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Aug 18 2011

Arguably the greatest invention in the history of humanity

If this movie ever plays in Morris (unfortunately unlikely), I’ll be there to watch it.

(via Jezebel.)

51 comments

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  1. 1
    Cuttlefish

    I hear Penn Jillette holds a patent that might be a close second.
    http://www.google.com/patents?vid=5920923

  2. 2
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I’m definitely going to watch this movie. Besides the awesome theme, it’s got Maggie Gyllenhaal and Rupert Everett in it.

  3. 3
    ManOutOfTime

    Paraphrasing a joke I heard on TV earlier thus year, if they could make one that also kills spiders my wife wouldn’t need me at all.

  4. 4
    mudpuddles

    Ha! One of my friends is known by her friends as “Jolly Molly”. She’ll probably want to change that after seeing this.

  5. 5
    Trebuchet

    I’ll probably never see the movie either but the trailer is (dare I say it) hysterical!

    I always wonder, however, how widespread the treatment of “hysteria” in this fashion really was 100 years ago, and how much is modern urban legend.

  6. 6
    madbull

    I think the greatest invention is the condom.
    Most of the worlds problems can be solved by just the condom.

  7. 7
    René

    What else is old?

  8. 8
    Praedico

    This is the first time in ages that a trailer has actually made me really want to see the film.

  9. 9
    Hexahelicene

    I would guess a better historical portrayal would be the short story and play called “The Yellow Wallpapers” — not nearly as generous to the woman.

  10. 10
    Jadehawk

    I always wonder, however, how widespread the treatment of “hysteria” in this fashion really was 100 years ago, and how much is modern urban legend.

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_6Lyrhy7OoXg/S8Z3ab7tAfI/AAAAAAAABnY/vXsDC0t61Mw/s1600/dr_swift.jpg

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_X7cq0i0IwXc/TNiLhTkFR5I/AAAAAAAAEkg/1xRymUmXEk0/s1600/vibrator+add.jpg

    http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4152/4975014392_438a054483.jpg

    I’m guessing it at least existed, no idea how common it was.

  11. 11
    Randomfactor

    GOT to see that. I just recently picked up a serious medical history about the historical roots of “hysteria,” going back all the way to the Egyptians. Guess I’d better read it so the movie’s climax doesn’t come as a surprise…

  12. 12
    Sili

    Is this a remake of the Kellogg film with Matthew Broderick?

  13. 13
    Chattanooga V

    Definitely not urban legend. See (if you can get your hands on a copy):

    Maines, R. (1999). The technology of orgasm: “Hysteria,” the vibrator, and women’s sexual satisfaction. Johns Hopkins University Press.

  14. 14
    Blondin

    Also #1 on the Cracked 10 Most Insane Medical Practices in History list.

  15. 15
    Randomfactor

    Is this a remake of the Kellogg film with Matthew Broderick?

    “The Road to Wellville.” This sounds different, although related.

  16. 16
    Martin Burn

    The two seconds of Queen Victoria at the end of the clip was hilarious. This is a movie I must see!

  17. 17
    Rey Fox

    I think the greatest invention is the condom.

    How about the vibrating condom?

  18. 18
    Quodlibet

    Several years ago I was manager of a technical/engineering/medical library (yep) — I recall seeing in one of the journals a reprint of an article from 1905 or thereabouts that described the problem (“hysteria”), the solution (“release of energy” or some such) and the technology with which to “treat” the “patient.” It was not a joke, it was very serious. It’s probably discussed in some detail in the book that Chattanooga V cites above.

  19. 19
    kennypo65

    My girlfriend and I are quite happy with ours. After all, since there is no afterlife, one should derive as much pleasure as one can in this life.

  20. 20
    Musca domestica

    Have to agree with the condom comment. They could’ve just tought the women to use their own fingers… Not that I’m complaining about the existence of vibrators :)

  21. 21
    Mike

    In practice, they service men pretty well too.

    .. stop looking at me like that!

  22. 22
    Augster

    This looks like the comedy counterpart to A Dangerous Method coming out in November.

  23. 23
    Hazuki

    Ahh, vibrators. Useful things. “The best part is, if *I* want to slap someone with my penis, I just need to get some duct tape and root around next to the socks for a moment. Also mine is blue :)”

  24. 24
    Pacal

    I remember reading about this sort of stuff more than 30 years ago. About how Doctors in the 19th century would “cure” women of the mythical disease of hysteria by basically jerking them off. The practice was common in some places. Basically there was a refusal to recognize that what was going on was sex and that the women were getting a sexual release. THe Doctors were basically functioning as prostitutes for the women and giving them the sexual release they wern’t, it appears, getting from their husbands etc. It was considered all above board and very proper.

