There was a really interesting programme on BBC Radio 4 just now about attitudes to sexual violence against women in medieval Europe. It’s only 20 minutes long, and looks like it is available permanently, so not really necessary for me to do a write-up.
Lucy Allen argues that the way in which medieval society is often presented – as indifferent to sexual violence against women – is wrong.
Lucy is an academic at Cambridge University, and she recounts a disagreement with a colleague about the realism of violence depicted in the TV show Game of Thrones. In fact, she says, medieval monarchs were passing laws against sexual violence in wartime, and some medieval literature reflects a nuanced understanding of trauma caused by rape.
Also, oddly, it is the second time this week I have heard about medieval ‘penis trees’ on Radio 4! (See also Sunday’s The Museum of Curiosity.)