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Would you believe us if we told you that for centuries, it was believed that some women could grow teeth in their vaginas that would chomp off any appendage that dares wonder? This is juste one of the many bat sh** crazy things society (and men in particular) believed about women. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of the most bizarre things people believed about women.

Bizarre Things People Believed About Women

Vagina Dentata

Dating back to Greek Mythology and found in a lot of various folklore, Vagina Dentata is exactly as the name sounds; a vagina lined with teeth. Talk about castration anxiety! Often told to young men to discourage intercourse and rape, similar stories can be found in various cultures from South America to Asia and even in Hinduism.


Bizarre Things Believed About Women: The Wandering Womb

Yes you read that right. For a suspiciously long amount of time, it was believed that women’s ‘hysteria’ was caused by their womb freely moving about their body. It was even described as an animal within an animal (Aretaeus of Cappadocia). An independent being that moved about a woman’s body and even possessed the sense of smell. It was believed it fled bad smells and was attracted to pleasant smells which is why incense was used to bring it back to its rightful place in the body. Plato even suggested that in order to prevent a wandering womb, women should have sex and have children as soon as they reached puberty. How convenient!


Bizarre Things Believed About Women: Women Who Masturbate Will Have Flat Chests

In the 1870’s, Dr.Cowan theorised that women who masturbate will experience issues with glandular development and therefore grow-up to be flat chested. Proof that there was really no limit to the oppression of women’s sexuality!



For centuries, women were burned at the Stake for being witches. It seemed that just about anything back then could have you categorised as being a witch and therefore killed: being smarter than a man or proving him wrong, being a beautiful and having red hair, having any sort of emotion (later categorised as hysteria), being infertile and the list goes on. Women with impotent husbands were also often believed to be witches for taking their manhood away and it was even believed that witches would steal men’s penises and collect them. I think the bigger question here is how could men not notice their penis had gone missing?

A manuscript image of a witch collecting penises

Menstruating Women Attract Bears

As is often the case with such myths, its origin is rather gruesome. In the late 1960’s in the Glacier National Park, a group of campers including two women were attacked by a bear. One of these women was menstruating at the time. These types of attacks were so rare that the only thing they could find to justify the attack was that the smell of menstrual blood attracted the bear. Things got so out of control that the National Park Service even issued an official guideline up until the 80s for women on their periods to avoid bear country. Camping whilst on your period has never been the most comfortable experience but let’s not go overboard here!


Menstruating Women Cause Food To Go Bad

Now the sad part is that this myth is actually still believed to this day in many parts of the world including India where many still believe that if a woman goes near food or even enters a kitchen whilst on her period, she emits something which will make food spoil. We never thought we would say this but how about letting women back into the kitchen?


  • Violette Kraemer

    Violette is the co-founder of The Women’s Journal and Marketing Director with a penchant for editorial work particularly in Health & Wellness, Beauty and Fashion. She has nearly 10 years of Marketing & PR experience in industries varying from arts to fashion, events, weddings and beauty.

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