Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Doing Woman Different: Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc-(Jeanne d'Arc in French) was a peasant girl born around 1412 in Domremy France.
Jeanne grew up in a very turbulent time in France, where the country was largely divided between two factions, the Armagnac and the Burgundian. The Armagnac were "led by the Duke of Orleans and Count of Armagnac before becoming linked with the uncrowned Dauphin," later to be crowned Charles VII due to Jeanne's voice driven efforts. The Burgundian supported the Duke of Burgundy, "who allied himself with the English in 1420."

When Jeanne was around 12, she began having visions from the Archangel Michael, St Catherine and St. Margaret, predominantly. These visions demanded Jeanne lead the French in battle to regain parts of France back from the English and establish Charles VII as the crowned Dauphin. 

Five years later in 1429 Jeanne "convinced Lord Robert de Baudricourt to provide an escort of soldiers to bring her to the Royal Court at Chinon. After an eleven-day journey through enemy-held territory, she was allowed to present her case to the Dauphin Charles. He was encouraged by her words but sent her to the city of Poitiers to be examined by a group of high-ranking clergy, including the Archbishop of Rheims, the Inquisitor of Toulouse, several Bishops, and a number of prominent theologians. They told Charles that "nothing improper has been found in her, only good, humility, chastity, piety, propriety, simplicity."

Charles then gave Jeanne the leadership of a small army to accompany her to Orleans. Through a series of successful battles, Jeanne led the French to beat the English and thereby bring Charles VII to Rheims where his coronation took place just as Jeanne's voices claimed.

Somewhere between these events and the voices, Jeanne continued, army in tow trying to further French rule against the English. Her visions predicted she would be captured "before St. John's Day" (June 24th 1430) and so she was.

"Joan was held at the fortress of Crotoy before being brought to Rouen, the seat of the English occupation government. Although Inquisitorial procedure required suspects to be held in a Church-run prison, and female prisoners to be guarded by nuns rather than male guards (for obvious reasons), Joan was held in a secular military prison with English soldiers as guards. According to several eyewitness accounts, she complained that these men tried to rape her on a number of occasions, for which reason she clung to her soldiers' clothing and kept the hosen, hip-boots and tunic "firmly laced and tied together" with dozens of cords - her only means of protecting herself against rape, since a dress didn't offer any such protection. The tribunal eventually decided to use this against her by charging that it violated the prohibition against cross-dressing,
a charge which intentionally ignored the exemption allowed in such cases of necessity by medieval doctrinal sources such as the "Summa Theologica" and "Scivias". The eyewitnesses said that Joan pleaded with Cauchon to transfer her to a Church prison with women to guard her, in which case she could safely wear a dress; but this was never allowed," 

As various charges fell by the way side for lack of evidence or just plain lack, Jeanne was eventually convicted of CROSS DRESSING! Thrown back into prison before her execution, and given only a dress to wear as her soldiers uniform was taken, greater efforts by male guards and others to rape her increased until Jeanne was given her soldier's uniform back. Her English captors gave Jeanne the very same clothes to prevent the rapes she alleged for needing them in the first place!

Jeanne was burned at the stake in 1431 at the tender age of 19.

The court (all men) told Jeanne "The belief which you may have had in such illusions, put it away from you. Believe rather in the words and opinions of the University of Paris and other Doctors, who, knowing the law of God and Holy Scripture, decide that no faith should be placed in such apparitions, nor should faith be placed in any extraordinary apparitions, in any novelty which is not supported by Holy Scripture, by a sign, or by a miracle." 

Jeanne D'Arc, an illiterate peasant girl did woman different and was woman different. Different perhaps because of all else, she believed what she KNEW was true, rather than believe authoritative learned men she KNEW, knew nothing. Men whose male privilege couldnt grasp why a young imprisoned woman guarded by all males would feel so threatened that she'd prefer male garb to women's. Even when Jeanne declared " is more lawful and suitable for me to resume it and to wear man's dress, being with men, than to have a woman's dress" her simple reasoning fell on ignorant deaf male ears. The male court/authorities burned Jeanne at the stake NOT for hearing voices, speaking to angels or being in touch with God, Jeanne was burned at the stake because she superseded male privilege and refused to be raped!!!


All photo's from the 1928 film The Passion of Joan (1928). Maria Falconetti lived and died in the role Jeanne. Her performance is considered the greatest acting performance in film EVER. The entire film is straight from Jeanne's trial transcripts.


  1. Good article on Joan of Arc...

  2. Jennifer Warnes sings a stunningly lovely version of Leonard Cohen's song "Joan of Arc" on her CD of LC's songs.
    It's one of my favorites.

    Stephie Smith

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. You've seen that movie! That made my day!

  5. Requesting advice about a woman like Joan. For her safety I can't give her name but her situation is in many ways similar 2 Joan's. I want 2 protect her from what u would refer 2 as the patriarchy although I would argue it's also correct to refer to it as the oligarchy. They have already financially destroyed her & they will not hesitate to harm or kill her. If harm including death were 2 come 2 her vengeance upon those responsible would become one of the very few purposes I would have left in life. She is a wonderful woman & I want her to be safe, she has so many reasons to live. You would like her if u got to know her even if u disagree on many things; some things her & u think u disagree on u actually agree on in an odd way. In her own words she describes herself as having a "masculine" personality, I like her personality, it's one of the reasons I like her. She describes herself as a hermaphrodite although the biological term is female intersex. She likes women but has not acted on those desires. She wishes 2 naturally conceive children & marry a biological male. Tests show she is capable of ovulation so likely can bear children. Her unfulfilled desires are emotionally draining her & if the patriarchy oligarchy doesn't kill her, that will. She'd be a wonderful mother & I would like to enable that. The oligarchy has made sure she has no employment & can not afford a place to stay let alone a safe place. People have sent her death threats in the past & she responded by calling their bluff basically telling them to bring it on, she owned several firearms at one point of different types with which she is proficient. She had 2 sell them because she needed $$. I get along well with her & also like the type of women she finds attractive & would be more than happy if she wished to pursue an intimate relationship with women, admittedly I would like to be part of that relationship also. I want to offer her a better chance at what she desires. I want to offer her safety. I'm willing to give my life if it ensures her safety. Joan was murdered because pathetic excuses for men did nothing to stop it. They valued their pathetic lives more than hers they could have stood up and said "You're going to have to kill me first if you're even going try to murder her on false accusations." They could have prevented what happened but didn't, therefore they're guilty. Coincidentally the woman I am asking advice about has implied she wants 2 be a saint but for some reason thinks being martyred is a requirement even though it's not granted many saints were martyred. Again, I want to give her what she wants AND want her to be safe, AND want her to live. If u were wondering I also want to be with her in every sense of the word, yes that can include sexually. At very least I want 2 offer her some protection no strings attached, specifically I offered her a 9mm firearm & ammo like she used 2 own at one point, she didn't accept. I'm worried about her, the world is a dangerous place; I want her to be safe. There is no ulterior motive. I admit a reason I want her is to be with her. I can only extend an offer to her it's up to her to accept it. How do I let her know I care & she is important to me & even IF anything I offer her puts me at greater risk that she is more important than me. I hate the patriarchy oligarchy because it hurts & murders women. Without women there would be no men not the other way around. If u have guessed already I'm male including biologically.