The Role Of Gender During The Witch Hunts Essay

The Role Of Gender During The Witch Hunts Essay

Length: 1482 words (4.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The healers and people most trusted during Early Modern Europe with healing the community were typically women. But if the remedy they gave to help heal an ailment did not work, or caused more harm, they were given the title of witch. Many community healers during this time were convicted of witchcraft, and were sentenced to death. Mostly women were convicted of witchcraft, but men were being convicted as well. Those running the trials were close with the church, and were highly respected individuals. This essay will analyze the role of gender during the witch hunts and trials in Early Modern Europe. First, I will look at the way men, women, and witches of both genders were stereotyped. Second, I will analyze the difference between men and women in medicinal fields. Lastly, I will look at the trials, and at the bias of the Inquisition. Witchcraft trials were biased by the church, and this lead to gender stereotypes in everyday life, therefore influencing the witch hunts to target anyone who did not fit the gender stereotype.
Traditional gender roles were highly held up during Early Modern Europe. Men ran the communities, with their jobs providing support to the community. Men were the usual business owners; some were barbers, metal smiths, farmers, or priests. The idea of male witches was a not an unheard of idea at this time. Male witches were being executed, and made up 20-25% of those executed during the witch hunts. Depending on the region of Europe, there were more male persecutions than female. There were four countries that were executing more men than women: Iceland (92%), Normandy (73%), Estonia (60%), and Burgundy (52%). In these countries, women were also being executed, but were at a lower execution rate than the men...

... middle of paper ...

...e time, as well as by the church. Men and women were stereotyped into the role of their gender, and those who did not fit, were the ones thought to be witches. Even though the barbers were performing medical procedures, the mid-wives and healers were looked at as the ones who caused harm upon a person. During trial, the gender bias was there, as men were the judges. This essay has looked at the gender role in Early Modern Europe, and at what constituted as a witch. But what is more commonly missed is the fact that men could also be witches. Modern scholars often see the concept of a person being a witch as a female, and not as a male. There is historical evidence for the male witch, but it is a theory often left behind for the concept of female witches. Even hundreds of years later, the witchcraft hunts of Early Modern Europe are affecting our conception of witches.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Comparing the Witch Hunts of India and Historical Salem Essay examples

- Bloodlust shone in their eyes, the anticipation of the sickly intriguing spectacle to come enthralled them, while their murmurings grew louder and louder until it became a primeval roar of wants and expectations. Atrocities of such a nature became very common under the pretense of the persecution of witches. The New King James Bible states that: “You shall not permit a sorceress [witch] to live” (Exodus 22:17). Using these words as excuses, societies such as the Puritans executed untold numbers of people in the name of justice....   [tags: witch hunts, american history]

Better Essays
996 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on Salem Witch Hunts

- Exploring, the historical references of the Salem Witch Hunts will reveal insights into the cultural makeup of this colonial society during the seventeenth century. Questions that present themselves are, were there a sense of mass hysteria or were there some other sociological phenomena that explained the social construct during that disturbing time frame. In the winter of 1691-1692 Salem Village was not a happy-go-lucky place to live; the cold, damp, and dreary town of 600 was divided and afraid....   [tags: culture, witches, trials, society, God, US]

Better Essays
2183 words (6.2 pages)

Allegations of both Male and Female Witches in Early Modern Europe Essay

- The witch hunts in early modern Europe were extensive and far reaching. Christina Larner, a sociology professor at the University of Glasgow and an influential witchcraft historian provides valuable insight into the witch trials in early modern Europe in her article 'Was Witch-Hunting Woman-Hunting?'. Larner writes that witchcraft was not sex-specific, although it was sex-related (Larner, 2002). It cannot be denied that gender plays a tremendous role in the witch hunts in early modern Europe, with females accounting for an estimated 80 percent of those accused (Larner, 2002)....   [tags: demonic texts, religious beliefs/hunts]

Better Essays
1940 words (5.5 pages)

