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Your Highness

Nestor and I watched the movie "Your Highness" together on Saturday. I learned something about the movie even before beginning to watch it: it is popular. Most medieval movies are interesting to only a small number of people, but "Your Highness" must be interesting to many, because when I went to the RedBox at the Walmart it was checked out, and then I went to the RedBox at the Walgreens and it was checked out there also. The third RedBox I went to was at a Stripes gas station; there I found it available.

"Your Highness" was very vulgar, but perhaps that was appropriate. Much of the information we have about the Middle Ages comes from the writings of monks. The common people then were almost entirely illiterate, so we do not know how they spoke. It is probable that they were vulgar, and spoke about the things of which they knew. They did not read, so they could not talk about books; they had no movies or any of the entertainments that we enjoy thanks to modern and postmodern technology; and few of them traveled. So what did they have to talk about? Some of the pious ones spoke of virtue, of saints, and above all else of God. Most ordinary people, however, probably talked about their own experiences, many of which were sexual. I man who works in the field from sun up to sun down looks forward to coming home at night and sleeping with his wife; and since the nights during the winter months were long, such people must have spent a lot of time in bed together - not all of it sleeping.

The movie was a comedy. It had several references to homosexual behavior. That did happen in the Middle Ages, but I doubt that it was as common as some people might believe. Noblemen and noblewomen were separated; the men spent their time hunting, training for war, and going to war. The woman spent their time inside castles taking care of their households, which was a complex task, much like running a business. Such women, if they did their duty well, were admirable. So the nobles spent much time with members of their own gender, and it seems that they had strong friendships with members of their own gender. That does not mean, however, that homosexual activity was widespread. On the contrary, child mortality was high, so married couples wanted to have as many pregnancies as possible to ensure that at least one or two children would live and carry on the family. The great desire to have children would tend to cause people to have sex in ways that could cause pregnancy, which excludes homosexual activity. In the lower classes, there was very little privacy. Houses often had only one room, men worked together in the fields, and women were surrounded by their children in the home. Without any privacy, how would they have homosexual relations? Even if they wanted to, it would be difficult to make it happen. The Church condemned sex outside of marriage, so all homosexual activity was considered to be sinful. If it was considered to be sinful, then people would not want to do it openly, but because commoners lacked privacy, they could not do it any way but openly. Therefore, it seems that neither commoners nor nobles practiced homosexuality much. Clerics, on the other hand, did not want to cause as many pregnancies as possible, and those who rose up in the hierarchy had plenty of privacy. So such things were probably done more among clerics than among nobles or commoners. Some clerics were holy, and so kept their vows of celibacy loyally; other clerics were heterosexual, and so if they broke their vows they did it with members of the other gender; the remainder - those clerics who were neither holy nor heterosexual, probably practiced homosexual behavior.

Several young women in the movie were large-breasted. Most women in the Middle Ages were small-breasted, because they did not eat much food during their adolescent years when girls' breasts form.