The Role of Young Women in the Salem Witch Trials Essay examples

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The term witchcraft is defines as the practice of magic intended to influence nature. It is believed that only people associated with the devil can perform such acts. The Salem Witch Trials was much more than just America’s history, it’s also part of the history of women. The story of witchcraft is first and foremost the story of women. Especially in its western life, Karlsen (1989) noted that “witchcraft challenges us with ideas about women, with fears about women, with the place of women in society and with women themselves”. Witchcraft also confronts us too with violence against women. Even through some men were executed as witches during the witch hunts, the numbers were far less then women. Witches were generally thought to be …show more content…
Christian Day a practicing warlock from Salem and a Salem tour guide stated female leaders in religion became increasingly rare in the centuries leading up to the witch persecutions (Personal Communication, December 2013). They were labeled as hags, sorceress and witches. The use of healing techniques was a major issue in the charging and convicting of a suspected witch. The female healers represents a threat to the church, since they supported the rising of male medical profession. The church believed medicine contained the power of life and death which was a power that belonged to God alone and delegated to his male representatives on earth. Women were often under attack due to their responsibilities surrounding jobs that dealt with the survival of the community, such as cooking food, being a midwife or mother, and tending animals. Karlsen noted that it was believed that witches had substantial control over the health and life of others (p. 19). These were all the jobs that had the prospective of going very wrong very fast. In these professions the women were often liable when someone died or became sick because they couldn’t save them. A midwife who delivered a deformed or still born child could very well become targeted. Karlsen explained that this usually happened when a mother may have wanted to blame someone for their tragedy and since the midwife was present, they were the ones being accused of
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