Monday, October 18, 2010
Beatified in 1909, and canonized in 1929, Joan of Arc, one of our favorite witches, was burned at the stake in the 15th century. This set the stage or should I say lit the flames for thousands of other women burned for similar crimes in the 16th and 17th century; consorting with the devil, talking to him, making love to him, and generally being his bitch. What myth or trope fed this fire? That's easy: the dangerous woman with her dangerous body, her lustrous hair, her gleaming eyes, her sexuality, her wisdom and her knowledge. Questioned and tortured by sexually frustrated monks, these women never stood a chance. What about an alternative to this all too familiar narrative: Danger+Female Sexuality = Death. What about Danger+Female Sexuality=Transcendence?