Why ‘Witches were Women Who Knew Math’ Annoys the Heck out of Me

  • HL Mencken

It Ignores The Guys

Roughly 25% of all the victims of these hunts were male. Some of these men were minorities, like the indigenous folks in Finland. Some of these were flat-out little boys who were defenseless orphans. Many were men who were swept up once the hysteria got good and hot, like the ‘more weight’ guy.

It’s Factually Wrong On Many, Many Levels

Most women throughout history have been taught the math necessary to run the life people expected them to lead.

It Does Not Serve the Feminist Cause At All

There is a certain reductive way of viewing women’s place in the past that completely sweeps away nuance and lived reality. That thinking leads to all sorts of weird pretzel logic:

It Lets off Some of The Real Villains

It is not a coincidence that the bulk of the witch hunt craze happened after the Reformation. It is not a coincidence that the bulk of these hunts happened where Protestantism and Catholicism tended to rub shoulders. When the two religions wanted to prove that they were the right way to heaven and were really taking the fight to the devil, they ‘proved’ it by accusing the vulnerable of consorting with devils.

And Sets Us Up To Do It Again

The problem with these types of narratives is that it gives people the notion that, since many women graduate with biology degrees, the fight is over, and we are in the most equal society ever.



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Vivian Yongewa

Vivian Yongewa


Writes for content farms and fun. Has an AU historical mystery series on Kindle.