Witches and how they are silenced

Part of a series, Autonomy, Diversity, Society. Posts about our roles, relationships and governance. No article in this section is meant to stand alone, there will be a lot more coming soon that will clarify the current posts.

—-

A weed is a strong plant thriving where those in power do not want it. A witch is a strong person thriving where those in power do not want them.

The last millennium promised utopia and received instead plagues, wars, and capitalism. European histories of the first half write of a dark time when not much happened because the history of the peasant rebellions is dominated by those history still casts back into the shadows. A history which reads as Thomas Carlyle’s “Biography of Great Men” and inexorable industrial progress is a cover for endless battles and insurrections and powerful networks of horizontal collaboration.

Europe in the early part of the second millennium saw the rise of centralized power under the Catholic church coinciding with ongoing turmoil between peasants and those who sought to enclose and control their land use and acquire their labour. Slavery had evolved into serfdom and many had far greater autonomy, their own land plus the commons, solidarity and community. Martin Luther and the Protestants preached spiritual freedom. The peasants had diversity and society and were fighting to maintain autonomy. The entire millennium saw the commodification of society under centralized control to remove the peasants’ autonomy. Silvia Federici[1] calls the heretic movements of the 11-13th centuries the first “proletarian international” and she describes the heretics “liberation theology” which “denounced social hierarchies, private property and the accumulation of wealth” and disseminated “a new revolutionary conception of society that … redefined every aspect of daily life (work, property, sexual reproduction and the position of women) posing the question of emancipation in truly universal terms.” The Cathars saw the spirit as being sexless and gendered roles as illogical.

The Beguines of the 12th century also created a society of horizontal collaboration among women, devoted to prayer and good works but free of subjection by the church or any other hierarchy as did the smaller male Beghard communities. The Mirror of Simple Souls[3] by Beguine Marguerite Porete in the early 14th-century was written in the more accessible French and intended to make the teachings accessible, unlike the church’s Latin. During a time when the Catholic church acted as the sole NGO, collecting money for the poor and keeping it for themselves, these women were threatening the church coffers. Women were also, according to Federici, a major force behind the later peasant revolts during food shortages and other troubles as they seldom had the option of leaving and were responsible for the caretaking of children and others. Women who were part of the families and communities they were healers in were also less likely to act in the interests of the powerful over the health of their families. Isabel Pérez Molina writes[2] “… witches-healers … advised people to control their consumption of sugar, since they had detected illnesses related to such consumption. However, for the Church, which had interests in the sugar industry, it was in its interest for consumption to increase, not the other way round.”

The church and capitalists responded to the rising egalitarian threat by creating a hierarchy which demonized women to divide the previously united peasants. Where all had previously worked together in a society, waged labour created class warfare and a new master-servant relationship between men and women. Men had autonomy through land replaced by autonomy through wages and women were now unpaid slaves or, sometimes thanks to new abolition of laws against rape of the lower classes, prey.

The power of life and death was largely the domain of women in Europe at that point as they were the keepers of medicinal knowledge and the medical practitioners. They were also the midwives and the people who performed abortions and taught contraception so they controlled the production of labour at a time industry was demanding more workers. Women’s bodies, no less than foreign continents, became the site of a capitalist war for resources. By 1484 when Pope Innocent VIII issued a papal bull[4] approving the Inquisition, women were clearly defined as capitalism’s first terrorist threat accused of having “slain infants yet in the mother’s womb … hinder men from performing the sexual act and women from conceiving”.

Between the twelfth to the seventeenth centuries the witch hunt which raged over Europe and the Americas killed untold numbers of women who practiced medicine or had medical knowledge at the same time that the institution of all male professional medicine was being established. The medical knowledge taught in the universities established in the twelfth century was primarily a study of the works of Galen and Hippocrates and included little to no practical experience. The professional practice consisted of little more than blood letting and incantations by the church with confession required before treatment.

