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The Burning Times: fascinating docu on women's power before Christianity

(986 Posts)
sakura Sat 28-May-11 01:15:33


ANd why women are feared to the extent that they are accused of witchcraft and killed for it

Straight2Extremes Sat 28-May-11 01:26:49

Your link isn't working do you mean this

sakura Sat 28-May-11 05:12:33

Thank you, yes!

LRDTheFeministDragon Sun 29-May-11 15:35:15

Sorry, I've got halfway through the first link - does it get any better?

So far it is coming across as a load of guff, tba! I really think this sory of thing is dishonest and offensive.

AliceWorld Sun 29-May-11 16:04:08

Thanks for posting Sakura. I had no idea of the witches stuff until a talk a couple of years ago at uni. Remember it being fascinating then. And afterward being really conscious of how prevalent all the witch stuff is and its links to women.

LRDTheFeministDragon Sun 29-May-11 16:09:04

Ok, I've watched a bit more (trying to be fair).

Sorry, I would love this to be a good documentary but it is just not. I really want to know about women's power before Christianity, and about women and non-Christian European religion, both sound fascinating. But this is not a documentary, it's someone making unsubstantiated and occasionally simply wrong claims. It's either dishonest or crashingly ignorant. I've got to the bit about Christianity being 'new' in Europe in 1132 and had to stop there - utter rubbish.

It would have been really interesting to hear about women and witchcraft, too.

lucysnowe Sun 29-May-11 16:15:22

More on the burning times

AliceWorld Sun 29-May-11 16:26:39

interesting credentials on that site

My mind's pretty open on this stuff, but I don't buy the idea of having some factual version of the history of religion and belief. It's belief. It's all tied up in the social structures that surround it.

LRDTheFeministDragon Sun 29-May-11 16:32:11

Yeah, I agree. I think it would have been better if they'd either done a sort of imaginative recreation of what modern pagans think the beliefs might have been (which could have been great with all that beautiful camera work), or if they'd made it obvious they were speculating and not being factual - trying to make it as a documentary was maybe the problem.

I really wish they'd talked more about pre-Christian stuff and the evidence there is instead of moving on so quickly - I liked the look of that three-women image of Sulis and wish they'd said more about that, but I assume because there's so little written evidence they didn't feel able to.

LRDTheFeministDragon Sun 29-May-11 16:37:46

Btw, that site does have dodgy (!) credentials, but I think they're not wrong about the statistics - someone on here was talking about witch trials a few days ago, in the context of feminism, and saying the popular perception isn't very accurate. I wish I could remember better what she said!

AliceWorld Sun 29-May-11 16:40:16

Thing is dominant views that I would say hold about as much weight are presented like that. I'm pretty skeptical of a lot of history.

If you want more, I read this download the other day, which I found interesting. Not promoting it as the ultimate truth - I don't think there is such a thing, but an insight into different history.

LRDTheFeministDragon Sun 29-May-11 16:43:52

Thanks! Will have a look.

I totally agree that you get some really, really shoddy documentaries on the dominant view of history too. But it doesn't stop me feeling cross that someone has, basically, been dishonest and hoped that lots of fancy camera work would make them seem believable. It just makes anyone else who is interested in saying that women have/have had any kind of power look like a liar by association. sad

Anyway, off to cheer myself up with a look at your link!

AliceWorld Sun 29-May-11 16:47:20

<slightly concerned this might not be the things to cheer LRD up> wink

LRDTheFeministDragon Sun 29-May-11 16:50:28


Well, I've got as far as the Neolithic woman-statues and I have a soft spot for those. One of my teachers had a replica on her desk, which I quite fancy.

lucysnowe Sun 29-May-11 17:56:26

wiki seems to have a similar view...

MisterDarsey Sun 29-May-11 20:41:42

Here's an interesting article about the witch craze, arguing that it was all part of a plot by the medieval nobility to crush the increasingly unruly peasants:

Who were the witches?

dittany Sun 29-May-11 22:25:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LRDTheFeministDragon Sun 29-May-11 22:32:04

I don't think anyone is disputing that, dittany (certainly I wasn't).

It's just that the film, if you watch it, isn't 'history' at all, which is a real shame.

dittany Sun 29-May-11 22:35:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dittany Sun 29-May-11 22:48:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 29-May-11 22:49:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LRDTheFeministDragon Sun 29-May-11 22:52:27

Firstly, it's factually inaccurate to a fairly stunning degree. Eg., it claims Christianity was 'new' in Europe in 1132, which is out by nearly a millenium. If the wiki link posted above is correct, it also places Trier in the wrong country and mis-dates the cross it's talking about by a couple of centuries (looking at the cross, I think wiki must be right). It claims that pointed hats were once a symbol of some kind of power (authority, it might have been?).

Secondly, it presents lots of authoritative-sounding opinions as if they were facts, but doesn't back them up at all, mainly about women's powers and religion pre-dating Christianity. As far as I know, there is no way they can bee this authoritative, because there's little written evidence. If they have evidence, they should give it; if they have a basis for interpretations, they should give it. I felt it was dishonest.

I find the picture of a 'strong woman' existing in some not-very-well-defined historical past quite insulting. There's no need to create fairytales about women having had some kind of awesome power that's been stolen from them: why not just admit we're equal to men and deserve to be treated the same?

LRDTheFeministDragon Sun 29-May-11 22:53:08

Oops, took ages to write that, excuse the cross-posting.

dittany Sun 29-May-11 22:57:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 29-May-11 22:58:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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