japan for an extended period, and has been married to a yamato nadeshiko for now nearly half a century, traveling to Japan frequently in order to stay integrated with friends and family there; and I am somewhat familiar with Japanese culture and how my extended family and friends in Japan generally regard Americans’ personal hygiene habits.  

Well over 90 percent of Japanese living quarters, for instance, have toilets that are fitted with advanced toilet seats, also known as bidet seats or (in the manner that we tend to call individually packaged bandages “Band Aids” or cocoa-based caffeinated beverages “Cokes”) “Washlets,”  Washlet is a registered trademark of Japan's largest plumbing fixtures company, Toto, but dozens of other Japanese companies make advanced toilet seats.  Our friends are, quite literally, appalled — no exaggeration, no hyperbole — at the very low market penetration of advanced toilet seats in North America.  The fact that smugly confident educated Americans apparently reject the advantages of advanced toilet seats confirms the Japanese perception of Americans as generally filthy, a place where, for example, people get into the bathtub, then start washing, rather than, in the Japanese manner, scrubbing one's body thoroughly outside the bath, rinsing off completely, and then getting into the tub to soak.  (There may be no more sybaritic experience than sinking into the ohuro in a Japanese onsen, but I should not enjoy the experience in an otherwise identical facility in North America, because I would be acutely aware of what other substances were with me in the pool, having floated off the bodies of other bathers.)  

[Image: DIHlcdO.jpg]


Whatever revulsion you may feel about the way Europeans conducted personal hygiene in the 17th and 18th centuries, be comforted that modern Japanese feel very much the same way about most Americans’ concept of personal hygiene in 2017.
   Blush

[Image: 5v9KpRt.jpg]
(truly native Japanese bathing.)

1 1,073
Reply
 08-27-2017, 03:07 PM
#8
  • Rufus
  • Senior Member
  • Greater Toronto Area
User Info
MSM, thank you for the informative and entertaining insight.

7 906
Reply
 08-27-2017, 03:52 PM
#9
User Info
(08-27-2017, 03:25 AM)Mel S Meles Wrote: What constitutes “smelly” is very highly culture-imposed. ...

Thanks very much for this informative post! It's all relative, eh? I imagine that people during the Renaissance went around saying, "How ever did they manage during the Middle Ages?" Biggrin

0 83
Reply
Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)