The Sex Lives Of Medieval Women

Rachel Cunliffe at The New Statesman:

It will surprise no one to learn that medieval European societies had strong views about the roles of men and women – especially with regard to sexuality. Members of one sex were naturally graced with self-discipline, able to resist base urges and live a life of propriety. Members of the other were inherently insatiable and, left to their own devices, would be incapable of exercising any control over their passions at all. It was the responsibility of the former – and of institutions such as marriage – to rein in the lustful impulses of the latter and act as the gatekeepers of sex.

It’s a familiar sentiment – the kind of gender philosophy you might find in an episode of Mad Men or in the corners of TikTok occupied by “trad wives” busily picking apart two decades of sex-positive feminism.

more here.