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Pope Joan article

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Divia
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Post by Divia » Thu July 9th, 2009, 2:17 am

Joan of Arc did it becuase it was easier to dress like a man and often times she was treated differently when not wearing a dress, which was the case while she was inprision.

I have no doubt there were woman who dressed up as men throughout the ages becuase life as a woman was so confining and there was no other choice. And people believe what they see. . If women are to wear dresses and men to wear pants why would one ever think that a woman would dare to wear pants and act like a man. we saw this during the American Civil War.
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Chatterbox
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Post by Chatterbox » Thu July 9th, 2009, 2:35 am

What I found hilarious in the article was the point where the author wonders aloud why her alleged bf would have wanted a gf who dressed up as a man. Well, duh, maybe he wanted a bright intelligent woman who could only do what she wanted to do in life by dressing as a man... Endless examples of that through the ages and we will never know how many may have existed, how many were never discovered, etc. It's also a popular literary tradition all over the world -- crossing cultures and religions.

I wasn't aware of the novel, tho my curiosity has been piqued by this, and the movie sounds interesting. I did read Brian Stanford's brief survey of the historical evidence for and against a Pope Joan a while back and remember it as thorough enough to be interesting; I'd recommend it for anyone looking for a short and straightforward NF account.

Looks like another da Vinci code controversy looming! ;) ;)

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Divia
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Post by Divia » Thu July 9th, 2009, 2:45 am

I believe there is a nonfiction book coming out. Its called Pope Joan Revealed: The True Story of the Woman Who Ruled Christendom

http://www.amazon.com/Pope-Joan-Reveale ... pd_sim_b_3
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Volgadon
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Post by Volgadon » Thu July 9th, 2009, 9:24 am

Going on a slight tandem, was life as a woman really all that more confining than, say, belonging to a lower class or being poor?

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Divia
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Post by Divia » Thu July 9th, 2009, 10:59 am

do you mean being a lower class woman today vs being a woman in the 13 cent, or middle ages ...before modern times?
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Helen_Davis

Post by Helen_Davis » Thu July 9th, 2009, 12:58 pm

this is so offensive

If that statement is true than as an opportunistic feminist she would have had
an abortion and never divulged her gender and her motherly predisposition.
Not smart.
Yes, behind every great priest and pope there is a great woman, their mother.

Motherly predisposition? WTF? So that's saying men don't have the capacity or desire to be fathers? That's one of the most sexist things I've heard in my entire life!

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Volgadon
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Post by Volgadon » Thu July 9th, 2009, 4:23 pm

I mean a lower-class man before modern times.

Chatterbox
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Post by Chatterbox » Thu July 9th, 2009, 5:15 pm

Interesting question...

I would argue yes. All women were property, simply by virtue of their gender. They had zero opportunity to change that status (unless they pulled a pope joan and denied their gender.) Look what happened to that powerful woman Eleanor of Aquitaine when she tried to buck the system. Her sons were forgiven; she was locked up in prison. (OK, it's more complicated than that, but she essentially was always denied the right to rule her inheritance; could not preserve it without the help of a strong husband. One of the reasons she agreed to marry Henry was to avoid being abducted and married by force.)

Women had no control over their sexuality or fertility, unless they joined a convent (in which case, they faced other restrictions that were often more onerous than those imposed on men in religious orders, and actually got more so as time passed.) That meant that they usually died much younger than the men. I think if you compared the life of a peasant man and peasant woman, the latter's was harder. She had just as much physical work to do as her husband and (if a villein) she belonged not only to the manor, but also to her husband. Even her sons could legally overrule her. People mutter a lot about contemporary Islam and women, but actually under Islam women were granted property and other rights that no European woman won for centuries.

Who are the women whose names have come down to us over the centuries as strong, intelligent women? Heloise: joined a convent (i.e. escaped the world of men for a place where her intellect could thrive when she became abbess); Christine de Pisan (a widow with only three children); Hildegard of Bingen (another nun and noted mystic and early musician); Joan of Arc (rejected her femininity for a suit of armor and a male life). A Jean of Arc (male) could have changed his status in life with ruthless determination and ability -- men have done it all the time. Yes, it takes luck as well as determination, but that's the nature of the world. But a Joan of Arc could not have changed her status without (a) the visions and (b) becoming a soldier and rejecting her feminity. Wasn't the reason they were ultimately were able to burn her was that by rejecting her female garb again (and thus, implicitly, her lower status) they were able to call her a witch? (The ultimate libel against an independent or otherwise threatening woman...) How many ambitious men were called warlocks? (OK, Gille de Rais, but he was also a serial killer!) Look at the gender difference between the penalties for treason: the king would behead a nobleman, but had the choice of beheading or burning a noblewoman for the same offense.

However, I would argue that in the societies that most of us live in today, economic status and our personal abilities/ambitions are far more limiting than our genders. In my mother's time, people could tell her that "you can't do that because you're a woman." When my grandmother was born, she didn't have the right to vote and she had to run away from home to train as a nurse -- in her early 20s! I have encountered some discrimination in my life -- being required to work every Christmas holiday by my editor because my male colleague in the bureau had young children and a wife and I was single and childless, even though the colleague was Jewish and I had other family members... But by and large, the only limitations to what I can do are the result of my own choices. And for niece, now 6 years old, I really believe there will be few, if any, such constraints.

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Divia
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Post by Divia » Thu July 9th, 2009, 5:18 pm

I would have to agree with chatter. The view of women throughout history has been less than stellar and there have been more restrictions on them becuase of it.
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Post by drspoon » Fri July 17th, 2009, 1:59 am

[quote=""princess garnet""]I came across this interesting article about Pope Joan yesterday. If you've read Donna Woolfolk Cross's novel or not, which will be made into a movie, this article should be an interesting read. The author says it took him time to research the Pope Joan legend.[/quote]
Thanks, I just finished this book. True or not, I loved the story and will see the movie when it comes out.
Where is human nature so weak as in a bookstore?" - Henry Ward Beecher

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