We’re spoiled in a way that any information we want to know, at any moment, is at our fingers tips. A quick internet search and we’re moderately informed about any topic — stocks, the Civil War, grooming issues and even the name of the hot chick in Joe Dirt.
Hundred of years ago, people turned to books, and even those weren’t at the ready. So people walked around taking rumors and speculation as fact. Especially when it came to the human body. This piece on Huffington Post is proof that people were pretty dumb when it came to their own bodies.
Vaginas are an unfair source of widespread confusion and embarrassment: Plenty of us don’t know how they work or what they look like. But it’s not just popular culture that gets vaginas wrong. Scientific and medical minds long misunderstood female anatomy. We didn’t even fully know how the clitoris worked until 2009, and even today, many textbooks still misrepresent female sexual anatomy.
Of course, we have it better than women in centuries past, when blatant misogyny shaped much of the mainstream cultural and medical understanding of women’s bodies. Early mansplaining about women’s bodies were used to validate sexist legal policies, keep women out of school and generally make humankind squeamish about the female form.
Some of these thoughts were insane but most were downright stupid. People thought vagina had teeth, a rumor that should have been squashed by anyone who got to touch a vagina. People also thought vaginas were just “penises that got cold.” Look, I’ve been in some cold water, but my dick never turned inward to create a cavern.
White people thought Asians had “sideways vaginas” which is probably the most racist thing I’ve ever read. Women’s menstrual blood was deemed dangerous to men. Well, it’s not the blood so much, it’s the woman when it’s happening.
And finally, the dumbest and most dangerous “fact” that people believed about women’s vaginas back in the day — women couldn’t get pregnant unless the sex was consensual. Who in the actual fuck would believe that? Shaking my head.
Check out the other dumb things people believed, and sadly, probably still believe.