Hysteria


I present for your (viewing) pleasure:

 

Erm… talk amongst yourselves.

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24 thoughts on “Hysteria

  1. I although I haven’t seen it, the off-Broadway play on which this was based was reviewed very favorably, and I’m sure you’d love the original title: “In the Next Room, or The Vibrator Play.” It is inspired by the loosely factual basis that the vibrator was invented during the Victorian era, to ameliorate a “female malady” called “hysteria.” Nowadays, of course, when I describe one of my girlfriends as “just hysterical,” I mean it as a high compliment.

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  2. I knew they used to call women ‘hysterical’ for all sorts of things. Any sort of depression or acting out was usually enough to earn the diagnosis.

    I believe Tasha did a post about these things (or showed old advertisements for them) on her blog awhile back, so I had heard about it. I had no idea there was a play! It looks pretty damn funny, I need to find out when it’s going to be released. I didn’t have time to do any digging earlier. Quite a cast: Jonathan Pryce, Rupert Everett, Maggie, Hugh. IMDB says only that it will be released in 2011. They also list 13 other films by the same title!

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    1. some clever film geeks should host a weekend-long film festival: show all 14 of ’em back to back. Not sure how I would dress for such an event, though – what’s the best way to appear hysterical?

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  3. Hey DD,

    Yups. I did write a post on hysteria and the sexual toys doctors used for it.

    I wonder how many women faked being ill to receive another….”treatment”. 😉

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    1. Really, though, I wonder how well-known or common this was. Like MaryJ said, it’s only partially historically accurate. Since there really isn’t much written about it, I have to think it was relegated to the very upper crust of society, people who could afford to visit very discreet doctors, and likely the less reputable quarters, the way these things seem to go.

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    2. I don’t think any of them were really ill, as we would define it – that kind of “hysteria” sounds to me like plain old lack of satisfaction.

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    3. I don’t think there was anything wrong with them either. Any woman who refused to knuckle under and do as she was told, who showed a little backbone and independent thought, was likely to find herself being called ‘hysterical.’ It was a convenient way of making something not a disease into something could be treated. Men didn’t know what to do with liberal, strong-minded women, so they declared them ill. Similar things go on today, with various things being called ‘illnesses’ or ‘diseases’ that aren’t.

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      1. You make a great point. I’ve also seen a preponderance of “learning disabilities” which are, IMO, representative of either teachers who have no respect for a person who processes information differently than the mean, OR parents who have enough money to pay for a “diagnosis” that they believe will give their kids some kind of advantage – extra time, or extra attention from the school, or the like.

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      2. And of course there’s the whole attitude in the medical community that any affliction suffered by a middle-aged woman is somehow related to menopause. They’re misdiagnosing women because of it.

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      3. There’s a certain type of doctor – not all of ’em, but too damn many IMO – who believe that menopause itself is a malady to be cured, instead of a perfectly normal phase of life. A delightful colleague a couple of years older than we are gave me this cheerful heads up last summer: “oh it was no big deal; puberty was worse!” Clearly this is not a person who needed a lot of hormone replacement therapy to help her pretend she’s something she isn’t, esp when she IS a lovely, attractive, productive member of society. In the meanwhile all those adds for Viagra and Cialis are the only proof I need that guys are more afraid of MANopause than we are of a few hot flashes or forgetful moments. (I do take my calcium supplements faithfully, however)

        BTW, have you noticed how many doctors tell people of all ages and genders that the problem is “stress related,” any time they don’t know what else to say? It’s easy to blame the “victim” when they can’t come up with anything else.

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      4. YES! This, exactly! Anything female-related = malady, something to be cured. They just don’t comprehend that there are differences between the sexes, and just because men do not go through the same thing, they assume it is a disease.

        I have a co-worker who did suffer quite a lot from the hot flashes and the mood swings and had to break down and take something. She is normally a very sweet person, but when she was in the throes of it, she became Cruella de Ville. She’d have hot flashes so bad she needed a towel to wipe the sweat. Her own sister, on the other hand, apparently suffered none of that. It’s different for everyone.

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      5. What pisses me off is that patriarchal society’s biggest beef with feminism has always been “Men and women are just DIFFERENT – can’t you get that into your stubborn heads?!” But when we say say fine; we’ll grant you that; women are physiologically different and the medical establishment ought to do all their research with an equal number of male and female subjects, they look at us like we’re – well, hysterical.

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  4. I think this movie is a nice laugh. Atleast I enjoyed the bits I seen. I would love to see this movie to see if they changed the feather or cleans it between use. I know I am weird, I am thinking of sterilization before pleasure, lol, I can’t help it.

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    1. Than when you do watch the movie please let me no. I am very curious and welcome back. I have a question I want to ask. I was going to blog about it but a good percentage of the people I talk to regular write weird and I don’t want to offend them when they read my blog via FB. I make sure look first that no one here wrote weird. Is there a new trend going on that I am not aware of? I am seeing many people starting to write weird and wondering if you might know why people are writing “I” as “i” in their sentences. It drives me a bit nuts. I know my sentences and grammar is mess up but something simple as a capital letter turning into a lowercase make no sense to me.

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      1. No idea. I see it on some blogs done very deliberately, I guess they think they’re being very avante garde, or e.e. cummings (poet who often didn’t capitalize anything), but most of the time I think it’s just laziness.

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      2. Based on my experience teaching college students, I think it’s the lazy texting influence – in Textspeak it’s considered time-saving and therefore acceptable to overlook capital letters, and I’ve seen it bleed over into students’ written work, along with the letter u in place of the word “you,” 2 instead of “to,” and the true bane of my existence: total disregard for apostrophes.

        I’m with you (not “U”) startingover – it is disturbing. I consider myself important enough to rate a capital letter.

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  5. Ya, I don’t think it is laziness because everything is appropriately capital except I. It is just disturbing. I see it from people I normally chat to who never wrote like that before. I think the next person that write like that I am going to ask them. I am sure I see it soon on FB.

    When I first seen that I thought of you. Remember when you wrote a post of the cursive will be no more one day. I was thinking poor “I”.

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  6. I recently ask one of the “i” copred and she mention what DD and you, MaryJ, said. Out of laziness. She try not to write anything in capital letter at all. Sometimes a capital letter slip in. I emailed a few people and still waiting on the rest to answer.

    I know if I blog about the uses of the letter “i” to find out I know they might be pretty upset with what I might have to say. I know my grammar is not all that. But when a person right email, blog, letter…write decent. When texting I can understand to cut it short.

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  7. I’ve gotten into the habit of asking my students why so many of them can’t be bothered with apostrophes, and I have noticed an interesting change over the last couple of years: as recently as 2-3 years ago, they know how to use them properly (in-class quizzes/exercises bore this out) but just couldn’t be bothered (the texty-laziness); a recent crop of freshmen, however, said that they wished they knew how to use them but actually do not. These kids tend to omit them for fear of using them incorrectly – kind of a “when in doubt, leave it out” philosophy. This, to me, speaks of laziness on the part of their English teachers, not on the students.

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