Unworldly Bodies Summary

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In medieval times gender and sexuality had extremely concrete and staunch placement in everyday life. It was a woman's job to take care of her children, her husband, and her home. Females were very rarely afforded the opportunity to work and even less often allowed to own land and access education. Women who chose to become nuns were given basic schooling mainly focusing on their religious commitments but it came at the cost of them ever having children or being able to marry. Women who chose to get married and have children gave up the opportunity to own land or get an education and sometimes even gave up the option to chose who they married. Women were not allowed a political or religious voice and generally had only one job, taking care.…show more content…
Deborah Higgins Strickland. 8.2). This comes through in a lot of marginalia in medieval manuscripts including the drawing of the serpent and the sciapod. While it is not entirely clear what exactly the purpose of the monster's physical proximity, placement, and relationship is, it could have served quite a few purposes at the time. One of these purposes could have been to remind the reader, most likely a monk or other religious figure, of their vows. Placing monstrous creatures in seemingly sexual situations could have been a way to deter these people from thinking about sexual acts and even make them uncomfortable in their own personal thoughts. In the case of Frater Rufillus' painting, the female's apparent ambiguity as far as gender is concerned makes the piece even more interesting. A large amount of marginalia is very obviously gendered male with the presence of visible phalluses. This female ambiguity leads the viewer to view the piece as one that would fit under the umbrella of vice and evil, of sin thus putting women of the time as a whole under that same

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