Boy, they STILL don’t like the Irish!!



    “We are a lighthouse. Your call,”


    it’s hilarious to me when people call historical fashions that men hated oppressive

    like in BuzzFeed’s Women Wear Hoop Skirts For A Day While Being Exaggeratedly Bad At Doing Everything In Them video, one woman comments that she’s being “oppressed by the patriarchy.” if you’ve read anything Victorian man ever said about hoop skirts, you know that’s pretty much the exact opposite of the truth

    thing is, hoop skirts evolved asliberating garment for women. before them, to achieve roughly conical skirt fullness, they had to wear many layers of petticoats (some stiffened with horsehair braid or other kinds of cord). the cage crinoline made their outfits instantly lighter and easier to move in

    it also enabled skirts to get waaaaay bigger. and, as you see in the late 1860s, 1870s, and mid-late 1880s, to take on even less natural shapes. we jokingly call bustles fake butts, but trust me- nobody saw them that way. it was just skirts doing weird, exciting Skirt Things that women had tons of fun with

    men, obviously, loathed the whole affair


    (1850s. gods, if only crinolines were huge enough to keep men from getting too close)

    (no date given, but also, this is 100% impossible)

    (also undated, but the ruffles make me think 1850s)

    it was also something that women of all social classes- maids and society ladies, enslaved women and free women of color -all wore at one point or another. interesting bit of unexpected equalization there

    and when bustles came in, guess what? men hated those, too


    (probably also 1880s? the ladies are being compared to beetles and snails. in case that was unclear)

    (1870s, I think? the bustle itself looks early 1870s but the tight fit of the actual gown looks later)

    hoops and bustles weren’t tools of the patriarchy. they were items 1 and 2 on the 19th century’s “Fashion Trends Women Love That Men Hate” lists, with bonus built-in personal space enforcement


    Gonna add something as someone who’s worn a lot of period stuff for theatre:

    The reason you suck at doing things in a hoop skirt is because you’re not used to doing things in a hoop skirt.

    The first time I got in a Colonial-aristocracy dress I felt like I couldn’t breathe. The construction didn’t actually allow me to raise my arms all the way over my head (yes, that’s period-accurate). We had one dresser to every two women, because the only things we could put on ourselves were our tights, shifts, and first crinoline. Someone else had to lace our corsets, slip on our extra crinolines, hold our arms to balance us while a second person actually put the dresses on us like we were dolls, and do up our shoes–which we could not put on ourselves because we needed to be able to balance when the dress went on. My entire costume was almost 40 pounds (I should mention here that many of the dresses were made entirely of upholstery fabric), and I actually did not have the biggest dress in the show.

    We wore our costumes for two weeks of rehearsal, which is quite a lot in university theatre. The first night we were all in dress, most of the ladies went propless because we were holding up our skirts to try and get a feel for both balance and where our feet were in comparison to where it looked like they should be. I actually fell off the stage.

    By opening night? We were square-dancing in the damn things. We had one scene where our leading man needed to whistle, but he didn’t know how and I was the only one in the cast loud enough to be heard whistling from under the stage, so I was also commando-crawling underneath him at full speed trying to match his stage position–while still in the dress. And petticoats. And corset. Someone took my shoes off for that scene so I could use my toes to propel myself and I laid on a sheet so I wouldn’t get the dress dirty, but that was it–I was going full Solid Snake in a space about 18″ high, wearing a dress that covered me from collarbones to floor and weighed as much as a five-year-old child. And it worked beautifully.

    These women knew how to wear these clothes. It’s a lot less “restrictive” when it’s old hat.


    I have worn hoop skirts a lot, especially in summer. I still wear hoop skirts if I’m going to be at an event where I will probably be under stage lights. (For example, Vampire Ball.)

    I can ride public transportation while wearing them. I can take a taxi while wearing them. I can go on rides at Disneyland while wearing them. Because I’ve practiced wearing them and twisting the rigid-but-flexible skirt bones so I can sit on them and not buffet other people with my skirts. 

    Hoop skirts are awesome.


    Hoop skirts are also air conditioning.  If you ever go to reenactments in the South, particularly in summer, you’ll notice a lot of ladies gently swaying in their big 1860s skirts – because it fans all the sweaty bits.  You’ll be much cooler in a polished cotton gown with full sleeves, ruffles, and hoopskirt than in a riding jacket and trousers, let me promise you!  (This is part of the reason many enslaved women also enthusiastically preferred larger skirts – they had more to do than sit in the shade, but they’d get a bit of a breeze from the hoops’ movement as they were walking.)  

