Gynocentrism and the Roots 0f Matriarchal Power Dynamics and Ideology in Medieval Europe


Behavioral philology can help us to elucidate many textual findings which in return bring to light and expose the unknown history of gynocentrism and the last taboo of cultural misandry. This behavioral philological research helps us to determine and not only trace the historical components of gynocentrism, misandry and the matrifocal anti male gender roles but especially expose the dynamics which led to the modern toxic mix of feminism, gynocentrism and misandry The fundamental principle of behavioral philology is that stable patterns exist in human discourse across thousands of years and they shed light on cultural and societal attitude and in a wider form we can learn from them about the prevailing norms and gender roles of that time. Human biology and human groups have considerable stability across thousands of years. Language emerged within that biological-cultural stability. Behavioral philology brings to the reading of ancient manuscripts insights from current, deeply rooted patterns of discourse and in the context of human behavior, interaction and communication.


The Kiss my Ass Attitude: Gynocentrism and the Roots of Matriarchal Power Dynamics and Ideology in Medieval Europe

Such is the story of Beranger Longbottom, a thirteenth-century Old French fabliau, which gives us a mindblowing insight into those medieval dynamics which served as one of the most fundamental and powerful tools of gynocentric indoctrination to condition men according to the principles of the medieval European Gynocentric and matrifocal principles. As we have already discussed many times this century can be probably considered as the "golden age" of medieval gynocentric, misandrist and chivalric literature which becomes very evident through the vast amount of literary evidence that we have found and discussed in our behavioral philological research through many posts! The French fabliau which depicts the story of a fight between two Knights is a short, comic, frankly coarse, and cynical tale as it was used to be in this genre of literature! So, fighting deep in the woods, in the middle of the battle, one of the Knights dropped his sword and begged for mercy. The other in response issued him an ultimatum: either compete with me to the death or kiss my ass. The first knight eagerly chose to kiss ass. The other knight dismounted, turned, bent over, and bared ass:


The {first} knight looked into the crevice, and because the hole and the other parts seemed to run together, he thought that he had never seen such a long arsehole. Then, like a baseborn coward, he gave it a thick kiss, smack on the spot right near the hole. [1] The second knight, then satisfied, declared, “I am Beranger Longbottom, who puts all cowards to shame.” Beranger Longbottom then rode off home. However, Beranger Longbottom was the first knight’s wife in disguise. She despised her cowardly, low-born husband. To further humiliate him, she invited her lover to be with her and to remain with her when her defeated husband returned home. Her husband scolded her for blatantly romping with her lover. She declared that if he criticized her, she would complain to Beranger Longbottom, who would humiliate him. The husband was filled with great shame and rage. But he knew that he was defeated. He no longer objected to her extra-pair affair. That's how the story of Beranger Longbottom goes. Between the lines we can also see as we have discussed and showed in many other textual philological elaborations not only the male subordination to women and wives but especially the matrifocal social engineering of men through sexual deprivation and humiliation while female sexuality and infidelity is celebrated. Another powerful parallel that can be seen today in modern romantic literature!


As to the stable patterns in human existence mentioned above and the gender roles elucidated through the behavioral philological research here we should first keep in mind that as we can see all of them practically begin here in the thirteenth-century and their dynamics can be observed up to modern day Gynocentrism and feminism. This Old French fabliau does not only clearly depicts the submission of the husband to his wife but especially shows her superiority over him as well as the deep contempt she feels and utters at the inferior husband. Other medieval stories similarly tell of men, inferior to women in guile and lacking Ovidian learning in love, kissing women’s asses.[2] Such stories, along with other literature of men’s sexed protests, show popular awareness of gynocentrism and can be even considered as the first seeds of matriarchal though. Modern misandrist discourse whether it is in media, pop culture and popular misandry show the exact parallels in female contempt to men not only symbolically, metaphorically or allegorically but sometimes even using the same harsh language and phrases.


