Art /

Globe Theater Announces Non-Binary Joan of Arc Who Will Use Gender-Neutral Pronouns

‘To rewrite female history is an insult,’ said the founder of the Women’s Rights Network

William Shakespeare’s Globe Theater will stage a production of Joan of Arc that depicts the heroine as a non-binary person who uses “they/them” pronouns. 

An advertisement for the production, titled I, Joan, showed a woman wearing a chest binder and chainmail.

The theater emphasized in its announcement that it was “not the first to present Joan in this way” and that it will also “not be the last.”

Shakespeare did not write historically accurate plays. He took figures of the past to ask questions about the world around him,” reads the message from Michelle Terry, the Artistic Director of the Globe. “Our writers of today are doing no different, whether that’s looking at Ann Boleyn, Nell Gwynn, Emilia Bassano, Edward II, or Joan of Arc.”

Joan of Arc is an historic French hero who was born in 1412 and was canonized in 1920. She was born a peasant who said she had been ordered by God to lead the French army against the English during the Hundred Years’ War. King Charles VII granted her request and she infamously fought at the battle for Orléans, leading the French army to victory.

At the age of 19, Joan of Arc was burned at the stake for heresy as well as blasphemy by donning male clothes.

History has provided countless and wonderful examples of Joan portrayed as a woman,” the Globe stated. “This production is simply offering the possibility of another point of view. That is the role of theatre: to simply ask the question ‘imagine if?’”

The theater’s message also included a summary of its values, noting its commitment “to becoming an inclusive and diverse organisation, and making necessary change is at the heart of our strategic aims for the organisation.”

“This includes becoming pro-trans, anti-racist, and taking positive, conscious, and intentional action against any form of prejudice present in our culture,” said the Globe. 

The theater’s decision was taken by many as an insult to women and an undermining of feminist values.

“This demonstrates just how our arts and creative industries have taken on the woke mantle without realising that ‘being kind’ to one group of people actually hurts and damages another important and fundamental group,” Heather Binnings, who founded the Women’s Right Network, told The Daily Mail

Binning’s added:

“Joan of Arc was female. Her early years were spent cooking and cleaning and looking after the animals. When she was 10 she had a vision that she was to fight for France. In order to do this she took on the outward appearance of being male.

This had nothing to do with ‘feelings’ and everything to do with the biological reality and disadvantage that being female brought. Many women throughout the ages have had to adopt ‘maleness’ in order to be taken seriously and advance their ambition.

To rewrite female history is an insult. Using they\them pronouns for an individual is grammatically incorrect and ugly, and confusing to many in society who struggle with language.”

I, Joan opens in London on Aug. 25.

*For corrections please email [email protected]*