Thursday, May 24, 2007

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 Share

7 comments:

de Brantigny said...

A"feminist"! She herself would have prefered to stay at home and spin like other girls. She says so at her trial.

Incidently her mother, called Isabel la Romee was an interesting person. We have been led to believe that in the middle ages people traveled very little, yet she made a pilgrimage to Rome. I am not led to believe that she was married at the time.

de Brantigny

elena maria vidal said...

Yes, and Isabelle also traveled to the shrine of Le Puy en Velay in Auvergne high in the mountains. I went there a few years ago and I can tell you that it was pretty rugged getting there in a car!! I admire the people that climbed up there in the Middle Ages.

Terry Nelson said...

It is interesting to note however, that some lesbians consider her their patron, claiming she was transgender, because of her wearing men's clothes.

While wiccans consider her a patroness of witches because of her being accused of witchcraft.

Thus it is no wonder feminists would claim her as their own.

It's a revisionist thing I suppose, which sadly, is so common to our time.

If you have access to translations for her cause of canonization, especially the grounds (miracles, etc.) for the proclamation, this would make for an interesting post.

Thanks elena for another fine series of posts.

elena maria vidal said...

Great suggestions, Terry! Stay tuned for posts about The Miracles of St Joan and the Canonization of St Joan.

de Brantigny said...

The special cause for her Canonization can be found in english in a book called "Fresh Verdicts on Joan of Arc." They are a series of essays by different authors, some are good and some not so good.
In addition the sites you have listed on your blog to the St Joan centre have the miracles listed there as well.

de Brantigny

elena maria vidal said...

Thank you!!

Paula said...

Dear Elena, this is a bit off topic...you talk about feminine tasks...nowadays sewing is considered most unusual...

Here is a little funny story.

I was about to buy a summer top last week when the clerk of the shop noticed a very tiny hole in the fabric.

She apologized and asked me if I still wanted to buy the item. I really wanted to have it (it was a good bargain and the last article in the stock) and said that I am going to repair the damage.

Poor girl was genuinely shocked: are you able to sew??? she asked.
Of course I said, my mother taught me when I was a kid.

She answered with big eyes: oh, I think it was a terrible time for you learning to sew.

When home, I repaired the fabric in 5 minutes.

That much about feminine tasks and nowaday girls.