What Our Obsession with Tragic, Beautiful, Mentally Ill Women Says About Us
Since the Victorian days—where "hysterics" confined in institutions were forced to dress and act like Ophelia—mental illness in women has wrongly been framed as something beautiful and unknowable.
The Misogynistic History of Trying to Understand Women Who Self-Harm
For centuries, women and men alike have been engaging in acts of self-harm, but our understanding of the behavior has long been limited by sexist stereotypes.
Rachel Vorona Cote
The Long, Strange History of Women Wearing Deadly Clothing
In myths and fairytales, women poisoned their rivals with gaudy accessories; in the 19th century, they unknowingly wore dresses dyed with arsenic. The specific dangers may have changed, but one thing remains the same: an obsession with the link between...
Doctors Created Vibrators After Growing Tired of Masturbating 'Hysterical' Women
One hundred years ago, the vibrator was invented to relieve doctors, whose fingers were frequently cramped from treating "hysteria" in female patients. Afterwards, it became a popular household appliance to help women get off on their own.
Why Reality Stars Are So Obsessed with Throwing Drinks on Each Other
The wine-hurling Real Housewives of today come from a long tradition: Since the early 1900s, women in film have been angrily tossing drinks on their rivals and nemeses.
The Weird World of People Pretending to Be Doctors and Getting Away with It
It's called 'prestige fraud', and it's terrifying.
The Titillating Rise of Nipple Piercings
Long before Kylie Jenner betwitched her Instagram followers with her pierced nipple selfie, women through the ages were pricking and adorning their "little apples of paradise" in acts of rebellion and pleasure.
No Rights, No Sex: The Powerful History of Women Going on Strike
Poland's "Black Monday" strikes are just the latest in a long line of women showing their value by temporarily refusing to participate in a society that takes them for granted.
A History of Radical Thinking: How Women Created Book Clubs
From illicit Bible studies to Revolution-era French salons, antebellum black women's reading groups to Oprah's Book Club, women have been gathering to discuss literature—and fight the status quo—for centuries.
Just the Clip: All the Things Women Have Put in Their Hair
From "hair rats" to butterfly clips, golden diadems to Afro picks, you could say women's hair accessories have always been our crowning glory.
Forbidden Fruit: Why Cherries Are So Sexual
From erotic poetry to 19th-century romantic painting, "Cherry Pie" to kitschy underwear, the stone fruit has been a sexual symbol for centuries.
Lip-Smackeringly Good: Why Women Crave Junk Food Beauty Products
From Jolly Rancher nail polish to Burger King perfume, fast food cosmetics have been around for decades, but today they reveal our true hunger for simpler times—and the comfort of a cheap sugar high.