Medieval Mogg- How the origins of callousness concerning the rights of rape victims can be seen through medieval law.

It is important, like in the instance of the bogeyman Trump, that we should not talk about Rees-Mogg so much otherwise he too might become too powerful. However after reading about medieval law it is interesting to see the parallels between conservative thinking, society and the medieval consensus concerning women in law.

Rees-Mogg has been an ardent pro-life supporter in terms of abortion. This stems from his religious beliefs, but I would argue that even with the knowledge of the scriptures, one should still have humility concerning inalienable rights. In terms of law concerning rape in the Middle Ages, it is clear that the damages towards a woman’s patron were far more important for the upholding of the king’s peace than physical or psychological damages to the victim. J.B. Post would even go as far to say that the ‘appeal of rape lapsed into insignificance.’

Why did society deem damages to the girl’s husband, father or ward as superior? Like the excuse used by men during the infamous European Witch craze, and all of time, women were inferior to men due to their susceptibility as demonstrated by Eve. This one singular origin story has affected the whole of society for the whole of Christian history. Ultimately women would live their lives under the constant protection and supervision by their patrons, from father to husband, even limiting their ability to obtain a writ. Women were property. If a woman was abducted or raped then her patron was shamed as being idled or useless. Therefore in a state where male landowners controlled amendments and statutes, the damages ‘inflicted’ on them were always going to be dealt with more seriousness.

The link to conservative ideologies concerning abortion? The majority, like Mogg, believe that even in cases of rape, abortion should not be allowed. That the victim would have to endure remembering what happened to her every time she looked down for the next nine months, then would have to give birth to the monster’s innocent child.

As a result it seems that a rape victim’s rights in any circumstance has changed very little from the 1285 Statute of Westminster (II). That there are still men and deluded women out there who degrade a victim when she becomes pregnant due to rape. It is disgusting. How could anyone still see this man as anything other than a polite monster?

 

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