...are, frequently, downright awful. For example, in England:
“...the Contagious Diseases Acts of 1864, 1866, and 1869, which allowed the forcible medical examination of any woman believed to be a prostitute, and her detention in special isolation hospitals.” “By 1869, any woman in a garrison town could be arrested on mere suspicion of being a prostitute and submitted to a vaginal examination against her will. Those with an infection could then be incarcerated in a ‘lock hospital’.” These women could be held against their will for anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months, and forced to have a number of highly unpleasant “treatments”. (Both quotes from How to be a Victorian by Ruth Goodman)
I can’t even imagine what those women went through, just for daring to be female in public. Ugh. Horrible. The only good thing that can be said about this is that it finally outraged enough people that those Acts were repealed, which gave a boost to early feminism.