Girls wearing pants and roughhousing is what passed for shocking smut at the turn of the century.
Bifurcated Girls: it only sounds serial killer-y. Slasher movies didn't exist in 1903, so bifurcated, or "split in two," didn't have violent implications. It just meant girls wearing pants, bifurcated so each of their legs was defined (as opposed to a dress). Apparently, the outline of a woman's leg was the porniest thing publishable when Teddy Roosevelt was President.
These images, published in Vanity Fair (not that Vanity Fair. This one existed from 1902-1904 and has been called the "first American men's magazine") and excavated by the Public Domain Review, are surprisingly racy, though, showing women wrestling and spanking each other. These "gay girls in trousers" were ahead of their time. "Bifurcated Girls" proves that men have always been into girl-on-girl, and that "have rough house" is a funny sexual euphemism.
[h/t Dangerous Minds]
Images via Public Domain Review.