Naked Protest: Lady Godiva and Peeping Tom

 Lady Godiva was the wife of the Earl of Mercia. The Earl had levied a series of harsh taxes on the citizens of Coventry and the suffering of the people under this heavy tax load caused Lady Godiva to implore her husband to rescind the taxes. He refused, but she continued to vex him until he agreed to do so if she would ride through the streets of the town naked. Lady Godiva accepted his challenge and, after issuing an edict that everyone should stay indoors and shutter their windows, she rode through the town on her horse naked. Only her long hair partially covered her nudity. After her ride the Earl did indeed abolish the harsh taxes.


However, a tailor bored a hole in his shutters to spy upon her as she rode by. It is said that he was struck blind for his disobedience. He is the the source of the expression ‘Peeping Tom’. To read the entire story go to.

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4 Responses to Naked Protest: Lady Godiva and Peeping Tom

  1. aguywithoutboxers says:

    Naked mercy for the townspeople except for Peeping Tom. Perhaps the Earl should have learned some of Lady Godiva’s body acceptance. Thank you for posting this…I’d almost forgotten the legend! Take care, stay warm and stay bare, friend!

  2. ryanarey says:

    At the end of the Lonesome Dove novel “Dead Man’s Walk” the main characters escape a Comanche war party when a woman undresses and rides through the tribe with a snake on her shoulders, singing opera. It’s amazing how powerful the image of nudity can be in so many diverse cultures.

  3. This reminds me of a nordic fairytale; Regnar Lodbrog, the King of Denmark, and his men came to a small farm, southern Norway, in order to make bread – but all the breads were burned, when they returned – and Regnar was very angry with his men. But they explained that there was this girl, most amazing creature, they’d ever laid their eyes on, and couldn’t get eyes off – thus the burned bread. Angry with his men, he inquire them about the girl; Kraka (=crow), who’s beauty is so incredible that the King relents his men. Regnar is fascinated but want to see for himself and allso test her wits – is she a smart woman too? – So Ragner sends a message to Kraka:

    Meet me at dawn, undressed but not naked, lonely but with company, not fasting nor full – in that way she will meet me at the beach!

    How did Kraka solve this?

    She wrapped a fishingnet around her naked body, released her long hair, took a bite of an onion, and accompanied by her litlle dog.

    When she met the King, he was so spellbounded by her beauty and wisdom, that he proposed and married her.

    Later she revealed that she was the descendant of Sigurd Fafnersbane, som of the King of france – and fosterchild at the danish King Hjalprek – and Brynhild, who was rescued by Sigurd (who actually did the deed on behalf of Gunnar, and thus the complications that led to the placing of Aslaug(her name)/Kraka(her nickname) in a small bygd in southern Norway, where she meets the King of Denmark).

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