Are you someone who believed that the earth was flat? Or that self-pleasuring causes health problems? We have all been there – hatching bizarre stories and believing in them. Similarly, people from the yesteryears carried the strangest beliefs about women’s bodies, and spread myths about them without trying to understand the biological cycle of a woman. Thanks to our patriarchal social system, some people still carry outlandish beliefs, most of which stem from superstition and a lack of knowledge. Although we have come a long way and modern science has disproven the wackiest of these convictions, we are still fighting against the residues from these already debunked crazy theories. So, let us get into these mind-bogglingly ludicrous beliefs about women’s bodies.
1. Women’s Wombs Wander Around Their Body
In Ancient Greece, people believed that a woman’s womb moves around her body like a ‘wild beast,’ which made her fall ill. So, according to these folks, the next time you feel unwell, you should just blame your wandering womb!
Bonus fun fact: The father of modern medicine, Hippocrates identified ‘hysteria’ as anything wrong happening within a woman. Interestingly, the word hysteria is actually derived from the Greek word ‘hystera,’ meaning uterus!
2. Women Do Not Have Desires
The age-old prejudices of sexual double standards have been going on for ages. If you are a woman, your role is to decline when a man would like to share intimate relations with you. Dating back to the Victorian era, when coitus was a taboo, people considered lovemaking a ‘mechanical process.’ And even if women participated in bedroom activities, it was only meant for procreation, and not to for pleasure.
In fact, if a woman was foolish enough to confess to having a healthy libido, in order to repress their ‘unnatural desires,’ such women were taken to the doctor to cure them from ‘female hysteria.’ The treatment involved ‘pelvic massage,’ that led to a climax! Which is why later on the vibrator was invented to ‘cure’ hysterical women – to negate their sexual needs.
3. Women Have Fewer Teeth Than Men
The weird theories didn’t end with women not having a libido. Even the famous Greek philosopher, Aristotle didn’t get his facts straight. Other than asserting that women were actually ‘infertile men,’ he also believed women had fewer teeth than men! And that wasn’t all. Adding to his incorrect theories, he also claimed that a woman’s role is to serve men as men are intellectually superior to them.
4. Self-Pleasure Causes A Flat Chest
Going back to the Victorian area, pleasuring one’s self was considered a dangerous habit that could lead to many health problems. Medical experts in the Victorian era asserted that not only does self-pleasuring causes mental illness, but it also is responsible for developmental delays in women, making them flat-chested. According to a pamphlet from the era, “…girls who have followed self-pleasuring habits … are apt to be flat-breasted or, as we term it, flat-chested.”
5. Reading Leads To Infertility In Women
Now, folks, if you’ve been shocked by the previous myths, prepare yourselves for things get even worse. Another popular myth floating around a century ago was this charming little tidbit – education makes women infertile! And this was all thanks to a Harvard professor, Dr. Edward Clarke, who wrote in his book that too much of ‘book learning’ can damage a woman’s reproductive system. The solution? Let’s not educate the female folks! Thankfully, Clarke’s bizarre theories have been disproven by educated women, who in today’s time outnumber men in every field.
6. Menstruating Women Are Unclean
The Old Testament banned women from performing certain acts while they were menstruating as they believed the ‘unclean women’ could kill crops. In fact, one 13th century manual written by a monk even claimed that menstrual blood is ‘toxic,’ and the ‘fumes’ given off by menstruating women could ‘poison’ children. The most absurd moment, however, came in the 1920s, when doctors seemingly discovered ‘menotoxin’ – a toxin secreted by menstruating women that could make flowers wilt and mice die upon exposure!
7. Exercise Is Harmful To Women
Have you come across anyone who told you exercise can affect your reproductive system? It’s surprising that people even in the 19th century claimed that strenuous activity can prove harmful to women. The Berlin Medical Association believed that failing health of menstruating and pregnant women proved that women are weak and inferior. Another outlandish theory was given by a German doctor who was against girls skipping, as it could cause many health problems including “…flat feet, damaged lungs, twisting of bowels, and chronic headaches.” But even today, a sect of gym instructors actually agree with this theory and recommend women not to exercise, so as to prevent their reproductive organs from getting damaged!
So, did you have a good laugh? Cause we sure did. Let us know which of the above beliefs was the most outlandish of all for you. Also, don’t forget to share this article with friends and family who could use a chuckle!