Friday, July 6, 2012


Sorry for my fit of hysteria–laughing fit that is…
But I came upon a juicy historical tidbit…
While researching the history of ‘swoon’ .
Seems swooning…
Was a common occurrence in the nineteen century...
Which often led to female hysteria.
This from Wikipedia:
Female hysteria The second most common theory
for the predominance of fainting couches is the home
treatment of female hysteria through manual pelvic
massage by home visiting doctors and midwives.
As a ‘disease’ that needed constant, recurring
(usually weekly) in-home treatment with a procedure
that, through manual massage, could sometimes take
hours, the need for specialized furniture for maximum
comfort during the extended procedure arose.
Later, the creation of fainting rooms for privacy 
during the intimate massage procedure were built.”
Oh, you genteel ladies of the nineteen century…
You had it going ON!
And those doctors! What a scam!
I can imagine a scenario something like this:
A husband leaving for work leans down to kiss his wife…
“What are your plans for the day, my dear?”
“The doctor is coming over.”
“How dare you question my pelvic massages!”
“Settle down I didn’t mean to offend you.”
“You’re always doubting my disease! Waaaaaaaaaaaaa!”
“No don’t faint! OK, OK! I’ll call the doctor now.”
Wow, what a scam.
So while the women didn’t have voting rights back then…
They did have ‘fainting couches’!
Husbands that went along with the scam!
And I can imagine another scenario….
Guests arrive for a party at this couple’s house.
“Please, come in and have a seat,” the hosts say.
The couple looks around at the seating options..
But the only place left is the ‘fainting couch’.
“Uh, no thanks,” the pastor and his wife say, 
“We’ll stand.”
Isn't history fun? 
What fun stuff have you ever discovered?

Always, Em-Musing


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Old school naughtiness!

DL Hammons said...


Hart Johnson said...

*snort* Oh, too funny! Yet makes total sense, since the REAL culprit was probably the corset and a 'pelvic massage' may very well have gotten that blood flowing again, if you know what I mean... *giggles*

Madeleine Maddocks said...

LOL! Yes, poor women had to resort to something to get their own way, though with those corsets they had to wear I'm not surprised they swooned.

Anonymous said...

Yes... those poor dears. Hilarious post! Thanks for the laugh. :D

Crack You Whip said...

Great laugh to end my day!

Crazy Mama said...

Thanks for teachin me something new and writing it so well.

Youngman Brown said...

Well played, ladies of olden-times!

Talli Roland said...

This made me giggle! :)