by Grainne McCormick
Let’s start from the beginning: Joan of Arc.
She cut her hair short, wore clothes “not fit for a woman,” enjoyed armory and riding horses, and fought for what she believed in. Back in her day, a woman standing up for what they believed in wasn’t the norm. She started the feminist movement, not only doing these things for herself, but for all the women of the country.
Being a woman wanting to fight in battle wasn’t accepted. If you weren’t in the kitchen cooking or cleaning the house, you weren’t doing your job. Joan studied hard and was extremely interested in history and fought in battle. And honestly, she rocked the short hair better than some of the men could. She took those stereotypical ‘rules’ and broke them, displaying that woman can be equal to men, intellectually and physically.
All women today really owe Joan a thank you. Without her stepping up, would our lives and roles in society be different? Would women have the strength and confidence to stand up for what they believe in, to do what they want to do?
Joan’s founding of the feminist movement has brought us where we are now; still suffering from gender inequality, but improving. We have women as officeholders and in the military, so we’ve definitely come a long way since Joan’s day. We still have much to work on but our progress is amazing.