Were Pre-Modern European Witchhunts Mysogynistic? Essay

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Were the witch-hunts in pre-modern Europe misogynistic? Anne Llewellyn Barstow seems to think so in her article, “On Studying Witchcraft as Women’s History: A Historiography of the European Witch Persecutions”. On the contrary, Robin Briggs disagrees that witch-hunts were not solely based on hatred for women as stated in his article, “Women as Victims? Witches, Judges and the Community”. The witch craze that once rapidly swept through Europe may have been because of misconstrued circumstances. The evaluation of European witch-hunts serves as an opportunity to delve deeper into the issue of misogyny. The rise in witch hunts was a way to take control over women. Women typically played vital roles as caretaker, healers, and nurturers using …show more content…

Kramer and Sprenger who were notable priests, paved the way for the persecutions to come. Women were mostly dependent and considered a minority group in which case they were not given proper hearings and unfairly represented. H.R. Trevor-Roper confirmed that 92 percent of witches executed in the town of Essex were women alone. It is noted however that men were also persecuted on account of being witches. Looking further into this claim, the men were executed because of their affiliation with women who were accused of being witches themselves or because of completely unrelated crimes. As Barstow stated, statistically, 80 percent of European victims persecuted on the account of being a witch were women. History clearly depicts that the majority of ‘witches’ were of female gender. Christina Larner put the issue of misogyny into perspective when she asked the question, “Was witch-hunting also woman-hunting?” History clearly exemplifies that women were specifically sort out based on their gender. It is not difficult to grasp the fact that witch-hunts were a way to isolate women from their community. Women were subjected to beatings, exploitation and discrimination. They were bound at the feet and submerged into water as a test of survival. This technique however had an undeniable double standard. If the person survived the water torture, the populace confirmed their

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