Symposium Session – Lie Back and Think of England

SES2015 Schedule Button 2

Lie Back and Think of England: Women’s Health and Sexuality in Victorian England

Presented by Gloria Zender & Sally Van Eycke

A historical look at some of the attitudes and ideas about women’s sexuality and health at the beginning of the industrial age, from the sexualization of the female form in fashion and advertising, to the diagnosis and treatment of hysteria and pregnancy. Were Victorian women really as oppressed as history has led us to believe?

This fun, informative, 18+ panel will explore cultural and medical attitudes towards women’s health and sexuality at this crucial time and place in history. Specific topics covered include the health effects of fashion and the sexualization of the female form, attitudes and legislation of prostitution, types and legislation of birth control, and traditions and practices regarding maternity and childbirth. The last portion of the presentation discusses the history of the disease hysteria and the invention and popular use of the vibrator as treatment.


Gloria ZenderGloria Zender has been an active member of the Airship Archon and the steampunk community since 2012 . As the Archon’s Education Officer, she oversees sewing clinics the to four times a year, and assists in organizing build days and other events and outings. Although it was her hobby of sewing that first drew Gloria to steampunk, she shares a keen interest in science fiction, history, and general silliness. It was her particular interests in women’s issues through history, as well as her own personal experiences with women’s healthcare, that inspired her to research the topic of women’s health and sexuality in Victorian England.

To learn more about other sessions, workshops, and special events please visit the International Steampunk Symposium Schedule . . . your invaluable guide to getting around the world in 48 hours!



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