Rosemary Kennedy

Kennedy, sister of JFK and Robert Kennedy, was born in 1918, when the specter of influenza was haunting the world. As a result, doctors were in high demand and overworked. When Rose Kennedy went into labor with Rosemary at her house in Brookline, MA, no doctor was present. The midwife therefore forcefully pushed Rosemary, her […]

The Merkin

A merkin is a pubic wig worn by all sexual identities, made out of animal or human hair (sometimes even real pubic hair), which is either tied or glued onto the body. The merkin came into fashion in the 17th century, but prevails until today. The word merkin first appeared in the 15th century and […]

Victory Red

With the invention of the push-up lipstick after WWI, the ground was laid for a revolution: lipstick was now portable, easily applicable and would later become—against the backdrop of the Great Depression—a small luxury item symbolizing female strength. Unsurprisingly, bright red lipstick was used by the American Suffragette movement as a statement of rebellion and […]

Victoria Woodhull

In light of the upcoming US presidential election, I would like to focus on the extraordinary women’s rights pioneer Victoria Woodhull (1838-1927). She was the first woman to run for this position in the 1872 election on an Equal Rights Party ticket, even though women had not yet won the right to vote. Her vice-presidential […]

The menstrual cup

Leona Chalmers was an actress/singer who gave up her career to develop a patent for a “problem”, which she considered to be “as old as Eve.” She is now credited as the inventor of the menstrual cup. Prior to the 1930s, prototypes such as the “catamenial sacks”, a belt-like construction with a metal or flexible […]

Female Figureheads

I came across the topic of female figureheads while reading a wonderful essay by the architect Denise Scott-Brown. In “Room at the Top? Sexism and the Star System in Architecture” (1975) she mentions that before the invention of modern navigation devices, women would be entrusted to guide a vessel at sea in form of a […]

Shirley Chisholm

Shirley Chisholm (1924-2005), nicknamed “Fighting Shirley”, was a remarkable African-American woman of many firsts. Particularly in this day and age, she is remembered for her fight for women’s rights, the environment, healthcare and anti-racism. After a reapportionment of congressional districts in Brooklyn in 1968, Shirley Chisholm took a chance at running for congress under her […]

The Queen Bee

The lifecycle of a queen bee begins with her birth from a queen cup, which is a specially constructed cell. While in the cell, larvae are fed royal jelly until they eventually grow into queens. A queen measures approx. 0.78? and can live up to 7 years. Contrary to the belief that the queen bee […]

“Flintenweiber”

May 8th 1945—75 years ago today—marks the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany and, therefore, the end of World War II in Europe. In order to celebrate this anniversary, Berlin declared it a national holiday in 2020. In memory of all the victims of this horrible war, I would like to cast some light on a […]

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