While removing gynocentrism and the matriarchal power dynamics is more difficult than evenly dividing a fart, medieval stories show signs of resistance and struggle. Another medieval fabliau tells of a man ordered to kiss the ass of the woman he loved in order to demonstrate his true love for her. Here’s how the story goes. A maid served a high-born Lady contemptuous of her husband’s family. A squire served the Lady’s husband and was her husband’s brother. The squire loved the maid. The maid told the Lady about the squire’s love:


“Ah,” said the Lady, “does he so?

Is his love true? How can you know?”

“Madame, his love is true and whole,

he’s sworn it deeply, on his soul!”

“Really? Go back and tell this squire

he shall not have your love entire,

because you cannot know if he

loves you with heart both whole and free —

unless he first can pass one test

by which he’d set your doubts at rest:

to kiss your ass — all privately,

of course, no gentlefolk would see [3]

After learning that the squire, love-besotted, had agreed to kiss the maid’s ass, the Lady arranged a bet with her husband:

“Milord,” she said, “just come with me

if your own brother you would see

kissing the ass-hole of my maid!”

“Never!” he said, “I cannot think he

ever would do a thing so stinky!”

“Yes, by St. Martin, it’s all set —

a tun of vintage wine I’ll bet

that from this window you will see it!”


The maid bent over in the garden beneath a pear tree, with the Lady and her husband surreptitiously watching from the window. But then, I think, the maid, sensing the squire’s manly presence and desire, lovingly signaled to him to kiss with a different organ, at a slightly lower location. The squire held her tightly and performed his manly function with huge vigor.[4] The squire and the maid subsequently married. In the work of the tale, they surely lived happily ever after. The husband toasted his brother’s virility. The Lady, having lost her bet and now more knowing, henceforth honored and respected her husband’s family! The maid and the squire subverted the Lady’s degrading, ass-kissing plot. That’s just a fabliau. Yet there is historical truth in it. Ordinary men and women, suffering under matriarchal oppression, can resist with pleasure and laughter.


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[1] “Bérengier au Lonc Cul” (Beranger Longbottom), trans. from Old French verse, Hellman & O’Gorman (1965) p. 64. The subsequent quote is from id. For translation into English verse, Eichmann & DuVal (1992) pp. 99-106.

[2] For another example of the “kiss my ass” motif, see Chaucer’s The Miller’s Tale. In the Old French story Audigier from the end of the twelfth century, the old, ugly lady Grinberge compelled the knight Audigier to kiss her ass. See Audigier, trans. Brians (1973 ) pp. 57-68.

[3] “La Gageure” / “La gagure, ou L’esquier e la chaunbrere” (How a Well-Hung Squire Cost the Snobbish Lady a Tun of Wine), trans. from Old French verse, Revard (2005) p. 125. The subsequent quote is from id. p. 126. A version of this fabliau is available online in MS Harley 2253, Art. 84. On evenly dividing a fart, see Chaucer’s The Summoner’s Tale.

[4] In editorial comments, Revard (2004), p. 124 declares that this fabliau involves “forcible lovemaking in a non-missionary position” and is “violently misogynistic.” Forcefully making love in a non-missionary position is not rape if the force of the lovemaking was consensual. Other scholars might declare that a rape has occurred and seek to have incarcerated the fictional squire, or perhaps the fabliau’s author. Particularly in the context of the demonization of male sexuality, these are misandristic approaches. All reading involves interpretation. Academic literary study now celebrates multivocality, ambiguity, complexity, and transgression. Those academic fashions, or good faith in men, allow room for enjoying this fabliau.

References:

Brians, Paul, trans. 1973. Bawdy tales from the courts of medieval France. New York: Harper & Row.

Eichmann, Raymond, and John DuVal, ed. and trans. 1992. Fabliaux, fair and foul. Binghamton, N.Y.: Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies.

Hellman, Robert, and Richard O’Gorman, ed. and trans. 1965. Fabliaux; ribald tales from the old French. New York: Crowell.

Revard, Carter. 2005. “Four Fabliaux from London, British Library MS Harley 2253, Translated Into English Verse.” The Chaucer Review. 40 (2): 111-140.

The Article uses the historical discourse of Douglas Ghalbi on Purple Motes while we have further elaborated the various parallels to prevailing gender roles of the matrifocal society and their dynamic leading to modern gynocentrism and feminism. The article was shared under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

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