Monday, July 10, 2006

Mi.sog.y.ny, Religion And The Witch Hunts~Part V

Thou Shalt Not Suffer a Woman to Live:The Reasons Behind the Hiding of Women's Sexuality.

The period between the twelfth and eighteenth centuries was one in which women must have cursed their bad luck of having been born female. Women feared their own sex and their own sexuality, not to mention one another. The early modern period was a time in which being a woman could be a crime in and of itself a crime often punishable by death. The anti-female Malleus Maleficarum, or the Hammer of Witches, [which i know I've mentioned several times, including it's stark resemblance to the message in pornography] became one of the first international bestsellers, going through thirty-five editions in four different languages between 1486 and 1669. The Malleus Maleficarum advocated death to all witches, with the majority of witches being the majority of women.

Menstruation as purging of evil humors.

In early European times, most doctors regarded menstruation as beneficial to women, as providing a monthly purging of those evil humors which might otherwise induce doubly reprehensible behavior on the part of the weaker, less rational sex. The relationship between menstruation and the production of the ovum remained undiscovered until the mid-nineteenth century. Before then menstruation was viewed as akin to bloodletting, the official medical remedy for most bodily disorders. Conversely, the ending of the menstrual cycle was viewed as negative, as a process whereby evil 'humors' remained present in the body, capable of adding to that complex of female wickedness which could turn aging women into witches. According to one seventeenth-century French physician: "When seed and menstrual blood are retained in women besides [beyond] the intent of nature, they putrefie and are corrupted, and attain a malignant and venomous quality"

Some people may think that my interest in the Witchcraze, bears little relevance to our present day situation as feminists demanding to be heard and challenging men to examine their beliefs about women. It may be 200 and 0dd years since the last Witch was condemed in the Uk, and thankfully we have moved on, mostly due to science, medicine and so forth. But, who is to say that the basic, DNA en-coded, covert and inherited beliefs surrounding the female, still don't lurk in the male psyche on some deep and dark level?

For all of our enlightenment, why is duality still alive and kicking? and how come men are still getting to define OUR sexuality?


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