On heteropessimism and maternal expectations

I was at my local pub on Saturday just trying to have a nice time after a bad week. Trying to be hopeful and enjoy my new George Michael homage t-shirt. Things of that nature. While at said local, I got talking to someone else who claimed to also be a regular (lol, FALSE) and we had a nice time discussing NWA and Tupac. But then he started to ask me if I had kids. I said no, and then for half an hour he proceeded to tell me why I should have them, as I repeatedly stated that I have absolutely no interest at all whatsoever in being a parent. Ever. Anyway, I am sensitive to how cultural hegemony works and why people say these types of things, but that guy was on my mind when I made the mistake of logging on and saw two things making the rounds.

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On disavowing sexual assault

Content Note: this post discusses the existence of sexual assault. It does not go into any detail, but does talk about it as a sociological and legal construct.

By now you have probably seen that there is a new show set in the Game of Thrones/ASOIAF universe coming up called House of the Dragon. This is OK news if you are me, because I am extremely going to watch that garbage one way or another. This is because of who I am as a person. I am not, however, gonna, like, get my hopes up that it will be good after … the unpleasantness of the ending of GoT. ANYWAY that is not what I am here to talk about today. Instead, I want to talk about the statement of one of the showrunners Miguel Sapochnik, who when asked why there was so much sexual assault in the upcoming series was heard to remark that, “You can’t ignore the violence that was perpetrated on women by men in that time”. And man, do I have something to say about this.

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On medieval kink (part 2)

OK look, things have been very distracting, what with the continued unravelling of both the US and UK. This week in the UK, our government has collapsed because a known Tory sex-pest was suddenly a problem, even though he had been Torying around most Tory-ly for years. But apparently by Tuesday it was an issue and now Boris Johnson has resigned (sorta kinda not really, IDK.)

With a major sex scandal like that you would think that our newspapers would have their hands very full! But the ever diligent Times apparently saw all that and said, “You know what? Let’s do another hit piece on BISH for talking about consensual kink. Sounds good.” Normal stuff! So, I am forced to stop refreshing news websites and actually write the second kink blog that I promised you all, because the Tory media in this country simply cannot leave my household alone.

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On medieval kink (part one)

Because my job is what it is, and my partner’s is what his is, we have the delightful opportunity of occasionally getting to be the subject of hit pieces from the absolute muck-raking depths of the UK media industry. The other week, we went through that again while a bunch of people pearl clutched over the amazing and important relationships and sex education over at BISH (where I have also written before!) was targeted because it dared to acknowledge the fact that kink exists to young people. (Please support BISH and the work going on over there, just by the by. It will piss off the Daily Mail.)

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On conflating drag, (and femininity), with sexuality

This week in Texas, America’s Most Normal State(™) one brave lawmaker has sprung into action to protect children. Don’t worry though, he didn’t decide that he was gonna, you know, do anything about the epidemic of violent white supremacy and the violence that easy access to guns for radicalised people can unleash on classrooms full of innocent school children. Oh no. The brave Bryan Slaton has elected, instead, to introduce a ban on allowing children to attend drag shows. Here is the brave brave little guy’s announcement:

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On men, romance, and trick questions

I used to teach an introductory course on medieval history at a university here in London where we had a week dedicated to introducing the concept of courtly love. If the students so chose, they could later write an essay on the topic. The question that they were asked to answer was: “What does courtly love literature tell us about women in medieval society?” It was a trick question. I have been thinking about the reasons why that was a trick question lately, because over the past few weeks I have been learning a lot about Jacques Lacan.

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On women, pleasure, and semen

As I continue to pull myself out of the hole caused by finishing a book and recovering from COVID, I was reminded of something that I wanted to write about in January but just didn’t have the time or health to do it. I was made aware of it due to a particularly bonkers piece of Twitter lore which I am absolutely not going to unpack here, but it stayed on my mind because it displays an honest to god medieval attitude towards women and sex. So, without further ado I give you this exchange:

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On non-written communication (in Norwich)

​​I am aware, my gorgeous readers, that the blog has been languishing of late. This is down to the fact that I foolishly agreed to write a book which is, and I am not sure if you are aware of this, hard. Luckily I should have more time to spout off here now that it is all turned in, however. As a little celebration of finishing up, the other week I took a little mini-holiday to Norwich, and today I want to talk to you about some cool medieval stuff I saw there and what it means.

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On finding inspiration for change

Every day I wake up with the grinding worry that some non-historian has had a very mad medieval history take, and every day that is true. Sadly, yesterday was one of those days once again as some basic wrote a bad take in The New York Times about how the Black Death allegedly improved conditions for workers. This, of course, is something I have rebutted at length, both on here, and also in The Washington Post (because ya girl is fancy now). It is one thing to complain about how this is bad history that has been roundly debunked, as I do that all the time. However, today I want to talk a little where in medieval history we can look for good news.

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Podcast alert – Medieval Christmas on You’re Dead to Me

I was lucky enough to stop by You’re Dead to Me to talk to my mate Gregg Jenner and the lovely Miles Jupp about Medieval Christmas celebrations. I hope you will enjoy!

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