Vibrators

1475 Words 6 Pages
The ‘Buzz’ on Vibrators

Suppressed sexuality and coy, coquettish femininity are nothing new to the world of women. Women are told to be polite, appreciative, and at all costs, protect their ‘womanhood,’ also known as their sexuality. Yet, women for ages have been fighting this oppression and pushing the limits of their physical roles as sexual beings; ancient Greek women used sex toys to illicit pleasure, and Asian women have been doing the same for a thousand years. There have been vast improvements in women’s sex toys, but exposure of them has been continually stifled by the overwhelming tone of patriarchy. By analyzing the vibrator in Wendy Griswold’s cultural diamond I will show how the agents of the vibrator patented women’s
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In using Griswold’s cultural diamond, we must identify the agents, the creators of the vibrator, to fully understand its place in the social world. In 1869, George Taylor designed and patented the first steam-powered vibrator. Unfortunately, though the device did assist in “curing” these women of their Hysteria, it was costly, inefficient, and labor intensive to manufacture. Luckily, along came Joseph Mortimer Granville, designer of the first battery-operated, portable vibrator (manufactured by the Weiss Company). It was after this breakthrough that vibrators were created at tremendously fast rates; by 1900, “more than a dozen manufacturers began producing both battery-powered vibrators and models that operated from line electricity”. These initial creators of the vibrator provided a fast, efficient method of treatment, but who benefited more, the doctors or the patients? Griswold’s diamond would perhaps read that doctors, indirectly, were one of the agents of the vibrator; it was their need that prompted other physicians (such as Granville) to begin searching for a solution. Yet, more overtly, they are the receivers of this cultural object. They were they ones at which the product was aimed, right? They were the ones who

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