The Witch Hunts, which began in the 1500’s, swept across Europe in the 17th Century. Estimates of the deaths vary wildly with the most conservative estimates, of casualties, ranging around 60,000. Feminist theories of the trials focussed on the sex of the victims. In England a staggering 90% were women. Coincidentally (not) this was inversely proportionate to the sex composition of the saintly class. Theories which contradict the feminist interpretation can’t dismiss the sex of the victims. Some theorists point to the role of the rise of the printing press in the spread of Witchcraft Trials. This modern re-enactment owes much to Twitter. Twitter Shaming has replaced the burning. Just when this will tip over into more serious violence, against a woman, is anyone’s guess. The violent incidents we have already seen have been denied, dismissed and minimised. This is a dangerous climate we are creating for women.
The focus was on a particular type of woman. Those who were not assimilated & under male control. In the 2000’s this can extend to women with an “unseemly” critique of a male dominated society / financially independent women. Many of the twitter hunts echo this pattern of selecting modern-day witches. Women defending our right to name ourselves, organise as a class, and exclude males, in defined spaces, are the new witches, or, Terfs, if you will.
Women who have been paying attention, or directly involved in the Terfwars, are not surprised by the demonization of women. Lately the target group has widened to include public attacks on JK Rowling and Caroline Criado-Perez. Maybe we can snatch some positives from the, increasingly vitriolic, Social Justice Warrior crusades. Maybe it will finally trigger some self- awareness in our political elite.
Caroline Criado- Perez has not, to my knowledge, entered into the fray regarding the conflict between women’s rights and trans rights. She has, incurred the wrath of the Trans Activists for two cardinal sins. The first is for a book which looks at the experience of women, as a sex class, in a world built around default humans, otherwise known as males.
The book analyses the way the world has been built to accommodate males and left women, the majority, obliged to slot into a world where we are not the template human. Some of those things relate to female biology and this is anathema to the robotic mantra chanters of “Transwomen are women”. For example, female heart attacks are 50% more likely to be misdiagnosed. One would assume that redressing this would be welcomed by feminists across the land. Not so. The problem is that discussing female matters now triggers cries of “transphobia”. Women centring ourselves in our own political movement is viewed as discriminatory against wannabe women. Medically women have different bodies. Different physiology. Women don’t have prostates!
If we are not allowed to say how we are different to males we will remain invisible. Sex matters. If you identify “with” women, you would understand this. The need to erase all distinctions between transwomen and women is a pathological obsession with *some* TransActivists. Logically “trans” should exist as a distinct category to capture accurate data, for example, for medical reasons or documenting crime , both against and by the trans community. If feminists were demanding the eradication of data, specifically related to trans people, we would be accused of erasing trans identities. The demand, ironically, is coming from within the Trans community.
Criado’s second “offence” was to reject the label “Cisgender”. This attempt to impose nomenclature on women is interesting. Cis, for the uninitiated, is the term given to women who identify with the “gender” they were born with. Women protest in vain. We don’t identify with a “gender”, we just are women. Apparently, being “CisGender” affords us “privilege” over born males who identify as women. Not only are we being “told” we identify with a set of crass, reductive, stereotypes, we are further advised we are privileged to do so. Let me break that down. Members of the male (oppressor) class are colonising a female identity and then telling their, unwilling, hosts we are actually the oppressor of the, mainly white, male class of colonisers. Truth Inversion is a common feature of this discourse. Any woman with her wits about her would reject the label “CIS”.
No Gender Apostate can be allowed to go unpunished and twitter duly obliges. I love this one. Any woman over forty, who has a platform, is guilty until proven innocent. There is a common pattern in misogyny which often targets older women. Mature (Wise-women) were similarly overrepresented in the witch trials of the 1600’s.
JK Rowling’s has a bigger platform so the attacks are louder. The threshold for “offences” is low and seems to be limited to “likes” & follows on twitter. Rowling has been subject to the popular twitter past-time of offence archaeology; where whole threads are dedicated to excavating her twitter feed for outrage opportunities. As far as I can ascertain it can basically be summed up as “Goody Rowling was seen talking to Goody Berns”. In this case JK Rowling has followed Magdalen Berns, a Radical Feminist, and Lesbian, who was unforgivably, it would seem, prescient about where this was all heading. In response to the witch hunt Rowling has, incredibly, stuck two fingers up at the haters and added Julie Bindel and Fionne Orlander to her follows. Fionne (if you don’t already know) is a self-proclaimed male, battling Dysphoria, embracing gender transgression & trying to forge a path that makes a claim on male spaces, not female. (@FionneOrlander)
Here are some examples of the abuse hurled her way. First up the peremptory demand for an apology. Repent Ye Witch!
Information sharing to drag in other Terfs is another familiar theme from Witch Hunts. The Woke Stasi trawling for gender apostates. We’re going on a Terf Hunt!
Next come the book burnings! How on earth did Enid Blyton survive the Author pogroms? (Oh. Wait. She is forgiven because we can, retrospectively, “Trans” George)
And, naturally, it would not be complete without casting aspersions on her personal attractiveness. Inconvenient women are totally unfamiliar with this tactic. Women deemed “unfuckable” have no other purpose but as a receptacle for male rage.
For anyone puzzling about the women are joining in the attacks on their “sisters” you need only look at the work of Christina Larner and Ann Bastow , on the original Witchcraft trials.
An interesting feature of this “debate” has been the attacks on trans allies for deviating from the every more complex and changing script. The trans equivalent of “witch” is “Truscum” or , latterly “Transmedicalists”. The latter term is imposed on Transexuals (another verboten description) who have actually made some meaningful attempt to escape their masculine bodies. They are an affront to the #LadyPenis proponents. Particular opprobrium is reserved for those who accept their biology and eschew single sex spaces in alliance with women. This is a necessary part of any alliance with women.
Some of these women allying against the “Terfs” have not learnt the lessons of the past. The fate of one of the accusers, in the 1600’s, illustrates, how wh the hunts widened, and former collaborators were swept up. The law to allow younger children to testify was specifically modified to lower the prosecution bar for the witch women. Jennet was persuaded to testify against her family and lo she was implicated and executed in the next round up. First they came for my mum…..
Watching this unfold it is ought to be clear, by now, that no amount of compromise will be enough. Women are required to completely capitulate and allow males to mandate us, as a class, out of existence. Heaven forfend that women define ourselves, meet to discuss our rights, and fight to keep same sex spaces. Handing women’s rights over to anyone, who self-defines as a woman, renders our rights obsolete and unenforceable.
Maybe this latest Terf-Hunt will end the silence and generate some self-reflection on how widespread the “witch-hunting” has become, across the political spectrum. Male Feminists (short for Maleficent, in my mind ) are amongst the worst offenders.
In this modern re-enactment of the Witchcraft Trials there are some common themes with the trials of yesteryear. In Scotland the Witch finders acquired a delicious nickname. The wannabe Mathew Hopkins If 2019 well deserve an updated, abbreviated, modern version. I will think on it. 👇
Get ready! Women are waking up to this. We are saying #EnoughIsEnough.