My feed
Premium

Please
or
to access all these features

AIBU?

Is this information about witch persecution correct or more exist bollocks.

33 replies

malificent7 · 07/09/2022 06:48

My male acquaintance informed me that the most attractive women were persecuted and it must have been other women who dobbed them in as they were jealous.

I call sexist bollocks. Why do men say this shit?

OP posts:
Report

Am I being unreasonable?

64 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
25%
You are NOT being unreasonable
75%
Sunnyqueen · 07/09/2022 06:56

Sounds like bollocks. I mean can you imagine the men getting behind the notion of burning the most attractive women in the village? I'm sure they would have found some excuse for them lol.

Report
Northernparent68 · 07/09/2022 06:58

I doubt he’s right, who would record the level of attractiveness of accused witches ?, but your friend may be mistaken rather than sexist.

the accusers in the Salem trials were women btw.

Report
undermilkjug · 07/09/2022 06:59

I think generally it was the opposite. It was women who lived alone, not married, elderly, perhaps a bit odd.

Report
Sickoffamilydrama · 07/09/2022 07:02

Unless a historian has do a study on the attractiveness of victims of witch trials, which would imagine is impossible he's talking a load of rubbish and probably fits his idea of women.

Report
EllenLRipley · 07/09/2022 07:04

He's wrong, of course. The witch trials were usually persecuting women who lived alone, or looked a bit odd. One of the famous "pendle" witches was thought to be a witch because one of her eyes was lower than the other.
What an ignorant man

Report
FleasAndKeef · 07/09/2022 07:08

No, as previous poster has said, it was usually older women who lived alone, and had specific knowledge about medicinal herbs and midwifery practices. This was at the same time as male dominated "medicine" was coming into practice (blood letting, theory of humors etc). Funny that.

Report
Leafy3 · 07/09/2022 07:12

Definitely bollocks.

Physical perfection was equated with godliness. Many people felt that those afflicted with features that marred their looks were in some way out of favour with god.

I'm massively simplifying this (because I haven't slept and lacking in wakefulness) but unattractiveness was associated with sinfulness...Specifically deformities, warts, moles etc

Protrudences such as warts or moles were often taken as a nipple especially for suckling the devil. It was one of the ways witches were "identified" during the witch hunts.

As a pp said, women who in some way didn't conform to social norms were also at risk, such as widows and spinsters. Especially if they were in some way knowledgeable about healing/herbs etc or seen talking with/hanging about with/in the vicinity of animals.

Certainly, some people were accused as a result of personal grievances but to state that it was women accusing beautiful women out of pure jealousy displays a total ignorance of the facts, of the cultural and social history, and an astonishing (and vaguely misogynistic) arrogance.

Report
Leafy3 · 07/09/2022 07:16

Note also that the rise in witch hunts coincided (along with many other influences) a push back against female brewers.

Brewing beer was female work. Women brewed beer in cauldrons. Some wore tall black hats very much of the time but not dissimilar to the image of a witches hat. Cats were needed to keep vermin at bay from the grains/hops. They were making money and obtaining autonomy through selling beer in markets and there was a concerted effort by men of the time to take over this 'monopoly' of brewing.

Odd coincidence of imagery, don't you think?

Report
Worldgonecrazy · 07/09/2022 07:18

The Pendle witches were the poorest of the poor, and reviled socially long before accusations of witchcraft, so unlikely to have won any beauty contests. It was the Jeremy Kyle show of its day.

People accused others as either a survival mechanism, or, as we saw during lockdown, some people just get pleasure from such behaviours.

Report
inthehammock · 07/09/2022 07:23

Is he basing his theory in watching Winona Ryder in The Crucible or something?!

I studied the witch trials as part of my history degree, and can say with confidence it had very little to do with female envy of beauty - though personal grudges undoubtedly will have contributed, it was far more complex than that.

Report
PileofLogs · 07/09/2022 07:33

Would recommend this podcast podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/witches/id1564112828?i=1000577265176

Women (and sometimes men) tried as witches tended to be elderly, poor, often disabled and (the biggest factor) not supported by a man or having a male relative to speak for them. However your acquaintance is right that it was women as well as men who were often involved in persecution, although only men prosecuted women as witches.

Report
ReneBumsWombats · 07/09/2022 07:34

Stop hanging around with this moron, every encounter will dock your IQ two points.

Report
Pocodaku · 07/09/2022 07:44

What a shallow and ignorant comment from your male acquaintance. It’s hardly an obscure subject. He could easily look up some reliable historical information before spouting nonsense. But then, facile sexism is so much easier!

Report
BigFatLiar · 07/09/2022 07:58

I looked into the records that I could find about witches where my family came from and while there was one account of a young woman being accused and killed for refusing the advances of one of the councilmen (not the reason given at trial) most seem to have fallen foul of the minister (playing cards on the Sabbath, not attending church etc). Seemed to be one minister in particular though there were one or two not church related but it mostly seems to have been grudges.

Report
Jedsnewstar · 07/09/2022 08:01

What rubbish. He has got his information from Hollywood and probably a bad porno.

Report
pigsDOfly · 07/09/2022 08:10

Why do men say this shit?

Usually because they have formed their opinions from a totally unreliable source (as pp said, something like Hollywood films) or they are making shit up in their heads.

Whatever the case in your acquaintance's case OP, he's talking bollocks.

Report
DonnaBanana · 07/09/2022 08:19

He’s wrong but I don’t see how it’s sexist. So called “witches” were all women, the whole enterprise was sexist, but not necessarily your friend who is merely discussing it.

Report
PerfectPictureFrame · 07/09/2022 08:23

This reply has been withdrawn

This message has been withdrawn at the poster's request

PerfectPictureFrame · 07/09/2022 08:24

This reply has been deleted

This message has been withdrawn at the poster's request

Sorry! Wrong thread. Have asked for it to be removed.

Report
Leafy3 · 07/09/2022 08:24

DonnaBanana · 07/09/2022 08:19

He’s wrong but I don’t see how it’s sexist. So called “witches” were all women, the whole enterprise was sexist, but not necessarily your friend who is merely discussing it.

It's a sexist comment because it implies that one of the most notorious abuses of women in western history was perpetrated exclusively by women and by stereotypical female envy.

It absolves the historical men from all responsibility.

Report
dworky · 07/09/2022 08:29

It's bullshit & yet another example of misogynists blaming women for misogyny.
It's time women woke up to this crap.

Report
Igmum · 07/09/2022 08:32

There's certainly research showing that those accused were not popular (isolated, odd), that there were grudges and that they were brewers. I doubt if the most beautiful were targeted - probably the reverse.

Report
BigFatLiar · 07/09/2022 08:39

DonnaBanana · 07/09/2022 08:19

He’s wrong but I don’t see how it’s sexist. So called “witches” were all women, the whole enterprise was sexist, but not necessarily your friend who is merely discussing it.

In the cases I looked into many were men.

As I mentioned mostly fallings out with the minister and grudges and rivalries.

Report
HavfrueDenizKisi · 07/09/2022 08:53

More likely it was the clever outspoken women who were tried as witches.

Report
vodkaredbullgirl · 07/09/2022 08:55

You said it OP, its bollocks.

Report
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.