But it turned out that Joan was really, uncannily good at leading an army. She had skills that no female person who’d spent her life tending house — the thing she was best at, she later told a room full of men, was sewing — had any reason to possess. “She was quite innocent, unless it be in warfare,” says the former roommate. “She rode on horseback and handled the lance like the best of the knights, and the soldiers marveled.” Uh, yeah: I’ll bet they did.
So it turned out she was good, and you all know this part of the story. She was very good at it, despite the fact that she was initially excluded from the important meetings, and despite the fact that she had no training, and despite the fact that she was a woman and people weren’t supposed to listen to those — “harlot,” was a common theory among the English at the time, because what would a woman be doing in the army unless was sleeping with all of the soldiers; one English soldier straight-up laughed at the idea of “surrendering to a woman” — and despite the fact that her whole authority was based on telling people that she had magic powers. She took an arrow in the neck, in the middle of a battle, and kept fighting. If you want to get a sense of what actually made it possible for her to get from a kitchen in the middle of nowhere, to standing in front of the King and making her case, to a leadership position in the military, to leading this one particular hopeless lost cause of a battle, the Siege of Orleans, and winning it, this is instructive. If you want to get a sense of the sheer willpower driving this woman, think about being just a little female teenager from nowhere with no military training, whose biggest talent was sewing, shoved into chaotic, close-range, hugely violent battle, and about what it would take for you not to freak the fuck out at this point, what it would take to keep fighting with an arrow in your neck.
Running Towards The Gunshots: A Few Words About Joan of Arc (via gatheringbones)
An African-American welfare-dependent mother of three told me this story about the birth of her son with Down syndrome. She had been planning to put the newborn up for adoption, a decision she had reached shortly before his birth, due to the domestic stress and violence with which she was living. When the baby was born and diagnosed, a white social worker came to see her about placing the child. The mother asked what would become of her baby and was told, ‘We’ll probably find a rural farm family to take him.’ ‘Then what?’ she queried. ‘He’ll grow up outside, knowing about crops and animals,’ was the reply. ‘Then what,’ the mother repeated. ‘Maybe he’ll even grow up to work on that farm,’ the social worker replied. ‘Sounds like slavery to me,’ answered the mother, who decided to take her baby home. This imagery and its legacy contrast strongly with the stories many white mothers tell, in which they fantasize a peaceful, rural life ‘in nature’ as the perfect placement for their children with Down syndrome.
in Testing Women, Testing the Fetus: The Social Impact of Amniocentesis in America by Rayna Rapp, p. 271.
Q: How many male novelists does it take to screw in a lightbulb? A: The beast, which had represented his feelings, was dead. “I think I’ll do a pushup,” he announced to the sea. The sea respected him for it.
Basically I will reblog anything that parallels TOS and movieverse because AGING IS BY ITS VERY NATURE POETIC and we hardly ever get to see it in on-screen fiction because of the stupid logistics of having to wait around for actors to a) get old and b) somehow not lose interest in playing the same characters forever and ever. YES I AM SAYING THAT STAR TREK IS UNIQUE AND PERFECT