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When a girl was in middle school, her “cleanliness” was checked. The teacher told her, “You need to take a hot bath.”

In the 1950s, when my mother was in junior high school, her teacher told the class that the school nurse would be checking to see if they were clean. My mother was afraid of being “inspected” because she knew her underwear was dirty.

Her mother didn’t let her or her three brothers and sisters take a bath every day. The owner was the only one who got to use the bathtub. The rest of the people had to bathe in the sink.

My grandmother let her four kids change into clean underwear every morning, but the three girls only got a clean bra on washday. It wasn’t washday. My mom wasn’t wearing a clean bra because of this. Read the full story here ▶