Jo Faith, Newtown
I am constantly amazed by the scope of stories The Echo prints. Never have I ever been moved so deeply since reading Mandy’s Nolan’s recent article on misogyny/women hating.
Many contemporary women question the origins of the witch burnings. Contained therein seems to reside a silent, hidden history of female oppression. Prompted by these hidden narratives I was fortunate enough to study this subject in the British Museum, UK.
Texts reveal women did have enormous knowledge of Earth’s plants, nature’s changing cycles, and were viewed as ‘responsible’ for strange natural events. For example, it was noted that there were periods of strong winds in which it was claimed that the male testes ascended into the body. This emasculation was the work of women labelled witches. This was a time when claimed facts revealed no rationality or evidence-based reasoning. The propaganda was a movement against women and was enshrined in the narratives of ‘mystification’ and growing social prejudice. It was claimed that women’s naked bodies were searched for moles from which milk flowed to suckle cats. Women were imprisoned and their pleas for justice ignored. Indeed, many claimed that Lucifer did visit them in the prison cells and violated them and ‘Your honour, Lucifer looked just like Father and many members of the clergy’.
Indeed, a darker, sinister side supported the witch burnings. Women of property were the most targeted by the Christian church who claimed the higher moral ground. Thus we view the entry of market forces. The Church claimed their properties. The actual burnings created a spectacle for multitudes of communities to view the burnings of very wicked women.
This purge of women spread, throughout the UK and to Scotland as the Church grew richer by these market / religious values. Many, many thousands over several centuries died.
Researching these ancient texts does not necessarily validate the origin of modern day misogyny but certainly an outstanding feature of such vileness remains for women. A deep stigmata of the soul bleeds through the centuries.