Why “female sexuality” and “male power and authority”?

british museumI took took this photo while visiting the the British Museum last October. It wasn’t so much the item but the description of that said item that made me go hmm.

The description says: “…The significance of this type of accessory may have changed from symbolizing female sexuality to denoting male power and authority.”

I am assuming there are no vampires among us who lived in the Byzantine Empire and onward and that the description is an educated guess from a human historian.

Which makes me wonder, how much do our current values and preconceptions shadow our interpretation of history? I mean why is this description so patriarchal? Why “female sexuality” and “male power and authority”? Why not the other way around? Or why couldn’t the object denote female power and authority and then later male power and authority? Or why couldn’t it be that both genders had been using the accessory for its power of seduction?

The description does provide a good explanation about Venus and kings, but still… I wonder…

Perhaps Winston Churchill was right on more than one account when he said “History is written by the victors. ”

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