Only man never to have seen a woman

October 1938: 82-year-old Mihailo Tolotos died. He had lived his entire life in Greece's Mt. Athos monastery, which women were (are) not allowed to enter, and he was therefore believed to have been the only man in the world never to have seen a woman — or rather, the only man never to have been in the presence of a woman (except his mother, who died giving birth to him), because as the folks over at The Straight Dope point out, anyone who is born blind will have never seen a woman.

The Edinburg Daily Courier - Oct 29, 1938

In 1949, the Nixon Furniture Company featured the story of Mihailo Tolotos in one of their ads. They were worried that just as Tolotos had never seen a woman, perhaps the readers of the Raleigh Register hadn't seen all of Nixon's new furniture.

The Raleigh Register - Jan 7, 1949

Posted By: Alex - Wed Apr 20, 2016 - Comments (7)
Category: Gender, Men, Women, 1930s

The New Science of Same-Gender Attraction

image image

[Read left to right columns above, then left to right below]

image image

"New," that is, for 1957.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Oct 31, 2012 - Comments (8)
Category: Sexuality, Gender, Teenagers, 1950s

Gender-Differentiated Toy Film Projectors


Guess which model is for boys, and which for girls....

Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Aug 25, 2012 - Comments (9)
Category: Movies, Toys, Gender, 1960s

Science as a girl thing

EU bureaucrats, in their great wisdom, decided that the way to encourage teenage girls to pursue a career in science was not by appealing to their intelligence and curiosity, but rather by flashing images of high heels, lipstick, and makeup at them, along with the tagline: "Science, It's a Girl Thing." The inevitable outrage followed. (

It was my impression (though I don't have any data at hand to back it up, so I could be totally mistaken) that in some sciences, such as biology and medicine, women are fairly equally represented (perhaps even at risk of becoming over-represented). So in those cases science already is a "girl thing." It's the physical sciences, such as electrical engineering, that still have trouble attracting women.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jun 29, 2012 - Comments (5)
Category: Science, Gender

The Astounding She Monster

If you like the trailer above, watch the whole film below!

Watch The Astounding She Monster [1958] in Entertainment | View More Free Videos Online at

Posted By: Paul - Sat Apr 28, 2012 - Comments (3)
Category: Aliens, Movies, Sexuality, Gender, Women, 1950s, Fictional Monsters

Boys Will Be Boys

The Washington School for Boys Drama Club, circa 1910. (via Shorpy)

Posted By: Alex - Tue Apr 21, 2009 - Comments (7)
Category: Photography and Photographers, Gender, 1910s

Herrings Workers on Romance Covers

I don't think anyone will accuse Jane Liffen's article, published in a recent issue of Social Semiotics, of being overly broad in its focus. It's title is: “A very glamorized picture, that”: images of Scottish female herring workers on romance novel covers. Here's the abstract:
This article analyses portrayals of Scottish female herring workers on the covers of romance novels and investigates how far these representations conform to, or subvert, the genre of romantic fiction. Covers are analysed to establish whether they accurately portray Scottish female herring workers at their labour. If romanticisation of the women's working role is evident, the ways in which this manifests itself and the possible reasons for this romanticisation are examined. Composition of images and the mise-en-scene of covers are analysed, as well as aspects concerning the narratives of the novels, and elements of herring processing work that are noticeably absent in the depictions are also considered. These elements excluded from the covers are examined through theory relating to the abject in an attempt to ascertain whether the covers potentially provide models of female empowerment for the reader.

And here are some of the romance novel covers in question.

I'll spare you the trouble of reading the article by summarizing its findings. Gutting herrings is smelly, dirty work. This is not accurately portrayed on romance covers. (Thanks to Dave Monroe!)

Posted By: Alex - Tue Apr 07, 2009 - Comments (8)
Category: Literature, Gender

Makeup for Men

Makeup for Men is the hot new thing in the cosmetics industry. A few of the products available include:

Sport & Sun Tone Enhancer, which "simulates the healthy glow that a faint sunburn and exercise create." When sold to women it's called blush.

Confidence Corrector to hide blemishes and tattoos. I think women call this foundation.

Double Stroke Cream Mascara "for men who want handsome looking lashes without a 'made-up' effect."

And Blo-Job Bronzing Powder, "An instant tan at the end of the brush."

via Sociological Images

Posted By: Alex - Tue Feb 03, 2009 - Comments (12)
Category: Fashion, Gender

She Doesn’t Have to Shave

Following up on Alex's "Couvade" post: here's a musical exegesis of the eternal tradeoff between daily facial shaving for men, and monthly menstruation for women.

God, I miss Squeeze!

Posted By: Paul - Thu Dec 04, 2008 - Comments (6)
Category: Music, Video, Gender, Men, Women, Body Fluids, 1990s, Facial Hair

Men’s Premium Brassiere

What I find odd is that the men in the ad don't seem to need a brassiere. So are these being marketed to cross-dressers? But wouldn't cross-dressers want genuine female clothing? (via Gizmodo)

In case you want to buy one, they're available from Wish Room.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Nov 19, 2008 - Comments (12)
Category: Fashion, Gender

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Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.

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