• “Am I Not a Woman Like Thyself?” – The Transvestite Male Rapist Narratives of Óðinn and Rindr, and Ewen and Thaney

    Author(s):
    andrewbull1 (see profile)
    Date:
    2019
    Group(s):
    Medieval Studies
    Subject(s):
    Hagiography, Old Norse, Scandinavian literature, Scottish history
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Kentigern, Thaney, Transvestite, Óðinn
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/rfe0-e936
    Abstract:
    The tale of Óðinn and Rindr is a complex one, but in its version found in the early thirteenth-century Gesta Danorum, we can see how Óðinn’s gender fluidity has become simplified into transvestism. From a being capable of changing gender, Óðinn now simply adopts the disguise of a woman. With this disguise, Óðinn rapes the woman Rindr in order fulfil a prophecy. Thomas Hill found that this version of events has a parallel in Scotland: the story of Prince Ewen and St Thaney. Ewen similarly uses transvestism to gain access to an otherwise unwilling woman in order to rape her. This article will compare the two narratives to each other and to the broader figure of the male transvestite as found in the medieval period. What similarities are there? And what brought the writers of these tales to utilise this narrative trope? This article will firstly argue that Óðinn’s gender identity is simplified in the Christianised version of the Óðinn and Rindr narrative found in the Gesta Danroum. Secondly, it will take into account issues surrounding Thaney’s believed virginity, which caused the writer of the mid–twelfth century Vita Kentegerni Imperfecta to adopt the Óðinn and Rindr narrative, male transvestite rapist included. Finally, it will note that these stories show far more about their writer’s perceptions of transvestism, rather than having any basis in reality.
    Notes:
    https://kyngervi.wordpress.com/
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    9 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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