Men in the Life of St. Joan of Arc
The life of St. Joan of Arc (1412-1431) illustrates a truth that is hard to convey to modern girls. This truth is that lust is a product of hatred, whereas chastity is a product of love.
Lust as political control
The reason modern girls are unaware of this truth — and believe the opposite — is that Western culture has a vested interest in blinding them to their own welfare in this regard. Thus, from an early age, girls learn to dress immodestly, appear available for sexual activity (whether they really are or not) and behave in a seductive manner no matter where they are or what they are doing. In the mind of girls, such provocative behaviour is intended to inspire admiration. In the mind of the dictating culture, however, it is intended to inspire lust.
Why the culture should promote lust is not obvious to some of us, but author E. Michael Jones explains the phenomenon in terms of political control. Governments recognise that people who are addicted to fornication will respond with gratitude when the ruling class tells them they can go ahead and fornicate to their hearts’ content, without government interference. Implied in this “permission” is a jab at the Catholic Church, which pushes for love and responsibility over lust and thrills.
During her short life, St. Joan had interactions with many men. Some of these interactions were literally matters of life and death.
In her clearly stated view, it was a man — an unworthy bishop — who caused her execution. (“Bishop, I die through you,” she said to him.) A number of other male clerics, academics and politicians hated her and worked hard to ensure her death by fire. It was invariably from this group that St. Joan experienced sexual harassment. She was profoundly shocked at being called a whore by her English enemies. In at least one case, the harassment appears to have been an attempted rape during her imprisonment.
To add to the cruelty, the men who impugned her purity were the very ones who also condemned her use of male clothing, which they described as a sign of perversity. In reality, St. Joan wore male clothing to protect her virginity while living with soldiers, as a practical measure to make it easier to ride horses and carry weapons, and, according to her, in response to a divine command.
The point is this: the men who hated her were the ones who lusted after her.
On the other hand, St. Joan was close to a number of men. Her male relatives included her father, two brothers and an uncle.
Her father must have been a bit of a mystic himself because before his daughter’s public mission began, he was troubled by vivid dreams that she was mingling with soldiers. Her two brothers, Jean and Pierre, volunteered to serve in St. Joan’s military escort. Her uncle was advised by a French captain to “box her ears” when she asked to be taken to see the dauphin (heir to the French throne). Whether or not the uncle complied, the fact that he was told to inflict corporal punishment on St. Joan shows him to have been an authority figure in her life.
As a young girl, St. Joan received a proposal of marriage, which she turned down. (This fact is recorded in the transcript of her trial.) Considering her mystical bent, it is noteworthy that one man at one time felt she was approachable enough to propose to. He even sued for breach of promise when she proved unwilling.
St. Joan had a default tendency to admire men, regarding them as protectors and allies. This tendency is the essence of female sexuality (Genesis 3:16), and should silence all those who have had the temerity to question St. Joan’s ‘sexual orientation’.
The tendency to like men also explains in part why she was unusually slow to see the malice of her male enemies, or the weakness of her male friends. The closest male friend she had was the Duke d’Alençon, whom she called mon beau duc [my fine duke]. Reports that he ended badly would seem to make her love for him all the more poignant. This French soldier led many of St. Joan’s enterprises against the English and St. Joan promised his young wife that he would return to her unharmed. It was the Duke d’Alençon who famously said he never lusted after St. Joan because he regarded her as a sacred person. When he happened to see St. Joan preparing for sleep one night and caught a glimpse of her breasts, which he said were beautiful, he felt no physical desire and would not dare even to think of touching her. His chaste attitude came from love and not from hatred.
Catholic educators could use the life of St. Joan of Arc to impress upon all their young pupils, especially females, the connection between lust and hatred.