The universities commodified care for society members into a product to make the Catholic church more wealthy, much as the medical industry has continued to put corporate wealth over medical care today. The execution of all women practitioners and forbidding of all old knowledge was to establish a monopoly over the most important societal knowledge, the power over life and death. Institutionalization and professionalization allowed control of the sources of knowledge by the men of the dominant social classes, a situation still true today. What is billed as The Birth of Modern Medicine was really the death of all women’s knowledge and most importantly, the death of women’s control over their own reproductive destinies. The creation of officially sanctioned knowledge removed ownership of knowledge from women and indigenous societies and placed it all under rigid capitalist control. Practices which had been used and tested for centuries were not considered official or tested until the Great Men approved and claimed ownership of them.

The demonization of women was greatly helped by the teachings of their professional rivals who brought back such Hippocratic favourites as female hysteria (still a very popular diagnosis for any woman who speaks in public) and the wandering womb, described by Aretaeus: In the middle of the flanks of women lies the womb, a female viscus, closely resembling an animal; for it is moved of itself hither and thither in the flanks, also upwards in a direct line to below the cartilage of the thorax, and also obliquely to the right or to the left, either to the liver or the spleen, and it likewise is subject to prolapsus downwards, and in a word, it is altogether erratic. It delights also in fragrant smells, and advances towards them; and it has an aversion to fetid smells, and flees from them; and, on the whole, the womb is like an animal within an animal.[5] It’s hard not to be reminded of US politicians today who claim that women’s bodies are full of hundreds of tiny dead babies.

The first step to creating a patriarchal society was removing matrilineal power from women. In 1680 Robert Filmer’s Patriarcha decreed that power was naturally the domain of men since it was men that contributed the most to childbirth. This authority was based on the rewriting of the obvious physical fact of all humanity emerging from a woman’s uterus into a fairy story about man being created in God’s image and women being created from man’s rib. Since men were held to be the ones most concerned with birth, control over women’s sexuality and uteruses came under men’s domain. The women healers also used sedatives and other drugs to assist in childbirth which the church decided was against God’s will that women give birth in pain and die frequently in childbirth. As of 2012, almost 800 women die in pregnancy or childbirth every day. The Catholic church today still spends far more time objecting to abortion than to murder.

At the same time that women saw their own bodies turned into workhouses to enslave them and lost autonomy over their own bodies, the trade economy made all work not traded to the powerful for a wage unrecognized. The World Bank today still speaks of women ‘entering the workforce’ and ‘contributing labour’ when they enter the trade economy. Worker’s movements centre around waged workers and men’s rights activists insist more men die on the job because the occupational hazards of childbirth and marriage aren’t considered jobs. According to the World Health Organization 287 000 women die in childbirth every year. All US combat casualties in all wars ever come to 848,163. Laws protecting against forced labour and slavery do not include motherhood. While a capitalist who invests in anything that produces income is entitled to a return on investment, women who produced the entire work force are entitled to none.

With the destruction of peasant society women lost their communal support network. Women had to either manage a job in the trade economy while being also solely responsible for societal support or accept work as a slave to her own husband and family, with even her wages from the trade economy often being paid to him. Frequently there was no choice of independence from marriage. Men were reduced to working all day away from their family to purchase their admittance into it. Family relationships which had, once established, been purely social were now monetized and deeply humiliating and divisive to all. In order to create a class war against a population which was not an abstract thought but the family members and social structure men lived with daily, differences between men and women had to be exaggerated and presented as the result of evil.

The division of men and women was the most important class division, the one which enabled the commodification of all the most basic dependencies and destroyed the possibility of horizontal society.

Terrorism by witchcraft

In an interesting parallel to today’s terrorism laws, witchcraft was deemed a crimen exceptum with far less rights for prisoners, interrogation under torture, death sentences for suspicion of offence and inquisitions which sought new names to prosecute. Then as now, the new medical professionals played a significant part as ‘expert witnesses’ for the prosecution against their professional rivals. Current history describes the Inquisition as primarily religious persecution despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of victims were women of all faiths. The popularly known victims who were persecuted for their beliefs, the ones taught in schools today, are scientists such as Galileo and Copernicus who both lived to very old age and continued to work. The hundreds of thousands or millions of women and indigenous and enslaved South Americans killed are unmentioned. All of the texts at the time made clear the primary target was women (and in South America indigenous and slave cultures) and their professional knowledge. The Inquisition was not, as it is depicted today, an attack against men of science, it was an attack for and by men of science.

