Friends, we are as ever living in a society that spends a lot of time and energy attempting to uphold what it sees as “normal”. Normality, after all, doesn’t police itself, or even hold up as a concept without strenuous effort from the people invested in it. What we’re thinking about today is that in our society over time if something isn’t “normal” it is probably also sexual. Because sexual stuff is bad and therefore Not Normal and what we in the overthinking stuff game tend to refer to as “other”.
The other can vary from society and society and place to place, but here in Europe and in the areas that Europeans subjugated there is an underlying default, and that is a white straight dude. This was certainly true in medieval Europe, where, as you may have noticed men bossed everyone the fuck around and decided that they were defo the norm.
Continue reading “On sexualising the “other””
Friends, today is a great day, for it was with deep pleasure that I found a spicy medieval take on women on the twitter TL. Check out Denise with the big medieval vibes:
Friends, I love everything about this garbage take. As regular readers will note, this is a very medieval way of looking at women because it sees them as sexual aggressors. Here women are Too Horny to FunctionTM and actively going about seducing poor hapless men into impregnating them. On display we also have the medieval idea of sex as an enervating agent that just sort of happens at men. A woman lubes up her legs (???) and next thing you know they have been tricked – tricked I say! – into the good old PIV which results in pregnancy, AKA the only real sex. That’s just how the world works.
What I love about this, and what we haven’t talked about here yet, however, is the connection that your girl Denise is making between makeup and lube (again, deeply, from the bottom of my heart ????) and sexual chaos. (Side note – sexy chaotic is where you’ll find me on any standard Sexy/Neutral/Asexual alignment chart, just so you know.)
Continue reading “On Jezebel, makeup, and other apocalyptic signs”
Today at Going Medieval HQ we are excited to have a guest blog by kick-ass art historian working on medieval medical visual culture, and the other half of Medieval Dick Twitter, Dr Sara Öberg-Strådal. Follow her on Twitter for excellent meme action, updates about growing your own medieval pigment garden, and generally correct opinions.
If you’re blessed enough to not have heard about QAnon. Congratulations. You should leave this post right now and go and do something nice for yourself.
QAnon is a super strange radical internet cult that believes that Donald Trump is a divine saviour who is working against the Deep State to save America. Every other day there is a new coded message, a so-called “Q Drop”, predicting mass arrests and explaining that MS13 are bad because they are funded and run by Democrats. IDK. At best it is borderline incomprehensible, and at worst it is also super racist. Followers of Q will interpret any aspect of Trump’s presentation and twitter presence (his back-combed hair signified coming mass arrests) and personal biography (see the fairly fringe belief that Trump can time travel and did so to get his uncle to write some shitty children’s books to predict his rise to power).
Continue reading “On QAnon and Systems of Knowledge”
Another week, another chance for the world to be a misogynist hellscape. (Just, endless sighing. Amiright?) One of this week’s horrors has been brought to you by right wing rag extraordinaire and Suzanne Venker, a self-described “feminist fixer” who claims to “Free Women From Feminist Lies So They Can Find Lasting Love With Men” [sic]. Our intrepid anti-feminist in question has a particular mark this week – the millennial woman (Hey boo!), drowning in debt from “piling up” degrees (relatable!) which are “supposed to help them get established for marriage” (less relatable!) and are now sad.
According to the luminary mind in question, all of this means that millennials are the “first generation” of women to do such a thing and, whelp, not so much.
What do I mean by that? Well, women – married and otherwise – have been working throughout the entire course of human history, and historically women have always been expected to work in various capacities, from farm work to highly-skilled trades. (As per usual, as a Europeanist, I’m going to focus on European societies here, but world-wide women have certainly been working and still are. I just lack the specialism to speak about that and I stay out of things when I don’t know what I am talking about, Suzanne.)
Continue reading “On Women and Work”
Ugh, Game of Thrones. Am I right? No. Collectively we are now all wrong about it.
As we draw a once great television series, that now has all the gravitas and world building of an eighties hair fantasy on fast forward to a close, there was one little thing that made me laugh and then laugh again.
Was it Sansa telling her sad-ass uncle to sit down? Yes, but also no. It was the fact that the theoretical response to preventing dynastic war in Westeros is to create an elective monarchy. That right there is just a chef’s kiss piece of poorly understood history.
As always, to understand why I think this is funny we’re going to need to unpack some stuff, and the first thing is probably what an elective monarchy is. I regret to inform you of the fact that it ain’t some sort of advancement away from other monarchical systems. It’s just a bog-standard type of medieval monarchy and you find them in such places as: Macedon, Byzantium, the Holy Roman Empire (shout out to a real one), Venice, and my people in Bohemia – just to name a few.
Continue reading “Let’s Talk About Game of Thrones part 3: Holy Roman Imperial Edition”
This week in the godforsaken wasteland that is Twitter where I hang out for some reason (?), the public has been treated to the absolute gift that is a bunch of dudes insisting that women, in their experience do not like sex. No, they do not see this as linked to their person, and it is as fucking hilarious as you are imagining. WITNESS:
Or how about your boy Scott?
These responses came as a woman sensibly pushed back against the Alyssa Milano’s proposed Sex Strike (I know.) to protest the new and draconian abortion bills in Alabama and Georgia. (That is a whole other mess for a whole other day, because there is already so much to unpack here.)
Now you and I can see that these dudes are out here straight telling on themselves, but they simply do not see it that way. Why is that? Well aside from being world-class douche nozzles, I would make the argument that there is a historical and philosophical basis for this particular way of seeing things, as wild as it is.
Continue reading “On Sex, Logic, and Being the Subject”
The Medieval Podcast – Medieval Sexuality with Eleanor Janega
I was lucky enough to spend some time chatting with Danièle Cybulskie on The Medieval Podcast the other week. Have a listen if you want to know exactly, why widows were so sexy, why it can be hard for us to find our LGBT friends in medieval texts, and what the nicest looking dildo in the medieval period was made from.
Continue reading “The Medieval Podcast – Medieval Sexuality with Eleanor Janega”