Episode 16 – Breakups, Blues, and Brothels

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Victorian sluts

Grace Peixotto

Entrepreneur, whore, and daughter to a Jewish priest, Grace Peixotto was Charleston’s most notorious lady of the night. Grace was born on the island of St. Thomas in 1817 and moved to South Carolina with her parents as a wee babe. Following the death of both of her parents, Grace took her inheritance and invested it in the New York stock market – PSYCHE! Grace took her coins and pumped them all into revolutionizing the whoring industry of Charleston.

She first built a 3-story brick building on Beresford Street that came to be known as the Big Brick Brothel. She gathered a gaggle of “respectable, ladylike whores” (to use Grace’s own words) and opened her doors and legs for business. The existing heaux game in Charleston was NOT cute – it consisted primarily of mattress warehouses, gigantic open rooms full of cots where people banged it out with zero privacy. Duh-skusting. Grace elevated game by turning the bottom floors of her establishment into a parlour where men could smoke cigars and drink bourbon before heading upstairs to PRIVATE rooms for a little shebang.

Her establishment quickly became popular for its discretion and high-brow vibe, she bought additional properties, and she made BANK off of her brothel. When she died in 1883(ish), her funeral was the second most widely attended in Charleston history, second only to former U.S. Vice President John C. Calhoun. Her Big Brick building was an operational brothel until 1942, when it was shut down by the U.S. Navy (too many sick sailors, perhaps?). In 1996, the building was purchased by, I am not fucking kidding you, the Balzac Brothers. Talk about a happy ending.

Learn more about Grace Peixotto in “Episode 16 – Breakups, Blues, and Brothels.”

-CJ

Janis Joplin

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Janis fucking Joplin, need I say more? A delicate, radiant, sweet sunflower with the voice of 45 person Baptist choir. Janis was a beautiful soul with a musical gift that could heal, connect, accept, and provide meaning to so many. Although her life was short, Janis remains a legend today, tomorrow, and forever. She was a simple girl, seeking much of the same things in life as you and I. She wanted friendship, she wanted acceptance, she wanted appreciation, and she wanted to her heard and loved for all that existed within that small stature and large vocal chords. Fuck, I’m only 1 Baileys and coffee deep and I’m already tearing up! Janis is my greatest idol, she’s someone I’ve looked up to for years and someone who’s life I’ve subconsciously replicated in many ways – good and bad.

As a kid in Texas, Janis didn’t fit in. She wasn’t pretty enough, she wasn’t skinny enough, and she couldn’t connect with the vibe of her community or classmates. She was an outcast, but she used this rejection to her advantage and created an edgy image in an attempt to belong to something. She was able to attract a group of musically inclined guy friends and they dove head first into the blues and jazz world. Later, Janis fled to San Francisco so she could finally coexist in a world full of her kind of people.

But like most of those who flee to San Francisco, Janis found it difficult to execute her game plan as she was overwhelmed by sex, drugs, music, and mayhem. Janis had a few lesbian lovers, she banged it out with Pig Pen from the Grateful Dead, she saw Otis Redding live after being dosed with acid, she joined the Big Brother Band on backup vocals and tambourine… but ultimately took over and became the star of the show. The crowds wanted Janis, soooo what’s a girl to do?!

“Don’t compromise yourself, you’re all you got”

Listen to “Episode 16 – Break Ups, Blues & Brothels” to learn the full story of the “first lady of rock’n’roll”.

-Melissa

Episode 15 – Witch Titties at the Moose Lodge

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Marie Laveau

Marie Laveau is perhaps the most notorious and mythologized character in New Orleans’ colored history. While she wasn’t the first, she was certainly the most famous priestess of NOLA’s voodoo tradition. Much of her story is shrouded by mystery and time, but we do know that she was a Creole woman (a person of mixed descent, usually Afro/European, always a baptized Catholic) and a free woman of color in the era of American slavery. She was a devout Catholic by day and a voodoo priestess by night. Local legend went that Marie Laveau never grew old and could not die – a legend likely strengthened by the fact that she had a voodoo priestess daughter, also named Marie Laveau. People often mistook mother for daughter, or vice versa. This public confusion around Marie Laveau’s age and identity added to the myths around her immortality.

Marie the 2nd was perhaps even more well-known than her mother, hosting massive weekly voodoo gatherings on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain that drew hundreds of attendees. Both women provided medicinal and ritual aid to their community, though the exact extent of their powers remains unknown. Some New Orleanians adored the Laveaus, others despised them, but just about everybody in town feared and respected them. To this day, Marie Laveau is invoked in voodoo rituals, and her indelible mark can be found in the art, legend, and spiritual landscape of New Orleans. The body of Marie Laveau the 1st is supposedly entombed in New Orleans’ St. Louis No. 1 Cemetery in the French Quarter. The final resting place of Marie Laveau the 2nd has never been found.

Learn more about the history and myths surrounding Marie Laveau in “Episode 15 – Witch Titties at the Moose Lodge.”

