People who get called Witches
I was prompted to do a series of threads on the European Witch Hunts after I came across this paper (linked below) which seemed to studiously avoid any reference to the sex of the Witches.
I remain irked by the failure to interrogate why the overwhelming victims were women but, on revisiting the paper, I think it offers a vantage point which explains the current witch-hunts against ”Terfs” and “Transphobes” and the campaign against LGB Alliance. Bear with me while I explain.
The author’s hypthesis is based on the idea that the geographic distribution of the witchcraft trials correlated with rivalry between different religions. Catholics and Protestants were competing for market share. They provide a lot of analysis to examine other theories such as weather, income and state capacity.
The Woman Question
Throughout the paper the witches are described as people or persons, never women. The author has clearly read some of the same texts I covered in my dissertation; on feminist approaches to the with hunts in England and Wales. However he mentions this theory only in a tiny footnote.
Mary Barstow and Christina Larner analyse the phenomenon through a woman’s lens for a reason. Here is a clip from Larner’s book which I will cover in part two. The figures are quite stark. The percentage of females shows some variability within the United Kingdom, but the vast majority were female. It does not however invalidate their theory of religious rivalry, it just illustrates that women’s bodies are the main casualties in power struggles. It also sheds light on why men, raising concerns about Gender Identity Ideology, don’t get the same, aggressive, responses.
Religious Rivalry: Market Share
Let’s leave aside any feminist theories, relating to widespread misogyny, I will unpick that in part 2. It is perfectly possible that the battle, for religious market share, was the main cause and that the main victims were female, because of misogyny.
In mainland Europe there was a battle for market dominance between the Catholic and Protestant churches. In England and Scotland the battle was between the Anglican and Presbyterians, given they had already broken, pretty decisively, with the Catholic church. In the battle for congregations a belief in witches was leveraged, by both sides. Here the author links this to political campaigns to attract undecided voters. Is this why Labour MPs are picking Gender Identity Ideology over the women they call dinosaurs and bigots?
The authors present wide-ranging data to show correlations between areas of intense religious rivalry with high rates of witch hunting. They also interrogate data showing links with bad weather, a weakened state and the rise of judicial torture. They conclude that their own hypothesis is more strongly supported, by the data, than the other theories.
This is the conclusion from the data they analysed. Religious market contestation was the key cause of higher rates of witch hunts,
Here are some of the ways in which religious groups compete for dominance, bear this in mind when you consider the ways in which pseudo-secular, Gender Identity lobby groups, compete for market share. Protestants leveraged their relative youth to badge the Catholic Church as corrupt they also followed the age old seizure of young minds by colonising education. Catholics followed suit and also began a series of give-away Saints and beatifications to enhance their market appeal.
Gendered Souls & Gender Apostates
In a more secular world political parties, who identify as left progressives, have embraced Identity politics with alacrity; including Gender Identity Ideology. The doctrinal differences, which have emerged in the last two decades, centre on a belief, or not, in the idea of an innate Gender Identity. We can think of this as a Gendered soul, since it is unverifiable and relies on a faith like belief system. In the United Kingdom the main opposition parties have thrown their might behind belief in Gendered souls and prioritised this above the bodies of actual women. They have also cast out the unbelievers, the witches, from their political parties. The glee with which our Left Wing comrades have hunted down the apostates is eerily reminiscient of accounts of the Witch-Finder Generals, or as the Scots called them Common Prickers. On the left our Matthew Hopkins is Owen Jones.
The quasi-religious belief that a man can be born with a female soul and vice versa has swept across the globe and Trans Women Are Women has become an axiom of the British Left. The belief in an innate Gender Identity has been promoted by Stonewall, Mermaids, Gendered Intelligence and LGBT Foundation, among others. However, latterly we have seen the emergence of another group, LGB Alliance who assert a belief in biological sex and how it is central for the protected characteristic of sexual orientation. LGB Alliance has stormed into this debate like a veritable Martin Luther in the religio-gender wars. Are we at the outset of a Gender Reformation?