    In retrospect it comes, (pun intended), as quirte batshit insane.

  25. 25
    Amphigorey

    The thing that stands out to me as a professional costumer is Maggie Gyllenhaal’s strapless black dress in a couple of scenes. It’s totally ahistorical; Victorian women did not wear strapless dresses!

  26. 26
    cervantes

    Rick Perry is the most potent combination of stupid and evil currently inhabiting Terra.

    “One woman who did not appear to be affiliated with the protesters ushered her son up to the governor and prompted him with questions for Perry like “do you believe in evolution?”

    “It’s a theory that’s out there,” Perry told the child. “It’s got some gaps in it. In Texas we teach both Creationism and evolution.”

  27. 27
    Russel Steapot

    Whereas Creationism is nothing but gap!

    Anyway, going to see if I can get tickets to see Hysteria at the Toronto International Film Festival.

  28. 28
    Randomfactor

    And that’s why Texas is in the bottom ten states for education, maybe?

  29. 29
    maureen.brian

    Amphigorey,

    John Singer Sargent, ‘Madame X’ – the one in the Metropolitan Museum is 1884 and there are a couple of earlier versions. It is believed that the jewelled straps were added after it was finished – possibly to keep the critics quiet!

    See here.

  30. 30
    maureen.brian

    Sorry about that!

    http://jssgallery.org/paintings/Madame_X.htm — is the URL and I’ll work out how to do this eventually.

  31. 31
    'Tis Himself

    Mike #21

    .. stop looking at me like that!

    How should we be looking at you?

  32. 32
    Circe of the Godless

    Musca at # 20:

    “they”??? ie men??? Gee, I’d bet women had actually worked out how to masturbate without men having to tell them but thanks for being so generous. Maybe they hadn’t, silly pink brained things.
    Also you might want to consider the effect of religious society that worked to control and shut down sexuality in women & still does to this day.

  33. 33
    David Marjanović, OM

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_6Lyrhy7OoXg/S8Z3ab7tAfI/AAAAAAAABnY/vXsDC0t61Mw/s1600/dr_swift.jpg

    Don’t you just love that the man with the gentle hands has a poorly concealed boner? *toothy grin*

    “they”??? ie men??? Gee, I’d bet women had actually worked out how to masturbate without men having to tell them but thanks for being so generous. Maybe they hadn’t, silly pink brained things.
    Also you might want to consider the effect of religious society that worked to control and shut down sexuality in women & still does to this day.

    You just contradicted yourself. Religious fear of their own sexuality can of course prevent people from working out how to masturbate.

  34. 34
    Dave, the Kwisatz Haderach
    I think the greatest invention is the condom.

    How about the vibrating condom?

    They make those?!? Excuse me, I need to go shopping!

  35. 35
    kantalope

    Soooo,
    Looking for employment. Could I setup shop for hysteria cures and call it alternative medicine?

    pleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease – say yes.

    Have to tell the wife it is telemarketing or somesuch though.

  36. 36
    andyo

    Also #1 on the Cracked 10 Most Insane Medical Practices in History list.

    Please do NOT link to Cracked on a weekday. Got stuff to do. Or I’ll link to TVTropes in revenge.

  37. 37
    Cath the Canberra Cook

    Circe, you’d think so, but it’s amazing what a hefty dose of Victorian prudishness, a total lack of sex education, and a “do not touch!” ethos can manage to suppress. Especially when you have no internets. Sex education was a big part of 70s feminism for a reason.

  38. 38
    Stogoe

    Victorian women did not wear strapless dresses!

    Needs moar suspension of disbelief.

  39. 39
    Francisco Bacopa

    You do know that this film is based in part on a book called The Technology of the Orgasm?

    That rotating feather thing seems unsanitary. Most of the early stuff in the book is a lot like what we have today.

  40. 40
    Ichthyic

    “They make those?!? Excuse me, I need to go shopping!”

    close enough:

    condom plus vibrating cock ring

  41. 41
    Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM

    Besides the awesome theme, it’s got Maggie Gyllenhaal and Rupert Everett in it.

    Not to mention Hugh Dancy, whom, amusingly, I just saw in Adam earlier today! Good cast :)

  42. 42
    Alexander the Good Enough

    @ 13. Chattanooga V, the book you recommend, The Technology of Orgasm: “Hysteria,” the Vibrator, and Women’s Sexual Satisfaction (Johns Hopkins Studies in the History of Technology) [Paperback] Rachel P. Maines (Author), is readily available from our friends @ Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/43fqtsk

    Also, a friend of mine with a PhD in Human Sexuality gave an interesting post-play talk on this subject last March. Here she blogs about it in connection with this movie: http://tinyurl.com/42f43p8

    Enjoy!

