The way women have been talked about through history is paved with words too misogynistic even to type — but make no mistake: catcalls, though harder to understand, don’t sound any better in Middle English. You don’t need to go back more than a few moments in time to find creepy historical quotes about women — and by "creepy," I mean that brand of creepy which is flagrantly, disturbingly sexist. Sexism is, unfortunately and unsurprisingly, one of the common threads throughout history.
Do women in the United States have it better today than our foremothers? That depends on what you mean by “better.” Yes, we've made a lot of strides in that we're no longer considered property from a legal standpoint, sexism is arguably no less commonplace today. If you want evidence of that, it’s sitting in the White House. The fact that a person can hold the highest office of power (President of the United States) with a well-documented history of saying and doing blatantly sexist things exemplifies that sexism, while different than it may have been at the inception of our country, is certainly no “better” today.
While yes, comments made in, say, 300 B.C. occurred a very long time ago, we’re not so distant from them today. Some of history’s most celebrated philosophers and writers had some pretty disparaging ideas about women. When we talk about how women have been viewed throughout history, we're also talking about the foundation on which many current ideas about women stand. The roots of sexism run deep, y'all.
Here are seven aggressively awful things that have been to influential women or about women by influential men throughout history. Proceed with caution.