Did people really believe women were more sinful and evil than men, or were they afraid of women taking over? In the 1600’s, Witch Trials took place in Salem, Massachusetts. Many of the accused witches were in fact female. Witch accusations were mainly aimed at women due to the Puritan ideas that women were more vulnerable and evil than men, their sexuality was more obvious and sinful, and the fear of women gaining power and authority. Women have always been seen as being the weaker gender, especially during Puritan times.
Briggs agrees that there were more women found guilty of the crime due to disparity in economic standing, but also shows that men were also victims because of the lack of resources. The Medieval states had persecuted minority groups and organized campaigns against religious dissidents Briggs states. Although I believe that Women were unfairly treated in Early Europe, I feel that Briggs pointed out more reasons that Witches were targets of social circumstance, not just gender.
Maleficus basically translates to ‘a person who performed harmful sorcery’ or maleficium. This ‘harmful sorcery’ also included ‘theft or mu... ... middle of paper ... ...milar ‘rebellious women supposedly guilty of witchcraft’, brings the student in the dialogue to exclaim: “I cannot wonder enough how the fragile sex should dare to rush into such presumptions.” He then provides an elucidation of female inclination for witchcraft, basing his argument on ‘longstanding Christian conceptions of the physical, mental, and spiritual weaknesses of women, and their greater susceptibility to the temptations of the devil.’ Nider also believed that women had ‘the potential for extreme good, however, when they did not reach this potential, they sank into the ‘worst of evils.’ Both Nider and Kramer used evidence in their pieces cited from apparent authoritative sources for their arguments about the extent of women’s inclination to evil. However, these ideas were not new and were in fact borrowed heavily from the tradition of western misogyny .
The witch can read minds!” This example proves how much power the people think the witch obtains, when in reality the witches were just not naïve or oblivious. They were realistic, but for some odd reason that had a great impact on the people. They believed that the witches had powers that they didn’t actually obtain, so without hesitation of course the witches were going to use this to their advantage to have power over the people.... ... middle of paper ... ... causes chaos during the brief period of the hysteria and trials, the social order of Salem is turned on its head. Eric Christ published a literary analysis of The Crucible, where he portrayed his idea that, “Another aspect of the play that struck me was the blatant wrong-headedness of an otherwise intelligent and fair man, Danforth. He sincerely believes that Abigail and the other girls are telling the truth.
Upon Googling “witch” almost all the images are of women riding on broomsticks. This is today’s pop culture view of witches, however it has it’s roots in Early Modern stereotypes of witchcraft. It was probably easy to find the old, ugly hag down the street and accuse her of being a witch, but there is more to the story. In the case of Françette Camont, the stereotype of witches helped to put suspicion on her, however she wasn’t convicted because of the stereotypes that applied to her, but rather it was personal feelings toward her and a needed catalyst for the trial to start that led to her execution and the execution of many other witches. In many ways Françette Camont fit the description of a witch perfectly.
In the Malleus Maleficarum, Sprenger and Kramer’s basic argument about the origins of witchcraft is that witchcraft is found chiefly in women due to several reasons that focus on characteristics of women. Sprenger and Kramer argue that witchcraft in women is more probable because women were very naïve and impressionable, carnal lust is never satisfied in women, and they are of lower intelligence and weaker memories than men. Women are viewed as very naïve and impressionable because they are influenced much easier and therefore they are more likely to become involved with the devil. Women were “more credulous, and since the chief aim of the devil is to corrupt faith, therefore he rather attacks them”(120). Women being credulous and naïve makes it easier for the devil to entice them into witchery.
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 women and most of those who were accused and executed for being witches were women. Why were women there so many women accused of witchcraft compared to men?
Witch possess a special organ called mangu, located somewhere behind the sternum or attached to the liver.” Woman/man may become a witch through the influence of another witch or contact with another witch. Witches do not intend to do harm; they are as much the victims of witchcraft as those upon whom they practice it. They have innate power and often don’t know what they are doing. The belief in witchcraft helps people explain the causes of illness, death and misfortune experienced by a person or a group when no other explanations can be found. Most of the time when witches create injury and calamity, they were punished by death, sometimes by exile.
The Devil in the Form of a woman by Carol Karlsen details the particular treacheries towards several women of all ages inside colonial The us. This particular thought ended up being created by the male driven culture of the Puritans.. Other than as an evident disciple to the activist institution connected with traditional imagined, the girl delicate factors the particular criticalness connected with witchcraft allegations for ladies inside New England. She contends for that relevance and criticalness connected with women's areas in the devouring madness connected with witchcraft inside seventeenth century United States. She unobtrusively states that many diversions were being used to mince away witchcraft practices along with the publication of material describing the matter. This describes that a certain type of woman gambled denunciation away from scope to help the woman group gain correct portrayal in the public forum.
These skills which were once respected as sacred were now being sought out as works of malevolence. Priests and educated doctors viewed women as threats to their practices. Women were blamed and used as scapegoats for birth defects, male impotency and lack of control of their sexual desires. Witchcraft was relentlessly thought as the work of the devil with only sinful and immoral intentions. Julio Caro Baroja explains in his book on Basque witchcraft that women who were out casted from society and unable to fulfill their womanly duties became witches as a way to compensate for her failed life.