Interesting times, no? We live in interesting times. Oh ho ho the times they are interesting. By that, of course, I mean that I am very bored, but at the same time so anxious I am giving myself headaches. Pandemics are not fun! Staying in your house is not fun! Worrying that people are going to die is not fun! Watching governments debate whether rich people’s wealth is more important than people dying is not fun!
This is not as bad as living through the Black Death, or the plague generally.
My loves, it’s a week later and I am still Big Mad at J. Stuart Showalter, textbook writer and noted basic. Now, this is understandable give that my man is low-key racist with his shall we say “approach” to the medicine of the Islamic world. However, that sort of racism is just the worst and most harmful type of ignorance of the several which permeate said timeline, this textbook, and our society’s approach to medieval history. There’s a whole lot more incorrect where that came from, and that is what we are going to discuss today.
Because my family allegedly loves me very much, and shows that by sending me screen shots of things that are guaranteed to wind me up, my cousin sent me a screen shot from her actual fucking university level textbook this weekend. This particular picture was so wrong, so ignorant, and has wound me up for so many reasons that I am going to have to spread my rage about it over two blog posts.
I can’t believe I have to write this down right now, but my dear friends, medieval people bathed regularly.
Yes. I assure you. I am very serious. It is true.
In fact, medieval people loved a bath and can in many ways be considered a bathing culture, much in the way that say, Japan is now. Medieval people also very much valued being clean generally in an almost religious way.
This is not to say that getting clean was as easy for medieval people as it is for us now. But medieval people were very clever and had ways of getting around that.
My loves, I am very sorry, but we have to talk about No Nut November. Why, you may ask, would I say something like that to you? And you would be right to do so. Why would I ask you to contemplate a month-long abstinence exercise for men propagated on reddit? The answer to that, sadly, is because the whole misguided, misogynist, pseudo-science binfire has all the hallmarks of medieval medical and theological thought on sex, and that is my job. I take no pleasure in saying this, because as you know, I think it is very important to be careful when using the word “medieval” to describe something. Yet, here we are.
For the up-until-this-point blissfully ignorant out there, No Nut November, (or NNN), was brought to us by the genius minds of Reddit, and the stated goal of these gentlemen is not to “nut” AKA orgasm for the month of November. (Yeah I’m not going to link this for you. It;s too weird.) Initially this idea spawned when some bright spark got a hold of one (1) study that showed a period of abstinence from masturbation in ten healthy men lead to a spike of testosterone production in the subjects. (Don’t even get me started on the sample size here.) This apparently is seen as a definitive good, and some dudes decided that they would refrain from jacking it for a month in order to get this extra hormone rush for some reason. (IDK. YKINMKATOK, I guess.)
As I’ve noted several times, I generally try to ignore whatever is currently passing for ‘governance’ in America at the moment, cuz I just ain’t got the patience, or ability to do all that emotional labour. However, they will keep on doing things that call back to the medieval period, so we’re gonna have to talk about it.
So currently in America, which is defo a first world country and for sure very prosperous and a good place to live, there is some debate about whether or not sick people should be driven into bankruptcy, given the audacity of their instance on being ill. (Have they tried not getting ill? IDK.)