Femme fatale Geli Raubal was found with a bullet in her chest and Hitler’s gun by her side. Who fired Hitler’s gun that night?
The unresolved and hastily covered-up death in 1931 of Geli Raubal, Hitler’s half-niece and romantic obsession, has long been relegated to the murky footnotes of the Führer’s early career in the demimonde of Munich.
Humor is a big joke on us all. It’s one huge paradox. While it seems unconditionally benevolent, stimulating laughter and good feeling, it is often cruel, destructive, and manipulative.
So says Betty Swords. And she should know. For over twenty-five years, starting in 1955, she was a professional humorist. She sold her cartoons to the major magazine markets, including Saturday Evening Post, Redbook, Good Housekeeping, Ladies Home Journal, Changing Times. She also produced a considerable quantity of humorous writing for such publications as McCall’s, Modern Maturity, Christian Science Monitor, and others. And beginning in 1976, Swords taught college courses in the power of humor and lectured widely on the subject.
...And then I realized that the punching bag was always a woman. “Marriage is seen as bad,” she went on, recollecting the experience as we talked on the patio in back of her Denver home in June 1995. And she cited examples of one-liners to prove her point:
Married life is great—it’s my wife I can’t stand.
He was unlucky in both his marriages—his first wife left him. And his second one won’t.
A bachelor’s last words—I do.
“Marriage is seen as horrible because it meant that the man had lost his freedom,” she continued.
f I had knowledge only of the anatomy and cultural capacities of men and women, I would predict that women rather than men would be more likely to gain control over the technology of defense and aggression, and that if one sex were going to subordinate the other, it would be female over male.
Gracie Passette's insight:
Paradigms shift, twist and flex in this book which addresses gender roles, religion and culture as a whole.
Collecting vintage smut, as I do, I know who Vikki Dougan is; but I’ve been surprised a number of times by both the lack of recognition this iconic beauty has and the lack of information about her. So, ever obsessed as usual, I set out to correct the situation.
Americans often think of World War II as the "good war," but historian Mary Louise Roberts says her new book might make our understanding of that conflict "more truthful and more complex." The book, What Soldiers Do: Sex and the American GI in World War II France, tells the story of relations between American men and French women in Normandy and elsewhere.
The Americans were liberators; the French were liberated. But sex created tensions and resentments that were serious, yet were utterly absent from contemporary accounts for American audiences back home. Roberts, who is professor of European history at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, suggests that the tensions weren't entirely accidental: "Sex was fundamental to how the U.S. military framed, fought and won the war in Europe," she writes in her book.
Roberts joins NPR's Robert Siegel to talk about prostitutes in parks and cemeteries, pinups on planes and how the U.S. Army responded to rape accusations with rapid, racially charged trials.
A native of Missouri, Josephine Baker is remembered for her sultry and comedic stage routines that captivated audiences across the European continent as the Jazz Age unfolded in the United States. During World War II, however, the dancer and singer known as “Black Venus,” “Black Pearl,” or “Creole Goddess” performed a much more important role for her adopted country of France: that of undercover operative in the French Resistance.
In addition to serving as a sub-lieutenant in the Women’s Auxiliary of the French Air Force, Baker maintained an exhaustive performance schedule throughout the war, entertaining both French and American troops. These appearances in many of Europe’s wartime cities provided an excellent cover for the different covert activities she undertook on behalf of the Allied cause.
The ruling classes of the early state societies had written legal codes that “legitimized” their power, property and privileges, and that circumscribed and curtailed the rights of their subjects. Behind these legal documents stood what gave the laws their teeth: the threat of physical force, up to and including death, for violations. The mere existence of the rulers’ “armed bodies of men” was usually sufficient to guarantee “obedience” by the masses. But history also records examples of popular armed rebellions against the king’s bullies.
In Part 21 of this series we noted that the tenets of patriarchal religions brought a message to the masses that male supremacy and economic and social inequality were the natural order of things. A separate but similarly motivated message had to do with sexual relations. Religious challenges to the idea that sexual relations were a natural part of life and something to be enjoyed figure most prominently in the history of Christianity as it evolved from a rebellious sect into a powerful instrument of exploitation and repression for use by the European ruling classes...
Gracie Passette's insight:
This covers so many systemic uses of sexual repression you may not need to read the other parts!
At my vintage living blog, Things Your Grandmother Knew, I’ve written about the tendency to romanticize the past, but I recently read two blog posts discussing vintage fashion in terms of “the vintage girl being the new feminist” and thought it was time to discuss the subject from a more feminist angle…
Willy Demond. Willy of Hollywood. Stocking Maker to the Stars. Willy the Stocking Man. At one time, Willy had a virtual silky smooth monopoly...90 percent of the legs in Hollywood were Demond's.
Willy Demond started making stockings around 1928. He sold his first pair of fancy ones to Marilyn Miller for her role in "Sally" for nine dollars, according to the Miami News of June 11, 1948. The story ran in gossiper Hedda Hopper's column. He kept at it and got $2700 for a pair he made for June Haver. Soon he was more than a stocking salesman…he was receiving credits as "movie hosiery designer" and in 1950 he was called "movie town hose specialist." Of course this was all back in the day when gams WERE Hollywood. All singing, but just as important, all dancing. Legs.
As a feminist, I have a complicated, conflicted, relationship with beauty pageants. But this vintage booklet from the 1923 Mineralava Beauty Pageant fascinates me because of the man involved: Rudolph Valentino.
As a burlesque performer or even an enthusiast you may have seen the old photos of Bettie Page in the “Guide for Strip-Teasers.” It was published in 1953 as a guide to show how much a stripper could reveal depending on what US. State she was in. Burlesque has changed a lot since 1953, most especially the underwear! Let’s take a journey through the ages from the beginnings of burlesque onwards, as a whole, to see how the last few layers of a showgirls costume have changed.
“So many women are left out of historical records,” Dahlsad says. “Men will say, ‘I want to show off what my father did; he deserves to shine. Someone should do a book on him!’ Daughters don’t do that about their moms to the same degree, so often things get thrown away. How many men would look at their archives say, ‘Just take it all to the dumpster’? Somebody would be saying, ‘You can’t do that! You’re George Petty. Put it back!’”