  43. 43
    maureen.brian

    Stogoe,

    Please see 29 & 30.

    No need for suspension of disbelief, just take your time machine to Paris where they were somewhat more liberated than in the good old USofA.

    The scandal about this painting was not that such dresses did not exist. They did exist. It is just that they were worn in private situations, not at vast public balls or to walk down the street. There was still some doubt among the snooty classes about letting any painting of a recognisable “lady” be displayed in public, in a gallery. It is hard at this distance to know which departure from good manners initially triggered the fuss.

    Art history now! The things you need to know to play at this blog!

  44. 44
    Mad

    Guys, your advertising is really weird, check this one:

    https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-F1NzfNf71UQ/Tk4XudgGFsI/AAAAAAAAAGc/30ff4b-rGqI/w402/Screen%2BShot%2B2011-08-19%2Bat%2B9.57.52%2BAM.png

    ( I hope the link stays valid )

    This is in German, it says “Pilgrimage to the holy land, uncover the roots of your christianity”. Its an advert for “holyland-pilgrimage.org” I also often get advertising ( especially on blogs like Skepchick or Pharyngula ) for the “naughty stuff”.

    Cheers,
    Mad

  45. 45
    Musca domestica

    Circe of the Godless says:
    18 August 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Musca at # 20:

    “they”??? ie men??? Gee, I’d bet women had actually worked out how to masturbate without men having to tell them but thanks for being so generous. Maybe they hadn’t, silly pink brained things.
    Also you might want to consider the effect of religious society that worked to control and shut down sexuality in women & still does to this day.

    Then why the fuck did they go to the doctor instead of doing it themself? With “they”, I meant the doctors who came up with the “treatment”, they just happened to be mostly men at that time period. I’m a woman, and figured it out by myself, I’m just going with what was in the trailer. And that’s why it’s so funny to us (or maybe just sad/slightly amusing/rage inducing, depending on the “us”). There are also women who can’t learn it on their own, even if they know masturbation exists, and want to do it.

  46. 46
    David Marjanović, OM

    Circe, you’d think so, but it’s amazing what a hefty dose of Victorian prudishness, a total lack of sex education, and a “do not touch!” ethos can manage to suppress. Especially when you have no internets. Sex education was a big part of 70s feminism for a reason.

    Yeah. Victorian advice to little girls: “When you take a bath, strew sawdust on the water so that you may be spared the sight of your shame.” Imagine actually growing up in this mindset.

    That’s also where psychoanalysis comes from: exactly such women were Freud’s patients.

  47. 47
    Bernard Bumner

    Presumably, even for those who had worked it out for themselves, there was a significant difference between shameful and corrupting self-indulgence, and a legitimate medical procedure carried out by a professional doctor?

  48. 48
    Rawnaeris

    Y’all are not giving anywhere near enough power to religion. I grew up in a borderline fundy home, and finally kicked religion in the ass about 3 years ago. I’m one of ‘those females’ who did have to be taught.

    Until about 2 years ago, I had no fuckin’ clue women could masturbate. My husband, who at the time was my boyfriend, and I went to see ‘The Ugly Truth’. Since that movie has some female masturbation in it, my husband asked me what my preferred method was. He was completely shocked that I never had. He encouraged me to try it. I ended up having to go online and researching it, because I didn’t even know where to start. Vibraters are pretty awesome, as I’ve never had much luck with just my fingers.

  49. 49
    Rawnaeris

    Y’all are not giving anywhere near enough power to religion. I grew up in a borderline fundy home, and finally kicked religion in the ass about 3 years ago. I’m one of ‘those females’ who did have to be taught.

    Until about 2 years ago, I had no fuckin’ clue women could masturbate. My husband, who at the time was my boyfriend, and I went to see ‘The Ugly Truth’. Since that movie has some female masturbation in it, my husband asked me what my preferred method was. He was completely shocked that I never had. He encouraged me to try it. I ended up having to go online and researching it, because I didn’t even know where to start. Vibraters are pretty awesome, as I’ve never had much luck with just my fingers.

  50. 50
    Rawnaeris

    Arrrgh, sorry about the double post, folks. I’m posting from an iPad, so the caching probably screwed up.

  51. 51
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Arrrgh, sorry about the double post, folks. I’m posting from an iPad, so the caching probably screwed up.

    Don’t worry about, I’m just happy you finally learned about getting yourself off.

    And I mean that in the least creepy way possible.

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