If the recent Women’s March revealed anything, it’s that we have the power to stand up and demand change. Voices are meant to be heard, and it’s important to use them. Over the past century, there have been tons of amazing women who have dedicated their lives to supporting certain causes. Their work—whether through protests, social activism, or online campaigns—has made real change happen, ensuring that they leave the planet a better, more equal place. Here, ten women who fought for, and achieved, change.
There is a wonderful urban legend that says Egyptian queen Cleopatra ordered her servants to fill a carved out gourd with bees to stimulate her genitals, with the rhythmic buzzing inside the base turning the hollow gourd into a makeshift vibrator.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that this legend is probably fake, but it does shed light on a truth we all know: That women have always desired sexual pleasure and sought means to satisfy themselves with a little help from some creative tools.
Flash forward to today, when the vibrator is the crux of every woman’s sex toy collection; it is her trusty go-to tool. Yet what do we really know about vibrators? How did these things come about, if not for Cleopatra and her insect-gourd? Here, we trace the history of the vibrator, dating all the way back to prehistoric times.
Inspired By: Grammy Doc, grandmother
“My maternal grandma is this unapologetic aesthete. She was a glamazon who’d pop into our tiny logging town every few months in her tailored Armani, Ferragamos, and constantly upgraded convertible Mustang. When my grandfather, a civil engineer, quit his job building missiles in the ’60s, she made the dough and he took care of the kid (my mom). She got her PhD, wrote chapters in books, ran a department at the University of Washington Dental School and taught her way through an endless parade of butt-slapping chauvinist academics. She refused to be called grandma (we called her grammy doc, because of her PhD), wouldn’t pick up a knitting needle, and at age 100, she cast her ballot for Hillary.”
Sometimes a big idea begins as something small, coming when you least expect it and tacked on as a sort of hobby, playing second fiddle to your main event. Whether starting in the kitchen or dorm room, these ten brands grew in unexpected ways, surprising their founders as they became multi-million dollar companies. Here, ten women who created and built amazing companies on the side—proof that the best concepts can come when you’re pursuing something else.