The Woman in White: Reduction to Appearance & Body in;
The Book of Margery Kempe by Margery Kempe
For all of time society has been incredibly judgmental of women’s clothing, among every other aspect of their lives. The Medieval time period was restrictive towards women’s clothing and bodies due to widespread beliefs that women must be held to a higher standard. Women were taught to be bashful when it came to their bodies during the Medieval time period, as explained in Representation of Women’s Emotions in Medieval and Early Modern Culture by Lisa Renee Perfetti. Angelic or in mourning, Margery Kemp’s change in attire between white and black impacts her relations with those around her. The Book of Margery Kempe by Margery Kempe portrays the reduction to appearance and body based on Margery’s attire.
Reduction to Body, “the treatment of a person as identified with their body, or body parts” (feminist perspectives on objectification), can be seen throughout Medieval England and Margery Kempe’s autobiography. The female body especially, has undergone immense scrutiny for simply existing, genitelia often referred to as “shamefuls”(Allen 191). Margery’s disinterest in being sexual is based on the idea that God will love her more if she were to refrain from sex, just as a virgin might. But this may not be her only encouragement because “there are certain occasions when the women’s shame is strictly social” (Allen 193). Margery may be choosing to live chastely with John for the