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The Gendered Nose and its Lack: “Medieval” Nose-Cutting and its Modern Manifestations / Patricia Skinner

Journal of Women's History, Volume: 26, Issue: 1, Pages: 45 - 67

Swansea University Author: Skinner, Patricia

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DOI (Published version): 10.1353/jowh.2014.0008

Abstract

This article explores the historical background to modern instances of nose-cutting and nose-slitting as 'traditional' punishments, particularly targeted against women. Using examples drawn from the medieval period, it is argued that the practice, whilst often threatened, occurred relative...

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Published in: Journal of Women's History
Published: 2014
Online Access: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4001321/
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa14210
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Abstract: This article explores the historical background to modern instances of nose-cutting and nose-slitting as 'traditional' punishments, particularly targeted against women. Using examples drawn from the medieval period, it is argued that the practice, whilst often threatened, occurred relatively rarely, and was often in fact used as a means of criticising the uncontrolled abuse of power by rulers. When it was used as a punitive measure, it required specific justification. The practice itself is documented in the Old Testament of the Bible, and it is this common source that appears to have inspired later usage.
Keywords: Mutilation, medieval, punishment, source criticism
College: College of Arts and Humanities
Issue: 1
Start Page: 45
End Page: 67