malleus maleficarum

malleus maleficarum - actions of women overall The...

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Describing the prevailing gender view during the European Renaissance, Dr. Amy Burce outlined the one gender model. In this model, qualities like intellectualism and logic set men apart from women. Moreover, women were considered inferior because they were nurturers and tended to be more emotionally driven. These biases are evident especially in the European witch hunts where women, more often than men, were suspected to witches. While men could fend for themselves from the devil with their "superior" intellect and logic, women were said to "have weak memories and it is a natural vice in them not to be disciplined, but to follow their own impulses without any sense of what is due. .." ( Malleus 1971 [1486] 45). The Malleus, emphasizing the idea that all women are (or can certainly be made to appear) witches, also uses the words woman and witch interchangeably at certain points in the text, and a description of the actions of witches is often later described as the
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Unformatted text preview: actions of women overall. The statement is made that witches "distract the minds of men, driving them to madness, insane hatred, and inordinate lusts,"25 yet women in general have this same ability, for "if she be the wife of a rich man, she does not cease night and day to excite her husband with hot words, to use evil blandishments and violent importunations. And if she have a poor husband she does not cease to stir him also to anger and strife."26 The Malleus states that "there are three things, in nature, the Tongue, an Ecclesiastic, and a Woman, which know no moderation in goodness or vice."27 Although the authors mention the praise given such good women as appear in the Bible, like Judith and Deborah, and saints like Clotilda, they treat them as aberrations, for "the word woman is used to mean lust of the flesh. As it is said: I have found a woman more bitter than death, and a good woman (is) subject to carnal lust."28...
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