    They’re also – and I can’t emphasize enough how important this is – really easy to pee in.  If you’re in split-crotch drawers (which, until at least the 1890s, you were), you can take an easy promenade a few feet away from the gents and then squat down and pee in pretty much total privacy.  It gives so much freedom in travel when it’s not a problem to pee most anywhere.

    People also don’t realize that corsets themselves were a HUGE HUGE IMPROVEMENT over previous support-garment styles – and if you have large breasts that don’t naturally float freely above your ribcage (which some people’s do! but it’s not that common), corsets are often an improvement over modern bras.

    They hold up the breasts from underneath, taking the weight of them off your back.  Most historical corset styles don’t have shoulder straps, so you’re not bearing the weight of your breast there, either, and you can raise your arms as far as your dress’s shoulder line allows (which is the actually restrictive bit – in my 1830s dress, literally all I can do is work in my lap, but in my 1890s dress I can paddle a kayak or draw a longbow with no trouble.  Both in a full corset).  They support your back and reduce the physical effort it takes to not slouch, helping avoid back pain.  They’re rigid enough that you don’t usually have to adjust your clothing to keep it where it belongs.  They’re flexible – if you’re having a bloaty PMS day you just … don’t lace it as tightly, and if your back muscles are sore you can lace it a little tighter.  And you can undo a cup (or, y’know, not have breast cups) to nurse a baby without losing any of the structural integrity of the garment.

    I do educational/historical dressing and people are really insistent, like, “The corset was invented by a man, wasn’t it?”  “Actually, women were at the forefront of changing undergarment styles throughout the 19th century!” “But it’s true that it was invented by a man.”  

    Uh, well, it’s hard to say who “invented” the style but it’s very likely that women’s dressmakers mostly innovated women’s corsets and men’s tailors mostly innovated men’s corsets, honey.  Because those exist too.


    This post is incredible. 😱


    I love this post so much! Honestly the more you do research in women’s garments in history the more you realize how innovative and interesting a lot of them are!


    lilith was created before eve from the same soil as adam to be his wife 

    she refused to lay beneath him, wishing to be his equal, only willing to have sex with him if she was on his side or on top 

    adam tried to force her to have sex with him the way he wanted, so she left him and became a demon…

    …go off 


    i mean we could talk about how lilith was a badass who’d rather be a demon than be subservient to a man or we could talk about the allegory here where a woman who demands agency is LITERALLY demonized… or the reality that this story means that the first man in the bible (or the first man ever, if you subscribe to that) was a rapist! great start, boys


    this is so important. 


    I wonder how different shit would be if Adam attempting to rape Lilith was the “original sin” instead of Eve eating the apple. 


    That last comment hit me hard…


    Sometimes… demons… are better


    the stuff I learned today about my brain and addiction was really interesting

    if you were to scan an addict and a nonaddict’s brains, they would be lit up differently. the frontal cortex of our brain controls who we are, our morals, our decision making and reasoning skills, etc.

    our mid brain handles life or death survival processing. there is no consciousness at this level. it’s only ability is to try to avoid death and keep us alive

    in an addict, the drug of choice triggers the mid brain while damaging/shutting down the frontal cortex. it feels like we have no control over it because in a way we really don’t; the part of our brain that makes logical choices isn’t functioning. our mid brain that thinks we’re dying is functioning, and it sees that drug as the only means to survive


    i also learned that we each have a certain dopamine (the chemical that makes you happy) threshold. we have a “bar” that must be reached chemically to make us able to experience joy and pleasure. if you’re over the bar, you’re happy. under it, you’re sad

    addicts have set the bar so high that it frequently is the case that nothing can make them happy unless they are high first and foremost. they need a much, much larger amount of dopamine to feel joy because so many dopamine receptors have been damaged and shut down

    you know what other group of people have extremely high dopamine thresholds? children in abusive or otherwise high stress environments

    addicts and abused children both require much higher amounts of dopamine to feel happy compared to “normal” people. this is a huge contributing factor as to why a lot of these kids turn to drugs: for the first time in our lives we have the amount of dopamine we need to feel genuinely happy, and we never want to go back to being sad


    yes! the longer you go without using your drug of choice, the lower your dopamine threshold becomes until finally it is once again at normal levels. the broken dopamine receptors will heal themselves, and with therapy and medication the frontal cortex will gradually strengthen so the survival-focused midbrain has less control and actual decisions can once again be made

    yes, please do. please help spread awareness about the disease of addiction and end the stigma against it