Why Women should thank Victorians

March 31, 2012

I saw the most amusing historical movie during a film marathon last night and I just couldn’t abstain from writing about it today as it depicts a period marked by one incredible invention all women, especially the lonely depressed ladies with cats, should prize enormously: after the sewing machine, the fan, the toaster, and the teakettle, roll the red carpet for the electric vibrator, a domestic tool no house must lack precisely in our kind of society!

We modern humans tend to have this awfully prejudiced impression that old Victorians lived in utter prudishness, chastity and by the abstinent canons religion shallowly imposed, genuine saints from the Bible who repressed any vice in favor of atonement. No, really. With this type of intuition you’d lose the lottery for the happy people of the 19th century were, be prepared, the epitome of elegant depravity, pleasure centers concealed by crinoline dresses and in full-length trousers better than presently as they could effortlessly keep the appearances unharmed within these superficial perimeters.

So the Victorians gambled, cultivated vanity and fornicated galore in their perfectly and seldom not that perfectly screened intimacy, men freer than women who sought to emancipate nonetheless, gaining same privileges their sex rivals boasted to have at their fancy Club meetings (while the docile wives tended the household affairs). No wonder half the female population of London was diagnosed with hysteria, a wrongly interpreted mind disease majorly provoked by sexual frustration at widows and young ardent spouses of puritans or homosexuals who had to be treated in private “cabinets” with vaginal massage… by hand.

It’s this most amusing scene in the film recommended above which depicts gorgeously how such a curing session proceeded, where and what was the doctor’s position. You can imagine it was terribly wearing for the fellow, not to mention a tad distressing and gross in the case of Methuselah patients spreading…

Thank Gos someone was witty enough to invent the electrified version and create a very useful vibrator the women could take home thus spearing one’s time and hand-ache. Mr. Mortimer Granville and his wealthy scientific friend Lord Edmund St. John-Smythe fathered the first object of this kind in the 1880’s with a huge success the movie celebrates nicely under Tanya Wexler’s direction.

The suffragettes, especially, were tremendously happy with this innovation for how would have they resisted rejecting intercourse if the vibrator wasn’t there to support their cause?

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6 Responses to “Why Women should thank Victorians”


  1. I have to watch this film – I told my boyfriend about how and why the vibrator was invented a while back and he didn’t believe me. Can’t believe they made a film about it! Great post.


    • it’s quite unbelievable, isn’t it? who would think such a thing could be invented by the prudish victorians? i enjoyed each and every bit of the movie even if it wasn’t an oscar production! your boyfriend will certainly adore it!

  2. Susan Ozmore Says:

    This is wonderful! Full of surprises our feminist Victorians!


  3. Oh, you never fail to amaze me, milady. Wouls it surprise you if I confessed that I didn’t think the Victorians were so docile or decent…at all?


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