Monday, May 24, 2010

Was St. Joan a feminist?

Some people try to brand Jeanne d'Arc as a proto-feminist, but nothing could be farther from the truth. First, let me clarify that her last name was not really "d'Arc" but "Darc." The apostrophe between the "d" and the "a" was later added to give Joan a "noble" name, especially since she had been ennobled by Charles VII of France. It remains a fact, however, that her father was Jacques Darc, a peasant from Domremy in Lorraine. She learned spinning and needlework and all the domestic tasks girls in her state of life had to learn. Joan was a very feminine woman and only wore male attire when with the soldiers, for the sake of her chastity. Otherwise, in private and at home, she wore a dress. When in prison, she insisted upon keeping on her masculine clothing so that the English would not rape her, because that is what the guards tried to do when she did put on a dress. Also, although she carried a sword, she never actually fought in any of the battles, as she made clear at her trial.

Novena Prayer to St. Joan

2 comments:

Matterhorn said...

It's so frustrating when people try to remake figures from the past in their own contemporary, liberal image.

Julygirl said...

Scores of women in history have gone beyond the hearth fires to follow a call, this did not mean they were advocating any social, political or economic doctrine to promote women's rights.

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