View the H-Histsex Discussion Logs by month
View the Prior Message in H-Histsex's August 2011 logs by: [date] [author] [thread]
View the Next Message in H-Histsex's August 2011 logs by: [date] [author] [thread]
Visit the H-Histsex home page.
Sent: 17 August 2011 20:18 After watching the trailer just now, I found myself troubled by several aspects. I haven't seen the film or read the book, so I can't comment on those works. Based on the trailer itself, here are my immediate impressions: First, women's sexuality appears to be treated as comical, as slightly ridiculous spectacle rather than passion worthy of being taken seriously. Second, women's sexuality is seen as dependent upon men. While in some works this dependency manifests as phallocentrism, here it appears to manifest in the androcentric archetype of the heroic man as scientist. This read as 'damsel in distress' the scientific version. Three, I discerned no hint of the terrible damage the 'hysteria' diagnosis did to women and how women's aspirations and reports of sexual violence were discounted as pathology. While this may have been intended as 'sexual fantasy' rather than historical truth, I have seen many film projects receive undue credibility as 'accurate'. (The recent film 'The Help', with its dangerously inaccurate characterisations, is one such example.) Four, the cavalier attitudes of these 'scientists' in the trailer seemed to normalise men's cluelessness about women's bodies. Five, as a corrolary to my second point, the universe constructed in this trailer is blatantly heterosexist (not to mention ethnocentric and classist). In summary, I am unimpressed and would probably only watch this film in the privacy of my dwelling, and then only when surrounded by a few like-minded people who would be irked or amused by some of the same problems. I will be impressed when a film about women's sexuality and sexual agency transcends petty orgasm humour to address the substantive history of sexuality in a way that evokes laughter without trivialising women's desires. As a man who found the historical glosses in 'Kinsey' troubling despite the stellar acting, I will probably see this only so that I can critique it fairly and intelligently. If anyone has seen this film and can recommend it for reasons other than comic relief or film criticism, I would be interested in your insights. I'm interested in hearing more about the book. Respectfully, Gavi On Wed, Aug 17, 2011 at 2:32 AM, Hera Cook <email@example.com> wrote: > Well the film seems to have it all over the book, inasmuch as even the more > credulous viewer will surely pause before taking this as historical truth? > > It is a sexual fantasy - as was the book. > > I always loved Maggie Gyllenhaal and I hope the film does more with her > than the trailer suggests. > > And after all recalling to an earlier question - wouldn't we all like to be > in the same category as Master's and Johnson's favourite female research > subjects? These women had only to hop on a laboratory table and wave their > hand in the direction of their genitals to have 5 or 6 orgasms. Well perhaps > it was harder work at times.... > > Does anyone know what Rachel P. Maines, author of The technology of > orgasm: "hysteria," the vibrator, and women's sexual satisfaction, 2001, is > doing now? > > > http://www.cinemablend.com/new/Trailer-For-Maggie-Gyllenhaal-s-Vibrator-Comedy-Hysteria-26240.html > > Cheers, > Hera > -- Mr Y. Gavriel Ansara, MSc (PhD Candidate) 席嘉力 آتش جاوید גבריאל יוסף 'Zoos are full, prisons are overflowing... my, how the world still dearly loves a cage.' -Maude ٠•●♥Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ♥●•٠·˙ PhD Researcher & Academic Tutor University of Surrey, Department of Psychology http://www.psychology.heacademy.ac.uk/s.php?p=217 Teaching Faculty, The Kerulos Ctr http://kerulos.org/