-CJ

“La Planchada”

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In the Sisterhood’s SpOoOoOky episode, Melissa introduced “La Planchada” a legendary female ghost in Mexican folklore. “La Planchada” was a nurse that worked at Hospital Juarez in Mexico City who continues to appear in her old 1920’s nurse uniform, perfectly ironed and crisp. Legend has it this ghostly nurse was a real woman by the name of Eulalia who had a reputation for being loved by her patients due to her undivided attention and care. *Dun, dun, duuunnnnnn*. But then a sexy doctor joined the hospital staff, gave Eulalia that good D, proposed to her, cheated on her, broke her heart and left her in a deep state of depression. Eulalia was so distracted by sorrow that she began neglecting her patients, resulting in the death of a patient under her watch. Oops!

Eulalia fell ill realizing the horrible mistake she’d made, and ultimately died in the hospital where she worked. Alas, Eulalia came back reincarnated as “La Planchada” and floats the hospital hallways checking up on patients, many of which have seen her and been cured by her. Talk about a comeback! You go Glen Cocoooo, I mean, La Planchada!

Check out “Episode 15 – Witch Titties at the Moose Lodge” to learn more about this spooky legendary tale + bonus story about Melissa fear of raccoons!

-Melissa

Episode 14 – When Fortune Comes Knocking

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The Fox Sisters

On a March night in 1848, the Fox household in Hydesville, NY was besieged by a series of loud rappings. It was if an unseen force was knocking against the walls. The Foxes asked their daughters, Kate and Margaret if they were making the noise, but they insisted they were not. The parents could hear the rappings even while looking at their daughters, who were sitting perfectly still. Convinced that the house was haunted, the Foxes fled to a neighbor’s house, where the noises persisted. It quickly became clear that the Fox daughters were able to communicate with the knocking spirits by asking them to spell out words using number correspondence (1 knock for A, 2 for B, 3 for C, etc.). When the eldest Fox daughter Leah came home to see what all the noise was about, she quickly realized the family had something special (a.k.a., $$$$$$).

Within two years, the Fox Sisters were performing seances to paying public audiences and to private, high-class clients. Their act marked the beginning of the Spiritualist Movement – in the subsequent decades, tens of thousands of mediums posted professional ads in newspapers across the country.  The Fox Sisters became massive celebrities, touring the US and Europe to show off their supernatural abilities. Leah served as the road manager and ring-leader, while the Kate and Margaret communicated directly with the spirits.

But the rapid fame came with a cost. The sisters quickly fell into a vortex of alcoholism, family drama, and poverty. In October 1888, Margaret held a press conference at the New York Academy of Music to admit that the seances had been an act – the sisters had been making the noises by cracking their toes against the floor. While she later reneged on this confession, the damage had been done. The public lost interest in the Spiritualist movement, and the sisters lived out the rest of their lives in obscurity.

Learn more about the fascinating Fox Sisters in “Episode 14 – When Fortune Comes Knocking.”

-CJ

Carol Burnett

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I nominate Carol Burnett into the Guinness Book of World Records as the luckiest person to walk the face of the earth. Like, can I rent out her guardian angel for a day? Carol was born into the world with a predetermined fate of finding fame and success. While she deserved every bit of that fame and success due to her hard work and natural talent, she did have some type of high power witchraftery on her side assisting her along the way.

There was that time a $50 bill miraculously appeared in her grandmother’s mailbox to cover one year’s tuition at UCLA, a fund she was incapable of affording at the time. Then there was that time she attended a party where a man handed her over a $1,000 interest-free loan to relocate to NY in an attempt to kickstart her career in musical comedy; another fund she was incapable of affording at the time. Oh, and you can’t forget that time a beautiful bouquet of birthday flowers arrived at Carol’s house signed by her dear friend, Lucille Ball, several hours after the news reported Lucille Ball has died. Huh?

Carol’s ridiculously successful career included starring in sitcoms, performing on The Tonight Show, appearing in Broadway musicals, her highly popular CBS-TV special “Carol + 2”, and The Carol Burnett Show that ran for 11 years and won more than 25 awards, making Carol famous and a role model for women in comedy and television.

But why stop there?! This month, Carol  was honored at the 2019 Golden Globes where she received her own television special achievement award. Steve Carell presented her the Carol Burnett Award following an incredible slideshow of all her accomplishments. Carol graciously accepted her award and gave a thankful speech that you can watch here- a janky video of it I found on YouTube – Golden Globes – Carol Burnett Award.

Listen to “Episode 14 – When Fortune Comes Knocking” to hear Carol’s life of luck and witchcraftery + the tale of her inspiring career.

-Melissa

Episode 13 – Bumblebee Cumbersnatch

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Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace was a Victorian-era badass who designed the world’s first computer program. A bright girl from a noble family, Ada showed an aptitude and interest for math at an early age – a passion she inherited from her mother, Annabella Lovelace, who was also a Lady Math Whiz. Ada meets Charles Babbage at the age of 17, at her society debut. They develop a bond over their shared intellectual interests and maintain a correspondence for the remainder of their lives.

In 1842, Babbage’s plans for his Analytical Machine are published in a French journal. While the machine was never actually built, it represented the potential of mechanical computation. Ada Lovelace translated the paper from the French to the English. In this translation, she details a potential program function for the machine – and thus, the world’s first-ever computer program is born.