A heretic who recanted was made to embroider a bundle of sticks (a faggot) to their sleeve in reminder of the fire they had escaped and may yet suffer. The term once used against argumentative women is now used as a pejorative against homosexuals, the other targeted practitioners of non-reproductive sex. It is still not acceptable to today’s corporations to mention the gynocide that put them in control or the dissociated structure that exists more than ever today as medical knowledge is not just centrally controlled but also copyrighted and patented. A search for the history of western medicine will jump straight from Hippocrates to the twelfth century with all of the intervening knowledge photoshopped out, dismissed as old wives’ tales with no recognition of the fact that it provided health care for all of Europe for centuries.

As medical education in Europe became regulated and restricted to men, the women previously known as wise women who travelled and taught others became condemned as gossips. The word which once meant friend was turned into a vice and churches warned of women’s idle tongues. In the words of the Malleus Malleficarum[6], “they have slippery tongues, and are unable to conceal from the fellow-women those things which by evil arts they know”. Soon entire networks of learning were dismantled as these women were named witches and tortured to reveal their networks of trade and knowledge sharing in an apparent attempt to genetically cull daring or intelligent women. Daughters were made to watch their mothers burn and sometimes received lashes in front of their mother’s fires in warning. The networks had also been used to spread information between villages so in centralizing control over medicine and education and isolating women the church also controlled horizontal communication. Traveling healers were replaced by traveling priests and professional doctors. Peasant rebellions would find neither a sympathetic conduit for information.

Screen shot 2014-04-27 at 8.45.29 PM

In 1486 the printing press began its illustrious career as a disseminator of mass hate propaganda for centralized power with the publication of the Malleus Malleficarum which saw 29 printings before 1669, second only to the Bible.[1]. Among the many edifying chapters in this extraordinary work are the following:

Concerning Witches who copulate with Devils. Why is it that Women are chiefly addicted to Evil superstitions?
Whether Witches may work some Prestidigatory Illusion so that the Male Organ appears to be entirely removed and separate from the Body.
That Witches who are Midwives in Various Ways Kill the Child Conceived in the Womb, and Procure an Abortion; or if they do not this Offer New-born Children to Devils.
How Witches Impede and Prevent the Power of Procreation.
How, as it were, they Deprive Man of his Virile Member.
Of the Manner whereby they Change Men into the Shapes of Beasts.
Of the Method by which Devils through the Operations of Witches sometimes actually possess men.
Of the Method by which they can Inflict Every Sort of Infirmity, generally Ills of the Graver Kind.
Of the Way how in Particular they Afflict Men with Other Like Infirmities.
How Witch Midwives commit most Horrid Crimes when they either Kill Children or Offer them to Devils in most Accursed Wise.

Screen shot 2014-04-27 at 8.46.19 PM

Malleus Malleficarum then offers remedies for witchcraft including some of the most disturbed sexually deviant practices ever written, dressed up as law and order. It is however made clear that the power of witches was not their own, but rather came from a sexual act with the devil, women being far too weak of mind to have ideas of their own. “For as regards intellect, or the understanding of spiritual things, they seem to be of a different nature from men; … Women are intellectually like children…. No woman understood philosophy except Temeste.” As a model of professional sabotage the Inquisitions and Malleus Malleficarum remain unequaled and the control they established over medical knowledge remained complete until the Internet allowed women and others to once more begin their gossip. Interestingly, one of the first and most panicked cries for Internet censorship was to prevent dissemination of medical knowledge by any except professionals.

Women were sexually terrified, driven from science and knowledge based fields and left with no purpose after menopause. The most powerful traditional careers for old women in Europe were forcibly stolen, taken over and commodified. Women were allowed back much later, delegated into the role of nurses and forbidden to act without permission from a male doctor in a continuation of the fear that women with no male supervision would conspire to kill babies. Women who want to enter science now must enter a field controlled by Great Men and act according to their rules. They must study and accept that caucasian men have been responsible for every innovation in the world. They must attend a university full of subjects whose histories teach they are inferior, imbecilic and inherently evil alongside the heroic Great Men who reputedly solved all of the world’s problems with one Nobel after another.

