Hysteria: the Movie about the Invention of the Vibrator

18 Aug

Just saw this and thought others might get a bit of a kick out of it.

As a lover of the Victorian era and someone who has spent plenty of time in gender studies, I’ve always loved the history of the vibrator and the standard late 19th century treatment for “hysteria” (namely orgasm via pelvic massage)–loved that treatment both in concept and practice, that is.  I wonder if this flick will show up in my neck of the woods…

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10 Responses to “Hysteria: the Movie about the Invention of the Vibrator”

  1. SingleE August 18, 2011 at 10:20 pm #

    Oh, oh, oh, I am Sooooooo going to go see this. I was too distracted by the trailer to see when its supposed to be released, though. Must go watch it again. Heh.

  2. Patty B. August 18, 2011 at 10:33 pm #

    I haven’t been able to find a release date, SingleE. And it looks like fun. Except the anachronism of a strapless dress really bugs me (so does Maggie Gyllenhal, at least a little).

  3. KaralynZ August 19, 2011 at 5:41 am #

    Oh man, I was just going to say how much I loved Maggie Gyllenhal.

    The anachronisms might make it watchable for me. I cannot begin to tell you how much I would have loathed living in the Victorian era.

  4. Patty B. August 19, 2011 at 8:33 am #

    I wouldn’t have wanted to live then either (unless I had so much money that I could be as eccentric as I liked and people would have to deal with it), but it is a fascinating period. And more modern and less restrictive than the stereotypes sometimes acknowledge.

  5. Moriah Jovan August 19, 2011 at 9:35 am #

    Maggie Gyllenhaal. The Secretary. She rocks.

  6. Patty B. August 19, 2011 at 10:16 am #

    Never seen The Secretary. Maybe I just got a bad taste in my mouth about Maggie Gyllenhaal from one particular movie (though I don’t know what it was). I don’t actually make it to many movies. I’ll have to reassess.

  7. Moriah Jovan August 19, 2011 at 11:01 am #

    You need a strong stomach to watch The Secretary.

  8. KaralynZ August 19, 2011 at 4:43 pm #

    I found The Secretary hotter than any porn movie I’ve ever watched, but that probably tells you more about me than about the movie…

  9. anna September 14, 2011 at 7:47 pm #

    oh man so i’ve had this comment in my head FOREVER but every time i come to this site i’m nursing without a hand free! just wanted to say:

    while the movie looks HILARIOUS and i definitely want to see it, i’ll be a little unsettled if the depiction of the relationship between doctors and women, especially in the 19th and early 20th century, is purely humorous. i always found the history of ‘hysteria’ somewhat sinister, and indicative of deep cultural misogyny. and of course the ‘cure’, to me, has uncomfortable undertones not only of rape (did those women understand what was happening when they were undergoing ‘paroxysm’? did the doctors?), but also utter cluelessness about women’s sexuality. if the men didn’t recognize that what they were doing was causing female orgasm (which to me, seems implied by the fact that they didn’t call it ‘orgasm’, they called it ‘paroxysm’), what does that mean for their wives? for any women’s sex lives? were ANY women having a good time back then, apart from the hysterics who only got it from their disgusted and disinterested doctors (i read somewhere that most doctors found administering the ‘cure’ disgusting and tedious)?

    the history of hysteria is a huge tangle for me, and while it’d be great to laugh at it, i’d hate for the lessons it can teach us, both about past attitudes toward female sexuality and those of today, to be lost.

  10. KaralynZ September 14, 2011 at 7:58 pm #

    Anna I have all of those issues as well with this subject. I’m hoping this is more funny and less historically accurate.

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