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7 “Innocent” Things That Would Shame Victorian Women, and We Do Them Every Day

The Victorian era lasted from 1837 to 1901. During this time in Great Britain, there were a lot of social reforms. The etiquette that we still use today was created at that time, but the state of women’s affairs was pretty miserable and very well regulated. In order to avoid being humiliated and mocked, Victorian women were supposed to follow a lot of rules that described every aspect of their lives: from their personal hygiene to the way they should respond to jokes with a double-meaning.

1. It was inappropriate to even mention women’s underwear.

© Gertrude Käsebier / Wikimedia

It was believed that even mentioning women’s underwear could spark an unhealthy interest in body parts. When talking about this, a Victorian lady said, “They are not the things we talk about, my dear; we try not to think about them.”

By the way, a modern person would most likely think that the underwear of the past were pretty vulgar. The thing is that the unmentionables (the pantaloons that they wore instead of underwear) did not have an inseam. So, instead there was a hole in the middle. This is why can-can was so popular and risqué in its time.

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