How Women Took Hold Of Their Orgasms

Hysteria, the indie period flick starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, tells the story of the one woman who fought for the invention that would change the lives of millions -- the vibrator. Nice work, Mags!

When you think about it, someone had to come up with the idea, to make a machine that would give a woman a little something-something down there. You know what we mean. The invention of the vibrator had to happen somewhere, by someone.

And apparently, it was in England in the Victorian era. Gasp! Who would have thought?

Even nowadays the idea of a woman using a device to help things along is a bit of a sore subject among men. Try being the gal who came up with the grand old idea in the mid-19th century. Total buzzkill at a party. Well, almost.

Some told this woman her idea sounded a little mad, hysterical to be exact. That’s the subject of the new British romantic comedy, Hysteria, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal. So, what’s this movie about? One woman’s journey to having her voice heard when everyone else thinks she’s mad.

Maggie Gyllenhaal calls motherhood 'humbling' >>

Gyllenhaal herself says even now she’s become somewhat of a vibrator icon, if there is such a thing. A U.K. publication The Globe and Mail reports that during the filming and after, Maggie Gyllenhaal received several vibrators as gifts from friends and fans. “People just kept giving them to me,” she said.

Maggie Gyllenhaal surprised by adult toy gifts >>

SheKnows brings you this exclusive clip from Hysteria where Gyllenhaal performs opposite Hugh Dancy in a quest to gain support for her cause.

The film co-stars Jonathan Pryce (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Tomorrow Never Dies), Felicity Jones (Like Crazy) and Rupert Everett (My Best Friend's Wedding, The Importance of Being Earnest).

Hysteria is currently in theaters in select cities.

Girls just want to have fun, right?

Tags: hysteria

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Comments

Comments on "Maggie Gyllenhaal fights for her right to vibrate"

Yolanda June 05, 2012 | 12:58 PM

The vibrator, before it became a women's lib thing, was used to cure women of "hysteria". Hysteria was brought on because of the seriously repressed nature of Victorian culture, so women would never have an orgasm their whole married life and it would drive them crazy. So the doctor would cure her of her hysteria, by giving her an orgasm. I'm not sure Gyllenhaal's character would have been for that....

someone who watches a movie BEFORE reviewing it, June 03, 2012 | 6:40 PM

Wow,,next time maybe you should WATCH the movie BEFORE making an fool out of yourself. You sound like an uninformed moron.

Tina May 30, 2012 | 8:10 PM

I'm glad I clarified, Emma. I honestly am not certain that Jenna Milly has actually seen this movie, based on her account. I hope you do see it, and wish most people would, as it speaks to important issues, is filled with wonderful period costuming, has a delightful narrative, and contains some excellent performances (I think Rupert Everett deserves an Oscar nod for best supporting actor in this film, in fact). "Hysteria" is SO much more than some silly tale about the invention of the vibrator, as Milly suggests. This article is bogus.

Emma May 30, 2012 | 1:46 PM

Very interested by your comment Tina! After reading the article and then watching the trailer, I felt that the two were contradictory! It doesn't seem like Maggie's character is the advocate for the device at all. Rather, she seems to think this whole idea is absurd. I'm interested in seeing it more now after your comment.

Tina May 30, 2012 | 11:07 AM

I watched this movie Sunday and your story is completely erroneous. Maggie's character is fighting for women's rights to education, the right to vote, and the right to an egalitarian existence in an oppressive and patriarchal society. The vibrator is invented in tandem by the characters Hugh Dancey and Rupert Everett play. I love this movie, but your article is attempting to capitalize on the scintillating subject of the vibrator (which Gyllenhaal's character scoffs at because it is being used to "treat" bored housewives of the elite white pretentious upper-class of English society: she has greater concerns and doesn't speak much on the contraption itself). The only harm in that is that by doing so, you are misleading readers on the much more important dialogue and message of the movie.

Shanee Edwards May 30, 2012 | 9:56 AM

Go Maggie! I knew electricity would finally be good for something!

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