Gender and Sexuality: The Museum of Misogyny

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The Museum of Misogyny

Ever since I encountered a horrible contraption in the 1980s called the Epilady - a handheld device used to rip leg hairs out at the root - I have imagined a museum full of all of the most horrific artifacts used to torture women in the name of etiquette and beauty. I like to think that it is more than just a negative fascination I have with such items, and that it could be important to catalogue the various methods through history by which women have been subjugated that actually seemed quite normal at the time.

My most recent curious obsession is with the bathing machines of the 1800s. When spending a day seaside, women had the worst of both worlds - sequestered, yet still on display. All in the name of female modesty.

Read about these insane contraptions here:
http://www.victoriana.com/Etiquette/bathingmachine.htm
and here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bathing_machine

Does anybody else have examples to add to this list?

Carolyn
Carolyn
United States

Women do things all the time that cause pain, yet we choose to do it because we are playing into our role as a beautiful, seductive, leering, passive woman. We wear high heels, we pluck our eyebrows, we wax our bikini line, we used to wear corsets, etc.

I really like your idea for an exhibition like that, but I also think it's important that women continue to play into this role, by continuing to paint their nails, shave their armpits, etc - though we do this because the society and media has influenced us.

Carolyn
Carolyn
United States

I meant to say, I think it's important that women understand that they CHOOSE to play into this role..not that they should continue too.

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