Miss America Used to Ban Abortion—And Still Bans Moms, Wives, and Divorcées
Even though the Miss America pageant has tried to adapt to modern sensibilities, emphasizing "female empowerment," it remains committed to an antiquated ideal of femininity.
The Food Festival Showing How Slaves Built American Cuisine
The annual Heritage Harvest Food Festival is hosted at Thomas Jefferson's slave plantation Monticello. This year, its founders and participants are making a concerted effort to reckon with the site's past.
The Two Schoolgirls Who Fooled the World Into Believing in Fairies
With some hatpins, cardboard, and a borrowed camera, Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths created the Cottingley Fairies—one of the biggest photographic hoaxes of the 20th century.
How White Women Are Responsible for the Confederate Monuments We Have Today
Because their interests were seen as apolitical, white women in the South were able to advance an insidious, racist agenda long after the Civil War had ended.
American Pop Music Is a Story of Race, Sex, and Power
Ann Powers's new book, 'Good Booty: Love and Sex, Black and White, Body and Soul in American Music,' charts the complex relationship between bodies and music, and it manages to do so without descending into objectification.
Playboy Campaigned for Abortion Rights While Railing Against Women
The men's magazine recently rebranded as "Entertainment for All," prompting skepticism from some. But Playboy's relationship to the liberal feminist movement is longer and more nuanced than most people realize.
It's Been Almost 100 Years and Women Still Don't Have the Tampons We Deserve
From rubber belts to hymen hysteria, the history of tampons is a reflection of the uphill battle for women's rights.
Mount Rushmore's Extremely Racist History
Following the growing movement to take down Confederate statues in the US, right-wing media have rhetorically asked if Mount Rushmore is next. But given that its history is deeply entwined with white supremacy, is that such an absurd question?
No One Knows Why These Medieval Statues Are Pulling Their Vaginas Open
Churches all over Europe are covered in mysterious carvings of women proudly flaunting their vulvas. Is this recurring figure—known as Sheela-na-Gig—a pagan goddess, a warning against the dangers of lust, or something more complicated?
We Owe Our Obsession with True Crime to Ann Rule
The pioneering author revolutionized the genre with her 1980 memoir about her friendship with Ted Bundy, and her influence is still visible in media like "Making a Murderer" and "Serial."
The First Ladies Who Brought the Occult to the White House
Over the years, several presidents' wives—including Mary Todd Lincoln and Nancy Reagan—turned to spiritual practices like seances and astrology.
Never-Before-Seen Photo Suggests Amelia Earhart Survived Plane Crash
Experts and locals present a compelling case that the Japanese government may have kidnapped Earhart during World War II, though the country denies these claims.
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