because one of the other rules I made for myself was no fictional characters. On the other hand, the myth of Pope Joan is so overwhelming compelling that I couldn't help myself. Honest. And so, March 13th's woman of the day.
And if there never was a female pope, in many ways there might as well have been (let's get all post-modern like that). What it seems (to me) to highlight most is the Catholic & medieval & patriarchal horror/terror of the feminine. The idea that a woman could penetrate (ha, ha) the innermost recesses of the widest-reaching and most deeply entrenched organization in Europe at the time was, I don't doubt, the stuff of nightmares to the powers that be – er, were. That according to the legend, her body betrays her, just makes it all the more Catholic for me.