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13 Wondrous Whipstresses

 13 Wondrous Whipstresses

Take a look at whipstress imagery from 14th-century Italy all the way through 20th-century Hollywood. See more »

Listeners Love Lady Detectives

 Listeners Love Lady Detectives

After doing our two-part series (here and here) about lady detectives on TV, one thing was abundantly clear: Y'all love some lady crimesolvers. While the episodes were busting at the seams with Cagney and Lacey, Olivia Benson, Jessica Fletcher and others, there simply wasn't time to talk about every fabulous character out there. See more »

The Chess Queens

 The Chess Queens

Chess, one of history's oldest games, is considered a man's game -- but why? Cristen and Caroline examine how the queen piece revolutionized chess and subsequently kicked women players out of the sport. See more »

Why do women join cults?

 Why do women join cults?

Are women likelier to join cults? Cristen and Caroline investigate how destructive cults like the Manson Family work, why women join them and debunk stereotypes about women in cults. See more »

Further Reading: 5 Fab Listener Recs

 Further Reading: 5 Fab Listener Recs

We cover some pretty interesting topics every week on the podcast. But with each episode clocking in at under an hour, we can't always hit every source or detail out there. Thanks to our smart and savvy listeners, however, we get great reading recommendations all the time to help supplement our weekly research. We want to share some of them with you. Here are five additional sources -- complete with [edited-for-length] emailed reviews -- from interested, interesting and in-the-know listeners. Share your thoughts and recommendations in the comments, and don't forget to give us a shout at momstuff [at] howstuffworks [dot] com. See more »

Why is Ebola killing more women?

 Why is Ebola killing more women?

Why is the Ebola virus is killing more women than men in West Africa? Cristen and Caroline chart the spread of the Ebola virus and the gender roles that put women more at risk for contracting Ebola virus and other pandemics. See more »

A Brief History of Slutoween

 A Brief History of Slutoween

If I had a dollar for every time I've seen a social media comment along the lines of "why are Halloween costumes for women so sexy??!" I'd have enough money to march over to my neighborhood Halloween superstore and buy a sexy French fries costume. For young women these days, the process of choosing a Halloween costume usually starts with the question of "to sexy, or not to sexy?" (or in my mind, "to be warm, or not to be warm on a chilly October night?")... See more »

When Exercise and "Physical Culture" Became Good for Women, Too

 When Exercise and "Physical Culture" Became Good for Women, Too

Turn-of-the-century publishing magnate, Bernarr Macfadden, who I mentioned in a previous post on thermal dieting, was serious about physical fitness. As in writing an eight-volume encyclopedia on the topic, serious. Among his multiple publishing endeavors that made him a household name and a millionaire in the early 20th century, Macfadden launched Physical Culture magazine in March 1899, featuring a 25-page opus on bodybuilding and a snappy tagline declaring "Weakness is a Crime." Lasting until 1955 when Macfadden died, Physical Culture magazine churned out typical health and fitness stories on longevity, diet, exercise and even "correct breathing for magnetism and charm." See more »

(Women's) Laughter Is the Best Medicine

 (Women's) Laughter Is the Best Medicine

Science concluded a long time ago (circa 1974) that laughter is contagious. Now we know that women are the best at spreading the joy around. Study participants listened to around 50 audio clips of various types of laughter, such as open- versus closed-mouthed chuckles, and rated the female belly laugh as the most pleasurable. See more »

LIFE Magazine's Vintage Fat Shaming

 LIFE Magazine's Vintage Fat Shaming

In the 1950s, the term "fat shaming" had yet to be coined, but the demeaning practice was certainly alive and well. Even though the average waistline was slimmer then than now, LIFE magazine published a multi-page spread in its March 1954 edition on "The Plague of the Overweight," which led with the declaration that "The most serious health problem in the U.S. today is obesity." According to statistics compiled by insurance companies at the time, around 3 percent of post-World War II Americans were considered obese, and "[were] drastically prone to diabetes, gallstones, hernia, kidney and bladder impairments and complications during surgery and pregnancy"... See more »