November 8, 12
- Stereotypes which put women outside of social norms:
- Isolated women, single, old, uneducated women, deprived women,
- Historical stereotypes of people who would be involved in
- Promiscuous women (Malleus),
- Increasing fear of Satan and demons
- There’s a perception that increasing numbers of people are being
involved with demons
- Late 15thC – Saw for the first time an explicit association between
witchcraft and women – why are more women attracted to
superstition? And why are more women involved in superstition?
- More trial material and specifically seeing more trial material related
- Why are more women accused of witchcraft – why do women
confess to witchcraft charges?
- Before the 15thC – the stereotype of persons involved with
diabolical activities – a man (certain type – a male cleric).
- By the end of the 15thC we get the Malleus.
- Salem witch trials – 1692 (British colony of Massachusetts)
- Agree on 2 things
- 1) in the mid 1400’s that all pre-existing elements have coalesced
into a coherent narrative of evil.
- 2) In the mid 1400’s we start to see a noticeable rise in witchcraft
trials. – involve charges of pacts with the devil and heresy.
- In the years between 1300-30 – average of 1 trial per year –
- 2/3 of all the trials involve prominent ecclesiastical leaders –
victims of sorcerers or accused of sorcery (K calls them political
- 1) Charges that involve invoking demons and diabolism were
- 2) No more political trials 1330-75 – instead common-folk make up
the majority of the accused – Germany and France – Sorcery
- 3) 1375 – 1435 – 2 changes occur – the number of trials increases
– while sorcery is still the dominant charge there are charges of
invoking spirits and diabolism.
- The first 3 are concerned with sorcery
- 4) 1435-1500 – Charges of diabolism are more frequent and
- Russel – the most intense point in the witch trials are between 1560
and 1660 - In a recent study a scholar has pointed out that 110,000 people
were tried for witchcraft
- 40 – 60,000 people in that period of time were executed
- 50 – 70,000 people were not executed
- ^perhaps they found that the evidence wasn’t sufficient, the judges,
- stereotypes of the people being executed
- Gender – For every one man who was accused there were 4 women
- Out of the total number of women accused the majority of them fit
into poor, elderly, or single, but also rich women.
- France – Overall – more men were accused than women, however
of the total accused women the majority of those were elderly and
- Finland – In the 16thC – 60% of people accused were men – out of