From Coercion to Consent: Sexual Violence and Female Empowerment in medieval Dutch and French Songtexts

1 September 2023 until 30 September 2024
Project type

This project investigates the themes of sexual coercion and consent in medieval songtexts about sexual encounters. The project centres on a collection of Dutch songs that stands out from a European perspective because its key motif appears to be not forced sex but mutual consent. Whereas French songtexts are pervaded by rape, Dutch songtexts often feature couples making mutual decisions to have sex and women explicitly giving their consent. As this project will demonstrate, these Dutch songs encouraged medieval women’s agency and equality in the domain of sexuality, through their empowering messages.


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