TBT: Joan

This particular day, just about 580 years ago, Joan Of Arc lead French forces in the battle of Orleans to a stunning victory over the English. She was right around twenty years old.

By the time I was twenty, I could, um, well, change the oil in my car and strum a pretty mean F chord. I couldn't get a dog to follow me, let alone an entire battalion of Frenchmen.

She also did it wearing a suit of armor.

I don't think I could, even now, wear a suit of armor and do much more than fall over.

I don't even like wearing pants.

She was born around 1410, poor, and by the time she was twelve she claimed that she had visions of angels and good old St. Gabriel, so we can easily imagine someone saying "All right then . . . let's get this girl a suit of armor and a sword!"

Angels back then were nothing to mess around with.

We have Ritalin now, but I can't say that that is a giant progressive leap from sending crazy children off to war. Who knows what the French would've done if they'd had drone strike capability back then. We might all be eating more escargot.

Anyway, after a couple of key victories, Joanie was captured and put on trial for heresy.

Not for killing people, or for suffering from what we now know to be delusions of schizophrenia, but because she dressed like a boy.

Apparently the suit of armor wasn't such a good idea.

Back then a girl could bath in the blood of her enemies, but pantaloons were out of the question.

It's in the bible, right after the commandment "Thou shalt not don comfortable footwear."

She was found guilty of the man-clothes thing, but promised really really hard that she wouldn't do it again.

But she totally lied.

And did it again.

And so they burned her at the stake.

We don't burn people at the stake any longer, we just give them reality TV shows and make fun of them through Twitter.

We have no class.

If we did, we'd be lighting Bruce Jenner up like a candle right now.

If you're unfamiliar with who that is, he's a strange looking man who wants to be a strange looking woman. No more pantaloons for good old Bruce. But his reality TV show is set to launch this summer, which is great news for all those people who champion the cause of releasing gender and sexual roles from the bondage of the "boy meets girl" narrative.

Or something like that.

I champion that cause too.

But quietly.

And only because I am a champion of simplification as well.

Creating very specific labels for the taxonomy of human experience I'm sure is essential for some, but I find it exhausting. Identifying the gender I was born with, the gender I want to project, the gender I am now, the gender I may one day want to become, the gender I am during transition, and the myriad of genders whose naughty bits I would like to touch, and so on and so on, these things are incredibly important in the evolution of social acceptance and self awareness, but I'm gonna be honest . . . it makes for terribly dull conversation.

Though to be fair, if I had control of the label maker, whales would be fish.

I don't care what hole they breath out of, they live in water dammit.

Tomatoes would be a vegetable.

For obvious reasons.

The point I'm arguing isn't for a step backwards, where we all sit and stew in our own little pots, but for three or four leaps forward where no one can crash the party because everyone's invited.

Except the French.

For obvious reasons.

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