RH Blog

The RH Blog

From Prostitute to Princess: Cinderella's Dark History

If you crave the darker side of fairy tales, Into the Woods has the Grimm gore today's Cinderella tales avoid. But if you think a bloody slipper & eye-pecking birds are the most scandalous things this story has to offer, you don't know Cinderella.

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History’s Secret: Seeking the Dark Queen

When my recent blog post on Lilith went viral, the response was overwhelming: You want to know more about Lilith! One of the most common questions you asked was, “Where does it say that Adam had a first wife in the Bible? Show me!” Of course you want to know more. Lilith, as interviewer Sarah Marcus recently noted, is a game-changer. How could it not change your worldview to learn that the first woman was not the subservient Eve, but Lilith, who looked Adam in the face and said, “I am equal.” Still… you have a life. A job. Candy to crush. You don’t have time to go chasing down the answers to your burning questions about Lilith, no matter how badly you want to know. And you want to know. Badly.

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When Santa Was a Woman: 5 Christmas Histories You Want to Know

You are probably familiar with the idea that Christmas has roots in pagan traditions. Maybe you have a vague notion that Christmas was borrowed from the winter solstice or some ancient Roman holiday. But you’re busy Christmas shopping. You have holiday travel coming up. You have stockings to hang and trees to decorate. You certainly don’t have the time to go researching the origins of Christmas.  

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The Secret History of Maleficent: Murder, Rape, and Woman-Hating in Sleeping Beauty

If you know a little of the dark underbelly of fairy tales, you know that behind the happily ever after of Disney films often lies a more macabre origin. In the tales of the Brothers Grimm, from which Disney borrowed heavily, Cinderella's step-sisters hack off a chunk of their feet trying to fit into the famous slipper, while in Snow White the evil queen is fitted with a pair of iron shoes seared in red-hot coals and forced to dance in them until she drops dead. In Disney's 1959 film Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent is the self-proclaimed "Mistress of All Evil." But what kind of woman was she, really, and what do you know of the dark secrets hidden in the stories she emerged from? In a world that is anything but Never Never Land, who has the time to go chasing down fairy tales in search of their deep dark truths? 

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You asked, we listened: More Dark Queen! And sources, too.

Hello, herstorians!

Thanks, in part, to readers like you, our most recent blog post went viral! "The Dark Queen you won't meet in Sunday School," in syndication on iPinion, has had over 20,000 views and 9.5k Facebook likes since going live last Thursday, and has given rise to a lot of interesting discussions.

There were two very important pieces of feedback that I received from this massive audience:

1) Without sources, this is just opinion; and

2) We want to know more about Lilith!

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The Dark Queen You Won't Meet in Sunday School

What if I told you that everything you think you know about the origin of womankind is wrong? If you were to ask anyone who the first woman was, according to biblical tradition, what would their answer be? Eve, right? Well, what if I told you that Eve was Adam's second wife? That Adam, in fact, had a little-known first wife? Maybe you've come across her in popular culture. As a vampire goddess in True Blood or as the namesake of an influential Jewish feminist magazine. You may even remember her from a wildly popular, woman-centric music festival of the late 1990's. But no preacher will tell you her tale from the pulpit; no rabbi will sing her praises in synagogue. If you didn't even know that Adam had a first wife, it's not your fault. Knowledge is power, and there are those who don't want you to have the kind of power that comes with knowing this woman's story.    

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Why Jezebel Is Not the Harlot History Wants Us to Hate

Have you ever been called a Jezebel or heard the name used to call a woman a slut? Likely you're familiar with Jezebel, the wildly popular women's blog, but not with the woman behind its controversial name. Perhaps you have wondered where the term comes from, or who the woman was whose name has (for far too long) been used to shame women. If you're like me, you crave knowledge and always want to learn more. But, really, who has the time to learn about every great woman in history, regardless of how useful or important her story may be? 

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Rereading the Bible As History, Beyond Sexism and Religious Intolerance

For a woman who has dedicated her life to biblical studies, I am startlingly... secular. I am fascinated by the history of the Bibleits oral origins, its six-hundred-year-period of writing and redaction at the hands of wave after wave of scribes, its modern-day influence, and, of course, its womenbut I am woefully wary of The Book's true purpose: persuading its readers to believe in one God.

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Oh, hello there!

And welcome to the RH Blog

You're probably wondering why you're here. What this whole Reviving Herstory thing is all about. Who I am. And what you'll find within these tent walls.

Well, pull up a pillow and gather around the fire; I'll snip some fresh mint for your tea.

Reviving Herstory is an act of homage. A dedication. A soft whisper that you have to lean in very close to hear, and a shout from the rooftops.

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