Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Medieval Anxieties Vs. Earning Red Wings

Male anxieties about the female body permeate many of the texts we've read, all indicating a generally negative and mythical disposition towards menstruation. The female reproductive cycle is continuously viewed as a form of impure pollution; a curse placed upon women for the sinful actions of Eve. To this day there still exists a social anxiety about women openly discussing their monthly cycle when in the presence of males, because it tends to make men (boys, really) uncomfortable.

The Hell's Angels is an infamous motorcycle gang which is known for it's outlaw society, for completely disregarding the social norms that are accepted and projected by civilized society. One of these rejected norms was the ignorant treatment of the female body. While it is socially stigmatized to perform sexual intercourse while a woman is menstruating, the Hell's Angels wore the action as an accomplishment, a badge of honor. Literally, they wore a badge, specifically for showing the fact that they had performed cunnilingus on a woman who was menstruating.

To society (specifically, medieval male society) the notion of performing oral on a women who is menstruating is repugnant and perhaps even immoral to those who fear the female reproductive system from ignorance. For the Hell's Angels, however, this was a rite of passage. It was also another way for the Hell's Angels to shock society, or "jolt the squares" as they might say. But it was representation of one's acceptance of female sexuality, something which is nearly unheard of in our medieval texts. Though the Angel's seem barbaric in this sense, because the natural human reaction to blood is such a viscerally negative feeling, they seem to project a more liberal and open-minded understanding about nature of women, despite their other violent misgivings.

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