The lady stitching from the upper side of the tapestry used roundish rings while the woman working from the lower side made her armour square. Imagine when they met in the middle! (Mia Hansson)
The naked woman on the right is very similar to representations of Eve after the Fall, found in the Canterbury manuscript known today as Junius 11, located in the Oxford Bodleian Library.
Here, the Bayeux Tapestry 'Eve' shares the troubled mind of the fallen Eve, indicated by her hand-to-face gesture of grief (a common gesture in early medieval English manuscript art).
The male figure, with his rather serpentine penis, becomes, in effect, a domineering Adam-like figure to whom 'Eve' must subject herself. If we relate this to the overall Bayeux Tapestry narrative, it is Harold (pictured above 'Eve') who must submit to the demands of William as he is forced to swear his allegiance to him after William delivers him from Guy of Pontieu. (Dr Christopher Monk)
The naked fellow in the lower border is a labouring woodworker; he's shown with his broadaxe. His rather sizeable genitals fit into a repeating theme in the Tapestry narrative about excessive masculinity, or machismo.
In the main scene, above, we see the dynamic posturing of Harold before a sword-holding William, as Harold attempts to negotiate the freeing of his nephew, to whom he points. We can almost smell the testosterone in the room!
Along with the squatting naked man that follows (see the next picture), our woodworker signifies the naked and overt masculinity at play in this meeting. And just as our woodworker labours away with his broadaxe, Harold must work hard in his verbal labours with William. (Dr Christopher Monk)*
Like the 'clericus' (cleric) in the upper scene, our naked squatting man, with his genitals proudly on display, holds his hand to his hip in a gesture of excessive pride (the same gesture is used by Guy of Pontieu in an earlier scene when he is confronted by William's messengers).
The identity of the cleric and the woman, named Ælfgyva in the upper text, has been debated for decades, rather unsatisfactorily in general. My own opinion is that she may represent a bride-to-be to one of William's noblemen, offered as part of the transaction Harold is negotiating in order to free his nephew, as seen in the previous scene.
The holy but proud cleric, brought in as an overseeing figure, together with the exhibitionist fellow immitating him in the border below, signify, once more, the overbearing masculinity at play in the Tapestry narrative.
The women who embroidered the Bayeux Tapestry were no doubt accutely aware of the subjection of women to the dictates of masculine politics, but that didn't stop them from taking the piss out of all the men concerned with their subversive deployment of nakedness. (Dr Christopher Monk)