Brought Men to Their Knees
January 16, 2009 10:04 PM   Subscribe

"Well behaved women rarely make history," said Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. Scandalous Women brings you the lives, loves, and sexual adventures of some of the most fascinating women who rocked the world. Like Olimpia Maidalchini who managed to achieve something that no woman ever has, for the 11 years of her brother-in-law Innocent X's reign as pope, Olimpia was the real power at the Vatican; or Elizabeth Armistead, wife of a cabinet minister, courtesan to many. Read the bios and follow the tales of nearly a hundred women of scandalous pursuit from Mata Hari to Typhoid Mary.
posted by netbros (14 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

I went back 10 pages and it was like rebellious/noteworthy nonwhite women didn't exist, save the obligatory February thing. Thanks anyway. They skipped over too much for me.
posted by cashman at 10:16 PM on January 16, 2009

" was like for the most part rebellious..."
posted by cashman at 10:17 PM on January 16, 2009

posted by klanawa at 10:31 PM on January 16, 2009

"It is why you have never heard of me", said Cranberry primly.
posted by Cranberry at 11:37 PM on January 16, 2009

The writing is pretty bad in the one piece about Olimpia Maidalchini, but the subject is definitely fascinating. For instance:

Now a widow in perpetual mourning, more because black was slimming then out of any great love for her husband, Olimpia was now the power behind the throne. If anyone wanted anything done, or to get through to the Pope they had to go through her. Now Olimpia had the chance to have riches beyond her wildest dreams. It was almost a given that the family of the Pope stole from the Papal treasury and Olimpia did more than her fair share, wheeling and dealing in papal offices. Not that she kept all the money for herself. She dowered many dowerless girls, and allowed gave the prostitutes of Rome her protection.

Great subject, poor writer.
posted by blixco at 5:37 AM on January 17, 2009

Well behaved women rarely make history

Yes, and well behaved historians rarely make women.
posted by eriko at 5:58 AM on January 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

save the obligatory February thing

I was going to make a project out of reading this entire blog until I noticed the "February thing". Sally Hemmings is listed as the subject of a future post. I'll be checking to see if hers doesn't show up until February and if so, then I'll have to be asking the blogger what's up with that. Thanks for the tip.
posted by fuse theorem at 7:13 AM on January 17, 2009

The Typhoid Mary story turned out to be a heck of a lot cooler than I thought it would be. Seems like most entries on her are one or two sentences long.

That would actually make a pretty cool movie. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie? Love In The Time of Typhoid?
posted by Xoebe at 7:17 AM on January 17, 2009

Define well behaved. Define history, for that matter.
posted by IndigoJones at 8:17 AM on January 17, 2009

ooh, how did I miss this interesting post?! Scandalous women is definitely an interesting topic.

Christine Keeler
and Clare Booth Luce come to mind. I wish the blog owner had a list one could search though, an index.

Thanks netbros.
posted by nickyskye at 8:41 AM on January 17, 2009

Nicky, look through the tags about half-way down each page on the right side for a pseudo list.
posted by netbros at 8:44 AM on January 17, 2009

"Well behaved women rarely make history," said Laurel Thatcher Ulrich.

And interestingly enough:
[Interviewer:] The phrase you coined, "Well-behaved women rarely make history," has come to mean that if you're a woman and you want to make history you need to misbehave. And in fact you meant the opposite, as in "Well-behaved women don't get their due."

[Thatcher:] Exactly. . . .
posted by flug at 10:35 AM on January 17, 2009 was like rebellious/noteworthy nonwhite women didn't exist."

Almost didn't exist. After a quick look-through, there are two others that you'd missed - Cleopatra and Lucy Parsons, bringing the total to three: far too few. Why not include Phoolan Devi "India's Bandit Queen"? It's got everything. Action, explosions, love, politics, rebellion and a cast of thousands. She's the only one that springs to mind after one cup of coffee. I know there are tons more.
posted by Zack_Replica at 12:23 PM on January 17, 2009

I should add - that complaint aside, the bios make for an interesting read. Good find.
posted by Zack_Replica at 12:27 PM on January 17, 2009

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