The Salem Witch Trials : A Dark Time Period For American History Essay

- The Salem Witch Trials is a dark time period for American history that is full of mysterious confusion on the reasons for why it occurred. Today there are many articles by authors with their depiction on the possible reasons for the Salem Witch Trials. However information on the records on accused witches varies, as Richard Latner explains in The Long and Short of Salem Witchcraft: Chronology and Collective Violence in 1692 in the “Journal of Social History” states, “Legal documents do not exist for everyone who was accused of witchcraft, and the case records that exist are often incomplete” (138, 2008)....   [tags: Salem witch trials, Witchcraft, Witch-hunt]

Better Essays
1500 words (4.3 pages)

Modern Witch Hunting Essay

- Evaluate the role of gender in early modern witch-hunting. During the early modern period Europe experienced a phase of vicious prosecution of the people accused of the crime of ‘Witchcraft.’ There has been an estimated death toll of up to 50,000 people during these Witch-hunt crazes, although the exact figures are unknown. What is known is that overall 75-80% of those accused were woman although this varies in different states. In this essay I will discuss the role of gender in witchcraft and why the majority of people executed as Witches were women....   [tags: Gender Roles, Women, Witches]

Better Essays
1786 words (5.1 pages)

Essay about Witchcraft and Witch-Hunting Theories

- The Issue on discussion here is the different theories on why the witch-hunts took place. This is a topic that has a lot of different views and opinions. It is doubtful we will ever truly understand the exact reasons but historians can make educated and logical conclusions based on supporting information and evidence. Not all ideas have as much evidence as others and some theories have pretty much been ignored or disproved. Hester‘s ideas in “Patriarchal Reconstruction and Witch Hunting” takes the feminist attitude and relies on the theory of Misogyny to explain what the possible reasons behind the witch-hunts were....   [tags: Religion]

Better Essays
1232 words (3.5 pages)

Salem Witch Trials Essay

- The Salem witch trials occurred in Salem, Massachusetts between 1692 and 1693. There were over 200 people who were accused of witchcraft, and about twenty were executed. Today, we do not necessarily take as severe of actions on those whom are different, but there are witch hunts occurring every day in our society. Both in the 1600s and today, humans fear the unknown, or unconformity. People take their personal values, and combine them with the values of their society, and “witch hunts” begin to form in the society....   [tags: Eating Disorders, Sexual Orientation]

Better Essays
1121 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on An Analysis Of Thomas And Jane Weirs ' Trials

- The government had to play a role in Thomas and Jane Weirs’ trials because they are the authority figures that tend to convict people of their misdemeanours. “After both Dittays were read and found relevant by the Justices, the King’s Advocate caused interrogate the Major judicially anent his Guilt…the King’s Advocate takes Instruments that he refuses to answer positively.” The trial itself is a testament to the workings of the government, parliament and authority figure of Scotland in the case of witch hunting of men and women....   [tags: Witchcraft, Witch-hunt, Salem witch trials]

Better Essays
1332 words (3.8 pages)

Essay on The Trial : Religious Elites

- The Trial: Religious Elites The major authority figures were essential parts of the witch hunts and trials of the 1640s to 1670s considering that they were in charge of putting religion into the minds of the “witches” as well as trying to get the people who were convicted to repent their “sins”. The roles of the religious elites were compelled to do with the major movement towards getting Thomas to understand that he can repent his sins and get the “devil out of him”. The Bishop and Dean within Edinburgh went to Thomas Weir in jail to pray within or at pray, against the approval and compliance with him so that he could repent and have God and saints on his side....   [tags: Witchcraft, Witch-hunt, Salem witch trials]

Better Essays
2092 words (6 pages)

Gender Politics in the US Criminal Justice System Essay

- Gender Politics in the US Criminal Justice System The state of women in the United States criminal justice system, an apparently fair organization of integrity and justice, is a perfect example of a seemingly equal situation, which turns out to be anything but. While the policies imposed in the criminal justice system have an effect on all Americans, they affect men and women in extremely dissimilar manners. By looking at the United States' history of females in the criminal justice system, the social manipulation of these females and the everlasting affects that incarceration have on all women, both in and out of prison, this essay will explore the use of the criminal justice system as si...   [tags: Political Papers Government Essays]

Better Essays
1723 words (4.9 pages)