So what did our religious forbears do to oppose the upstart new competition? They improved their offer, offering indulgences and used education to inculcate belief in our children. The used a belief in witches to hold up a common enemy and punishment to discourage non-believers. The authors also draw a comparison between the Stalinist purges and the Chinese Cultural Revolution: The treatment meeted out to JK Rowling, Maya Forstater, Helen Scotow and even Miranda Yardley (transsexual, male) is all designed to crush dissent in the same way. Resistance is punished.
Monopolistic religions had another tool in their armoury.
LGB Alliance is the Martin Luther of the biological sex believers. They must be removed from the arena lest they get more followers and threaten the hegemony of Gender Identity Ideology. Targetting terfs and transphobes and metaphorical witch-burning has not proved sufficient. LGB Alliance must have its legitimacy removed. One way to do this is to strip them of their Charity status and brand them a hate group. This is what a collection of Trans ideology disseminating charities have banded together to undertake:
Amidst the usual transperbole about LGB Alliance these are two revealing statements: First up their belief that it isn’t fair, that LGB Alliance are engaging in cruelty, and the deliberate falsification that a belief in the immutability of biological sex equates to a belief in biological essentialism.
Its about money and market dominance
Once you cut through the hyperbole and mis-representations we get to the heart of the matter. LGB Alliance threatens Mermaid’s market share. Here they admit this:
Mermaids want to annihilate the opposition by de-legitimising LGB Alliance and diverting resources away from activities to provide assistance to Gender Dysphoric kids who may, if left alone, turn out to be simply gay males or Lesbians.
I will leave you with the immortal words of Talcum X. Not often I agree with Owen Jones 1984 but he is spot on here:
I do this full-time and have no income. If you can support my work this keeps me going.
Researching the impact of Gender Identity Ideology on women & girls as well as the consequences for Lesbians, Gay males and autistic kids. I do this full time and have no income. All my content is open access and donations help keep me going. Only give IF you can afford. Thank you to my generous donors.
2 thoughts on “Witch Hunts: Erasing Women. 1”
Thank you for this. It is about time the parallel was drawn with witch hunting and the activities of identity ideologists.
You mention in passing the question of why men critical of identity politics are not attacked in the same way as women. Possibly, for some on the so called left, men are always unreconstructed, already regarded as beyond redemption and never taken seriously anyway. For years I have had to put up with the stupidity of this particular ad hominem nonsense. These days it is much more acceptable to ignore marginalise or vilify opinions, not by undertaking any critical analysis of their form or content, but by looking to see who holds them. Middle class, white blokes like me, with an education in classical philosophy, are intrinsically dodgy. So any opinions I have about gender ideology are already dismissed. While any woman thinking of herself as at all switched on or political should, of course, know better by now that transwomen are women, and any who doubt this should suffer the full wrath of what somebody has recently described as the Butlerian Jihad.
I wrote a bit about my own experiences here:
Thanks again for your sterling work. If I had any extra cash I would give you some.
Very interesting read: thank you for this. I’ve been thinking about the parallels lately.
I think the point about market share is a good one.
It’s interesting though that two countries had very little share in the witch-crazes: Spain & Ireland. Diarmuid McCulloch speculates that their cultural space for witch-hunts was already taken up – in Spain with the hunt for Jews & Muslims, and then for secret non-Christian-ness among the descendants of those who’d forcibly converted. There seems to only be bandwidth for one sort of witch-hunt at a time.
The other parallel is with the “Revolution that failed”. For a lot of hardline English Protestants, the Reformation got started & then stalled under Elizabeth (and evening more so under James). Who’s to blame? What stopped paradise being achieved?
Those of the elect who moved to the Massachusetts colony found they were suing each other, squabbling about boundary lines. They still had people who liked getting drunk & dicing. How to explain it? Witches, obviously!
I can see a parallel with the U.K. left..,