Ada Lovelace also spoke about the philosophy of artificial intelligence (AI) before computers even existed. All the way back in 1842 she posited that computers can only perform the functions that we program them for, i.e., that they are incapable of original ideas or action. Twentieth century mathematician Alan Turing referred to her assertion as “Lady Lovelace’s Objection,” and famously used it as part of his inspiration to attempt to prove that computers are capable of independent thought.

Ada is not only the world’s first computer programmer – she’s also the grandmother of computer philosophy. Learn more about her life and her amazing contributions to science in “Episode 13 – Bumblebee Cumbersnatch.”

-CJ

Clara Shortridge Foltz

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In another episode of men that fuck over women, meet Clara Shortridge Foltz, the woman who was inspired to pursue her political childhood dreams in order to support all 5 of her children after being deserted by her worthless, cheating husband. Clara bossed up and embarked on a public speaking career, taking woman suffrage as her subject. Clara wanted to take the bar exam, but she faced a California code provision that limited the practice of law to white males only. SHOCKER. So Clara bossed up again and gathered a group of sister suffragettes to lobby her Woman Lawyers Bill through the legislature asking to replace the term “white males” with “person”. Guess what, it passed! In 1878, she passed the bar exam and was the first woman admitted to the California bar.

Then, Clara applied to Hastings College of Law but was denied admission due to her gender. So what did she do? SHE BOSSED UP A THIRD TIME and sued Hastings College of Law and won admission. Note to the world, don’t waste your time telling Clara “no”, she’s just going to school your ass and steal your job. Save yourself the embarrassment.

Clara’s biggest claim to fame came in 1893 when she made her first highly public presentation of her idea of the public defender. Her then radical concept of providing public assistance to criminal defendants is used today throughout the United States.

Listen to her full life story in “Episode 13 – Bumbleebee Cumbersnatch” and witness CJ die over her newfound favorite boss bitch lawyer.

-Melissa

Episode 12 – Genesis Ch. 1, or whatever

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Hatshepsut

You know how everyone goes through an Ancient Egypt phase when they’re a kid? I went through mine a little late, at the ripe old age of 31. For several weeks at the end of 2018, I spent many nights sitting at my desk, stoned, watching any and all documentaries on Ancient Egypt that hadn’t yet been caught by Youtube’s copyright bots. I happened upon one such series that actually wasn’t boring – “Immortal Egypt” hosted by Egyptologist Joann Fletcher. (Yes – Egyptologists are a thing.) Dr. Fletcher is an eccentric and entertaining fireball, and I highly recommend anyone who is even remotely interested in Egyptian history to check out her videos.

One of Dr. Fletcher’s documentaries, “Egypt’s Lost Queens” mentioned a female pharaoh named Hatshepsut, who ruled in the 18th dynasty from 1478-1458 B.C. Largely regarded as one of Egypt’s most successful pharaohs, Hatshepsut came into power following the death of her husband Thutmose II. His heir, her stepson Thutmose III, was too young to rule, so H-shep was like ‘Mmmmm lemme just slide onto this throne here real quick.’ A prolific builder, Hatshepsut led Egypt into a period of peace and prosperity. But we almost never knew about her.

For reasons unknown, her baby back bitch step son began to erase her from the historic record at some point in his reign. He went so far as to have her name and image removed from buildings and statues. He was a real asshole about the entire thing. Luckily, Egyptologists eventually found some hieroglyphs that, loosely translated, said “Hey this was a female pharaoh. And she was fucking great.” Learn all about the Egyptian Pharaoh that history almost forgot in “Episode 12 – Genesis Ch. 1, or whatever.”

-CJ

 

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Lilith

Eve? Eve who?

The biblical book of Genesis contains two contradictory stories of humanity’s creation. The first is known as the Priestly version where God creates man and woman simultaneously. The second is known as the Yahwistic version, where God creates Adam, places him in the Garden of Eden, and then decides to provide him a companion known by the name of Eve. Isn’t it strange that God’s PR team only promotes the second story – Adam first, Eve second? Why did Lilith’s story die and get overshadowed by Eve? Ohhhh, that’s right, because Lilith dumped Adam and bounced out of the Garden of Eden to go fuck the archangel Samael.

Legend has it that Lilith and Adam fought all the time and didn’t agree on pound town. Adam wanted to be on top, but Lilith wanted a turn in the dominant position too! When compromise couldn’t be met, Lilith bounced on dat ass and left Adam alone to fend for himself. A guy, fend for himself?! The blasphemy! God replaced “first Eve” with “second Eve” to meet Adam’s need. But this time, to ensure “second Eve” wouldn’t be as strong, intelligent, or independent as Lilith, God made her from Adam’s own rib to ensure she maintain a submissive and obedient nature. But then, the snake. Don’t get me started on the snake.

Tune in to “Episode 12 – Genesis Chapter 1, or Whatever” to hear more about the original first woman that God’s PR team marketed as the sex-crazed demon who snatches up babies in the night.

-Melissa