911,911-12 (1912) (discussing "widespread prevalence of feeblemindedness
" and "large numbers of feebleminded persons" in Massachusetts).
" were visible through physical stigmata.
that the legal requirements for feeblemindedness
desperately needed to
The Kallikak Family: A Study in the Heredity of Feeblemindedness
. New York: Macmillan, 1912.
Buck's trial, Bruinius shows, was a sham, with the chief evidence of her feeblemindedness
coming from schoolteachers who had taught not her but her relatives.
63, 84 (1998) (remarking on the "link between heredity, feeblemindedness
and criminality" as the focus of prison and mental institution reformers in the early part of the twentieth century).
The glasses were brought in by a young girl whose look suggested feeblemindedness
, if not idiocy.
In fact, some of the figurative expressions that mean crazy tend to shade over into those that simply connote feeblemindedness
. When I want to describe a person not operating on all four burners, I may note that the gears aren't meshing.
(128) As Garland Allen wrote, "To those with economic and social power, and imbued with the new spirit of scientific planning," it was not surprising that "eugenics appeared to be taking an eminently rational approach to society by purporting to treat social problems at their roots." (129) Moreover, "[i]f ills such as unemployment, feeblemindedness
, or normadism were genetic in origin, then the rational and efficient way to eliminate these problems would be to prevent people with such hereditary defects from breeding." (130) The dramatic changes of the 1990s also led to a search for certainty that, invariably, turned to biological explanations.
Helmond's Mae charts a tragic trajectory from take-charge composure to terrified feeblemindedness
; Glynn brings a dreamy glamour and dry humor to Lillian; and Van Patten makes Ursula a flinty, abrasive type who maintains her loyalty to the group despite low reserves of patience for them.
The text moved beyond strict natural law arguments to reflect on the social and cultural implications of the laws, suggesting that the vast power granted to the state through the legislation would eventually be used to oppress the poor: "Feeblemindedness
is very often the cause of poverty and poverty is so often the cause of feeblemindedness
that there is danger of confusing one with the other.
Her aim is accurate, and her scope is extraordinary, embracing not only the topics I've noted but a host of others: California's current preference for funding prisons rather than schools, the character of those prisons, the historically high rates of people "put away" for eccentric behavior (so much for our reputed openness), and our shameful record for 79 percent of the nation's sterilizations by 1920 for "feeblemindedness