Joan of Arc was burned for heresy when she was only 19 years old. At the age of 12 she began seeing heavenly visions of Saint Michael, Saint Catherine, and Saint Margaret, who told her to drive the English out of France and restore a French king. As the French regime was near collapse Joan was considered the only option and convinced the crumbling regime to put her in charge of the army. Turning the conflict into a religious war, she led the army to a series of victories that changed the dynamic of the war.During the campaign she was shot in the neck with an arrow, Shot in the head with a cannonball, and shot in the leg with a crossbow bolt. She was captured in Compiègne after a lopsided defeat and after several escape attempts was put on trial for heresy and burned at the stake. The executioner, Geoffroy Therage, later stated that he “…greatly feared to be damned.”*
March is women’s history month. I’m saddened that in all the years of our existence on this planet one half of our population was relegated to only domestic tasks. While that is important work, I wonder how much more advanced our civilization would be if women weren’t restricted by religion and culture. Imagine the discoveries we could have made had we doubled the pool of available discoverers. It wasn’t until the 1900’s that a woman was recognized for scientific achievement.
Marie Curie was born in Poland in 1867. She later emigrated to France and began her scientific studies. In 1903 she was the first woman to be awarded the Nobel prize. She won the physics category for her work with radiation (she coined the term radioactivity). In 1911 she made history again, winning the Nobel price in chemistry for the discovery of radium and polonium. She is the only woman to win two Nobel prizes and the only person to win a Nobel prize in two different fields. She was known to carry test tubes of radium in her lab coat wherever she went. She died of complications from radiation in 1934.
In honor of Women’s History month I’m also including a track from Audrey, a Swedish four piece post rock band. Audrey is:
Victoria Skoglund (Guitars, Vocals)
Anna Tomlin (Drums, Vocals)
Emelie Molin (Cello, Keyboards, Vocals)
Rebecka Kristiansson (Bass, Vocals)
“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”