Sexual—Textual Politics

Sheila Delany

in Impolitic Bodies

Published in print November 1998 | ISBN: 9780195109887
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199855216 | DOI:
Sexual—Textual Politics

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This chapter discusses the other type of politics—that of sex and gender—and how this is manifested in Bokenham's legendary. Examples are provided of the occurrence of such themes in the lives of the female saints that Bokenham studied. The chapter then highlights the friar's treatment of such issues, in light of his milieu and Augustinian beliefs. Throughout his narratives, Bokenham expressly omits any misogynist elements, even if such is part of the source material from which he derives his work. In contrast, he is observed to include and even emphasize content that create a positive woman-conscious tone, such as stories of female collectivity and solidarity, and female transcendence of male oppression. Lastly, Bokenham's narrative presents a more balanced partnership of body and soul—with its metaphorical allusion to the man–woman relationship—wherein the body is respected and valued.

Keywords: Bokenham; legendary; sex; gender; politics; Augustinian; misogynist; female; saints

Chapter.  12816 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)

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