A man hears the voice of God, he is considered a Messiah. When a woman hears the voice of God, they are considered a witch. Such was the case with Joan of Arc. She is a saint now and has her own cathedral in Rouen, France. I had the honor of standing in the Cathedral and paying my respect to where she had been burned at the stake during my World War II trip. Seeing Rouen was my favorite part, even though it was only a excursion from our original itinerary. The stained glass windows, statues, and structure that resembled a Viking ship does justice to her memory. I hope she forgives the people who had wronged her.
I do not know whether she heard the voice of God, but I do believe in her heart. She rode into hard and long battles, fighting for her country. She was forced to diminish her feminine qualities in order to be treated as still lesser than equal.
That battle is still fought today. Although woman are often kept from fighting on the frontlines in combat situations, they still strive to be considered equals. The fact that we want to be equal, however, does not mean that all women wish to undermine the advantages that men have. (Trust me, I would never imagine a world without men.) These qualities of frailty and naivety need to be forgotten as weaknesses because in our world it is optimism and hope. I don’t ask for men to see this because they have. I ask that women stop playing on negative stereotypes and know that they are strong in nature too. Joan was only a piece of the whole.