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Re: [Authentic_SCA] 14th Century Bra Kind of Found in Austrian Castle

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  • Catherine Olanich Raymond
    ... What reasons are those? We know more about men s underpants from artwork, and they look more like modern tighty-whiteys than anything else, and not like
    Message 1 of 12 , Jul 29, 2012
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      > Heather Rose Jones wrote:
      >> They found a pair of underpants. I have yet to see any sound reason for
      >> identifying them as _women's_ underpants.** Nevertheless, OMG we have a
      >> surviving pair of medieval underpants!
      >>
      >> Tangwystyl
      >>
      >> **There are excellent reasons for strongly doubting that they are women's
      >> underpants, but let's just leave it at that for the moment.

      What reasons are those? We know more about men's underpants from
      artwork, and they look more like modern tighty-whiteys than anything
      else, and not like these underpants.


      --
      Cathy Raymond
      cathy@...
      (610) 805-9542

      "Remember that time is money."
      --Benjamin Franklin
    • Heather Rose Jones
      ... I forget whether the topic has been covered on this list since my post. (The discussion has been going on in parallel on at least a dozen different lists
      Message 2 of 12 , Aug 3, 2012
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        On Jul 29, 2012, at 8:46 AM, Catherine Olanich Raymond wrote:

        >
        >> Heather Rose Jones wrote:
        >>> They found a pair of underpants. I have yet to see any sound reason for
        >>> identifying them as _women's_ underpants.** Nevertheless, OMG we have a
        >>> surviving pair of medieval underpants!
        >>>
        >>> Tangwystyl
        >>>
        >>> **There are excellent reasons for strongly doubting that they are women's
        >>> underpants, but let's just leave it at that for the moment.
        >
        > What reasons are those? We know more about men's underpants from
        > artwork, and they look more like modern tighty-whiteys than anything
        > else, and not like these underpants.

        I forget whether the topic has been covered on this list since my post. (The discussion has been going on in parallel on at least a dozen different lists and forums that I frequent.) The very short version is:

        * This exact style of underpants can be seen worn by men in 15th c. German contexts.

        * There is extensive evidence both from art and text sources indicating that medieval Europeans (and by "medieval" I mean pre-16th century) considered underpants to be such a definitively masculine garment that they were used symbolically to represent women usurping masculine authority and status by wearing them. _Every_ artistic depiction I've found (or had pointed out to me) from medieval Europe that portrays women wearing or in the act of putting on underpants is in a context that is specifically depicting the woman either masquerading as a man or usurping masculine authority. The image depicted here:

        http://inpress.lib.uiowa.edu/feminae/DetailsPage.aspx?Feminae_ID=30960

        is typical of the genre. Underpants-wearing women could not be such a consistent and powerful symbol of transgression if underpants were an ordinary, everyday female garment.

        Tangwystyl
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