We are the granddaughters of the witches you couldn't burn.
The witches of the Middle Ages were some of the first feminists in history, persecuted for their knowledge and their work as midwives, nurses, their knowledge of medicinal plants and their way of life that had little to do with the traditional religious system and patriarchal.
Witches were killed for trying to heal the body and soul, something reserved for God. Free and extremely intelligent women, who were singled out for not obeying and for challenging the male ego. The men of the time considered that women should not feed their intellect.
It is evident that the well-known "witch hunt" was a hunt for women and we cannot avoid mentioning that these witch hunts are still active in some cultures in Africa, India, Papua New Guinea, Saudi Arabia, where they kill women accused of be witches The current danger with this part of the story is how the figure of the witch has been romanticized or even ridiculed through cinema, television and children's stories.
We talk about the history of witches as if it were a legend when in reality we are talking about one of the greatest crimes of humanity, protected and promoted by an institution that is still active. If men had been persecuted and accused of witchcraft, today we would have monuments throughout the West commemorating their lives.
Let's think about Disney's wickedest witches for a moment and how we grew up among those figures. They are presented to us alone, isolated, they have no love, they are evil and they only seek the evil of others. Actually, most of them are women with power, some of them were deprived of their rightful kingdom and all of them feel powerful, brave and determined to recover what is theirs. Are they not qualities that one seeks for oneself?
Silvia Federici, in her book Caliban and the Witch, analyzes the witch hunt as a transition towards capitalism, where the division by sex at work begins to be generated and women are relegated to domestic work, procreation and care. . Therefore, any woman who claimed control over her body and life would be persecuted to death under the pretext of witchcraft.
It is estimated that during the 15th and 18th centuries, 60,000 women were executed, although this figure could be double since there were no records at the time.
Current Western popular culture sometimes reminds us that witch hunts are still active but with other methods. Now the bonfires are with a 5G connection, after a pseudonym and fire in the shape of hearts, the more you add, the more the bonfire burns.
It is important to know history so as not to repeat it, but above all, to know it completely, without eliminating and canceling women, whether as narrators, spectators or as protagonists.
When they call you a witch, raise your head and smile, it is a great compliment considering the wisdom, knowledge and worth, that these women had.
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