Accordion Book with Cut Paper Illustrations, 3 x 4 inches

Medieval women walked a conflicted line regarding their sexuality. They were meant to be innocent, rejecting promiscuity and keeping themselves pure for marriage. But in the eyes of the church, and therefore society, women were the source of the original sin and were expected to lead men into temptation.

There was an extensive amount of imagery and social cues that implied the status of women. Free flowing hair was reserved for unmarried virgins and the value of clothes translated directly to the value of a woman’s dowry. Some viewed the story of St.George and the Dragon as a victory of a chivalrous man over the temptation of wanton female sexuality.