Any discussion of the hospital in our period might well be expected to address the notion of hygiene as it refers both to the preservation of health and to the idea of cleanliness. Advances in medicine and the growing understanding of the pathology of disease led to developments in hospital design. Better ventilation and sanitation of wards and the ability to isolate contagious diseases gave patients an improved chance of survival. The literature on this topic is thorough and needs no rehearsal here.1 Instead, I would like to think about the antonym of hygiene: dirt. The symbolic concept of dirt enables us to understand the ways in which the hospital worked to cleanse society. Specifically, here I am interested in the hospital as a space of containment and purification, and particularly, but not exclusively, how this operated in regards to women. Mary Douglas asserted that dirt, when understood as matter out of place, simultaneously implies both the existence and the contravention of an established order or system and that this in turn establishes dirt as symbolic.2 Dirt is not then indexical of an objective category of pathogens; rather it is indexical of a contravention of a social order, and by extension, its boundaries. Dirt transgresses boundaries of a given order and as a consequence it works to reaffirm the validity, naturalness, and purity of that which remains within. In this way dirt through its dangerousness can become a means to arrange both culture and society.