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Medieval (general)

This tag is used when a more specific date isn’t available covering very roughly the 11-14th centuries.

LHMP entry

Westphal looks at the motif of the amazon in medieval literature and the fascination and challenge they present for feminist historians. In this short article, she examines the most salient distinction amazons have for patriarchal medieval society: that they presented women as the adversaries of men rather than as their dependents and property.

The category of acts understood under the label “sodomy” in the Middle Ages is confusing and difficult to define. The difficulty of definition is not helped by a tendency among medievalists to ignore entirely how the category might relate to women and to activities that women participated in. The medieval textual evidence adds the further confusion of whether “sodomy” did not apply to women, or whether it did but nobody cared about what they were doing.

This isn’t so much an article about researching lesbianism in history, but about teaching the researching of lesbianism in history. It’s probably a pretty good snapshot of what was common knowledge in the field in 1990. [Compare that to what I’ve been able to find for this blog project and you’ll get an idea of why I call the 1990s “the early years of lesbian historiography.”]

This is a brief little article--barely more than a squib--and falls more in the category of "queering medieval texts than "queer medieval texts". The text "Holy maidenhood ", written by a man, operates from the assumption that all women want to be married to a man and to bear children, and that therefore they must be persuaded to choose the more "holy" option of perpetual virginity.


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