!n 1880’s Dr. Joseph Mortimer Granville was a physician who patented the first vibrator as a means of more speedily inducing orgasms in female patients being treated for hysteria. The belief was that the “wandering, sex-starved womb” was said to threaten a woman's sanity and orgasms, or "hysterical paroxysms," were thought to temporarily relieve the symptoms of the disease!!
This sounds a somewhat more pleasant solution than the one offered a quarter of a century earlier by another English physician. Isaac Baker-Brown, who had at one-time been president of the Medical Society of London. He had been obsessed with surgical solutions to gynaecological problems since his early training. He had once performed an ovariotomy on his own sister. In 1858 Baker-Brown began performing clitoridectomies in his London Surgical Home for Women.
In a series of medical papers, he argued that the professional manipulation of the clitoris to induce paroxysms was no cure for hysteria. In his view, it only made the problem worse by “feeding the patient's lust for gratification”. Apparently he insisted that the only effective solution was the surgical removal of the clitoral glans. Baker-Brown promised that after a clitoridectomy, "intractable women became happy wives; rebellious teenage girls settled back into the bosom of their families; and married women formerly averse to sexual duties became pregnant."
Bet you’re glad that we don’t live in the Victorian era any more right? Except sometimes it can feel like we still do!! Consider that FGM, female genital mutilation is not much different from what Baker-Brown was doing and thousands of young women and girls are being subjected to it every day in various parts of the world.
According to UNICEF over 200 million girls and women alive today have been cut in over 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia where the practise is most common. It is done for no valid medical reason and is a violation of the human rights of the women and girls concerned.
Women around the world are the victims or a paternalistic society; very often they are seen as second class citizens and in many cultures are little more than objects that belong to the males members of the family.
The taboos that exist in certain cultures around menstruation are nothing short of extraordinary. From not being allowed to go to prayers to be made to live in a cow shed; not being allowed to prepare or cook food and even not being allowed to talk to the opposite sex.
It certain parts of the world young girls and women don’t even have access to sanitary products and so use whatever they can find – from rags to straw and rolled up leaves.
If you want to do something to help change this then check out http://binti.co.uk/ A £5 donation will pay for a year’s supply of sanitary products for a young girl. Something as little as a fiver can make a huge difference.
xx Kaz xx