Even when a Great Man such as John Stuart Mill states that his wife, Harriet Taylor Mill, co-wrote his essay and it includes the same arguments she published years earlier, male scholars decide that he was lying and he wrote it all himself. Women must excel in their belief of this history. Their acceptance is contingent on their proof that they are in all respects, identical to men. When the empires expanded outside Europe, medical and other knowledge was again taken from the men or women who held it by their colonial masters. Science was there to steal knowledge for Great Men to patent and universities were there to control access to it. Knowledge ownership and cultural assimilation followed the identical pattern used previously on women.

For centuries, women and all collaborative cultures have been afraid to share knowledge outside official sanction. Photoshopped history and the centralized press have entrenched the dominance of Great Men and laws regarding official certification, patents and copyrights have kept stolen community knowledge from community use. The ridicule of every woman who speaks in public as a big mouthed woman, the endless complaining about the sound of women’s voices, and the instant sexualization of any woman who speaks in public is still used to prevent women from escaping the role they were assigned by capitalism.

Women are now accepted as token Great Men if they come from the approved demographic and are fully accepting of the teachings of the other Great Men. Acceptable roles are as representatives of all womankind under the label Feminism, that affiliation which is used as a club to push corporate strategy under the guise of helping women, or as promotional tools for Great Men, citing, interviewing, speaking about and generally acting as a reflective moon to their suns. Unless women see a great need to distribute their own point of view they probably will not as there is no benefit, it will not be heard and it usually leads to ostracization. They have generally learned to fear mobs, economic survival and social acceptance depends on acceptance by the Great Men and communication is too difficult without support. They will rarely if ever see their vision come to fruition in the way they wished anyway and they will nearly always see their ideas co-opted for the glorification and empowerment of a Great Man.

Women very frequently offer work anonymously to parasites to get their ideas heard through group work, or as ‘assistants’ to Great Men, partners or children. As Nietzche instructed, the greatest achievement women should strive for was to produce an Übermensch, not be one. Centuries of women’s work unacknowledged and used freely by the commons has made it habitual for Great Men to pick it up and market it as their own. The narcissistic nature which creates Great Men means they will attempt to kill, or at least erase, the goose that laid their golden eggs as soon as they have attained the position they wish. Any group that produces great content will also attract people who will attempt to use the content to become Great Men. In either case, control of the power created by the ideas will not be wielded by the originator and it is very unlikely it will be wielded in the manner she intended, one reason so many Great Men act in ways completely opposite to their original promises. As in medicine, where women were subservient nurses providing care and men were doctors providing authority, women have traditionally been permitted action based paths while men take the roles with titles, authority and media attention. A horizontal system of action based governance would remove the misplaced authority.

Stories about everyone are linked to western men for newsworthiness, the implication being no one will read a story without their picture. The great power of Anonymous in amplifying the voiceless has been their ability to get stories about everyone in the news with a picture of a western teenage boy on top of it (regardless of what demographic those behind the action are really from). ‘Thought Leaders’ explain revolution they have never been near with as much authority as men commenting on ‘women’s issues’. Hilariously, Great Men are now lecturing women and indigenous people on how to live without money or credit, anonymously and horizontally and explaining the evils of living under constant surveillance and having all their communications monitored.

A revolution which observably looked like this becomes edited in real time to be marketed like this. When those seeking power from revolution then universally look like Ken dolls, it can be explained by saying they were the only ones participating in the fight and observers can shake their heads sadly and wonder what it is in the nature of women that keeps them from ever contributing. Anyone concerned more with promotion of an idea than personal fame is reminded of Alan Turing’s syllogism “Turing believes machines think. Turing lies with men. Therefore, machines cannot think.” Nothing happens till a Great Man says it happened. A western man can obtain international news coverage by tweeting that he is being repressed, a middle aged Asian woman can stay up a crane for 309 days with almost no coverage at all. Content producers are reminded of the acceptable revolutionary slave morality by aggregators: ‘I am just spreading the knowledge, it is the information that is important not your ego.’ .

