The Burning Times - European Witch Trials - Its Social Effects On Women

Essay by hibanks24University, Bachelor'sA+, December 2002

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The Burning Times

The Burning Times tape that we viewed in class made me aware of things I had no previous knowledge of. Before organized religion took root and spread like a fungus throughout Europe, women had a high status in much of that continent, in areas of healing, midwifing, perception, and wisdom. The pagan (I hate that label the Romans gave country folk) culture was much more open and tolerant to what women had to offer in their experience and understanding of the world they lived in. Pagan society saw what an important social force woman were and used them to help them in facing many of life's travails. Old wives tales (another labeling term I dislike) held many truths; which were passed down from generation to generation, including healing remedies, that were able to help all facets of society, including men.

It was eye-opening for me, that women were the ones who were active in many of the seasonal activities such as spring rites for hundreds and hundreds of years before men took these positions.

Today it is the male who perform many of these dances and rituals, women having been replaced by men who felt envious and insecure, and used the mask of organized religion to cast aside and replace women of importance with men. It is ironic that men used the church, whose mandate included protecting and helping the poor and less fortunate, and instead use the church as a tool to rob, maim, and murder the weaker element of society; mainly women, in order to satisfy their desire for status and power. It is a crime that these male factions of society have not been held accountable for.

The number of women targeted for persecution was shocking to me, however I do believe the...