I'm officially almost 100 pages into the book Pope Joan and find it to be a fascinating tale. The story revolves around a legendary, and most often thought mythological, woman in the 850's who defied all cultural and religious boundaries to become a scholar. It is said that she disguised herself as a man and rose through the church to be Pope.
The story talks a lot about the ancient philosophies of Aristotle and St. Augustine and studies the work of Ovid and Homer. When Joan is chosen to study with great scholars of her time, it is often questioned as to why on Earth they should allow a woman to learn anything. Now I grew up in a house where my mother constantly told me that I could do anything. Could go anywhere, learn anything and be everything that I dreamed of being - the sky was the limit.
What I find interesting in the book is all of the logic that is used. Being married to a soon to be attorney (yay for the bar exam??), I tend to have to outwit him to make my point ... or confuse him enough so that he forgets what the point was anyway. Regardless, I came upon this argument in the book that was just something I had never really thought of in the way it was presented.
One of the scholars is questioning Joan and telling her that of course women are not worthy of the knowledge and logic that men have, the Bible says so!
He says that men are superior, "In conception, because Adam was created first, and Eve afterward; in place, because Eve was created to serve Adam as a companion and mate; and in will because Eve could not resist the Devil's temptation and ate of the apple"
She thinks about this and replies, "For though she was created second, she was made from Adam's side, while Adam was made from common clay; In place, woman should be preferred to man, because Eve was created inside Paradise, but Adam was created outside; as for will, woman should be considered superior to man for Eve ate of the apple for love of knowledge and learning, but Adam ate of it merely because she asked him."
Interesting, eh? The same words, the same story but from a very different point of view. Gives you something to think about.
Until the next time ...
The girl behind the Lama