Corporate media and corporations attempt to ensure that all women seen in public are under 30 in a continuance of the demonization of women past childbearing age. Women must do everything men do, with all of the above obstacles, before they are 30 and then be compared with men at the end of their careers. Men are shown billionaires in the media, women are shown plastic surgery. The token women in Hollywood films, half the age and exponentially more attractive than the men, are echoed in technology conferences and elsewhere in the business world.

Booth babes and women as display appear to serve no purpose other than a warning to women much as hanged cadavers once warned travellers away from city walls. The picture below illustrates, as does nearly every tech conference, that while fat bald old men are welcomed everywhere in IT, women over 25 do not exist and women do not exist except as an attractive display of body parts in any case. Since women were once equal in technology, writing the first programming language, the first compiler and filling more technology positions than they did other STEM fields, the current demographics are not the result of ability or interest but the result of the drastic increase in power associated with the field.

It would not be acceptable in IT to have a headline like ‘How to explain the new data-leaking ‘Heartbleed bug’ to your mom’ directed at an ethnic group instead of a gender, neither would it be acceptable to have a conference full of caucasian men decorated with naked bodies of men from another ethnic group.

Screen shot 2014-04-28 at 3.29.25 PM

Photo from Consumer Electronics Show 2013 via Mashable

Defending the Witches against the Trolls

Centralized power has entrenched their right to continue to dominate discourse and coerce society with endless lobbying for freedom of the press, freedom of their centralized hate propaganda. The powerful centralized press has acted consistently against women and people colonized by capitalists since it was created. It has coerced populations into wars, coup d’états, persecution of minorities, and all forms of hate directed against each other while shielding the powerful. It shows women as fools and naked bodies when it shows them at all.

Decentralized communication has returned power to women, minorities and everyone locked out of power by the corporate media for centuries. Women and local communities have once more begun to gossip, this time on a global scale. Women have also begun to network and collaborate, a development viewed with shock and horror by many of social media’s Great Men who object to the ‘mob’ responding to hate speech they have never been criticized for before. The online version of the Gulabi Gang has free speech loving libertarians calling for controls and limits to free speech when the wars caused by the centralized press never did.

Suddenly the corporate media which has terrorized women since its first printing is rushing in to Save the Women from free speech. Corporate media which has libelled, ridiculed and demeaned women for centuries, even killing off a Princess of Wales when she got too powerful, has suddenly initiated a campaign to save the witches from the trolls. While there are certainly people online who follow corporate media’s lead in upskirting and threatening women and punching down at all who speak without power, the real problem is obviously those who punch up, the only observable difference between the press which has unlimited NGO money dedicated to its freedom and the vilified trolls. As usual, corporate media has enlisted its professional Feminists to deliver its message in the name of all womankind and attack the first medium women have had for their self defence in a millennium.

Satire that attacks the powerful is far funnier than that which attacks the weak and is one of the most effective ways to question power. This satire is much more important to protect than the corporate press which should be destroyed. Considering what women have been through, they are very well able to protect themselves from Internet trolls. In centralized media, comedy can be restricted to Great Men punching down. On the internet it has the potential to be equalized. Trolling, the Internet version of cutting yourself by attracting rage and making your attackers look ridiculous, is made to order for attacking Great Men, particularly by those with no status to lose.

The fight against trolls was well illustrated by a pair of bomb threat jokes on Twitter directed to airlines. The first, by a caucasian man who was actually ready to board a flight and angry, became a media and Internet cause célèbre, a test case for Freedom of Speech. Media recommended that “The law … change to reflect the changing ways we’re using technology.” The second, by a genuinely hilarious 14 year old girl who was nowhere near the airport and very obviously joking was met by a barrage of online hate and corporate media discussing how 14 year old girls should not be allowed on the Internet. Any law against trolling will be a law outlawing satire by the powerless while retaining hate speech to lock people out of positions of power.

Trolls and witches are both enemies of the powerful and are natural allies.

The perils of diversity

A Jewish story describes Adam’s first wife Lillith as created before or at the same time as him and from the same earth. She refused to lie beneath Adam and flew away to become the baby eating, man raping, snake loving demon she appears as in many writings (under various names). Her appearance in the Alphabet of ben Sirach in the 8th – 10th century as a foil to characterless Eve entrenched the moral that women who were not completely subjected to men were pure evil.

The Malleus Malleficarum was there to remind women what this belief meant to their safety and convince men of its truth.

“Ecclesiasticus xxv: There is no head above the head of a serpent: and there is no wrath above the wrath of a woman. I had rather dwell with a lion and a dragon than to keep house with a wicked woman. And among much which in that place precedes and follows about a wicked woman, he concludes: All wickedness is but little to the wickedness of a woman. Wherefore S. John Chrysostom says on the text, It is not good to marry (S. Matthew xix): What else is woman but a foe to friendship, an unescapable punishment, a necessary evil, a natural temptation, a desirable calamity, a domestic danger, a delectable detriment, an evil of nature, painted with fair colours! Therefore if it be a sin to divorce her when she ought to be kept, it is indeed a necessary torture; for either we commit adultery by divorcing her, or we must endure daily strife. Cicero in his second book of The Rhetorics says: The many lusts of men lead them into one sin, but the lust of women leads them into all sins; for the root of all woman's vices is avarice. And Seneca says in his Tragedies: A woman either loves or hates; there is no third grade. And the tears of woman are a deception, for they may spring from true grief, or they may be a snare. When a woman thinks alone, she thinks evil.”

So a woman was neither permitted to think in the company of other women or in solitary, all her thoughts must be guided by men. Network censorship in the name of terrorism is not a new thing.

Both Lillith-type legends and Malleus Malleficarum warn of the dangers of women’s carnal natures:

But the natural reason is that she is more carnal than a man, as is clear from her many carnal abominations.

And of their natures in general:

And as to her other mental quality, that is, her natural will; when she hates someone whom she formerly loved, then she seethes with anger and impatience in her whole soul, just as the tides of the sea are always heaving and boiling. Many authorities allude to this cause. Ecclesiasticus xxv: There is no wrath above the wrath of a woman. And Seneca (Tragedies, VIII): No might of the flames or the swollen winds, no deadly weapon, is so much to be feared as the lust and hatred of a woman who has been divorced from the marriage bed.

All of the above opinions are reinforced by philosophy, in which Aristotle calls women “a misbegotten male”, science, in which Darwin wrote “males are more evolutionarily advanced than females” and by almost every other authority of the day. Darwin also warned that “unchecked female militancy threatened to produce a perturbance of the races” and to “divert the orderly process of evolution”. It is little wonder that feminism as it exists now and in the past spends all of its energy trying to convince both men and women that they are alike in every respect and denying any differences no matter how physically apparent.

In actual biological fact, women are obviously not equal to men though they certainly are equivalent. Whether or not men deviate more from the normative range (in both directions) due to their more vulnerable Y chromosome, women deviate from their own norms through both a monthly cyclic cocktail of hormones and a lifetime of changing, personality altering hormones. Again, this is not a weakness, it is a gift. Women are capable of far more diversity of thought within their own minds and lifetimes. “Hampson (1990) found that, at the mid-point of the cycle, characterized by high levels of oestrogen and progesterone, women obtained higher scores on verbal, but lower scores on spatial tests, than they did when menstruating.” Mackintosh (105) [7]

We are not even beginning to understand the full effect of hormones on women (or men) because difference is not a topic of popular study in a world where safety and societal acceptance are found only in equality. One thing is certain; there are cognitive differences in women on the hormone altering pharmaceuticals sold to women worldwide as Feminism, their keys to acceptance into a male world. “17 women taking oral contraceptives (combined preparation of estrogen and progestin) served as age-matched controls… During the preovulatory phase, creativity was in general improved when serum concentrations of estrogen (E2) and luteinizing hormone (LH) were highest whereas motor perseveration decreased. In control women, there was no preovulatory improvement of divergent thinking and no preovulatory decrease in motor perseveration.” Mackintosh (105) [7]

No one can seriously think in this day and age that the best method of birth control we can come up with will necessitate women the world over being subjected to extremely dangerous pharmaceuticals that do everything from destroying the aforementioned carnal lust to eliminating the aforementioned natural will which these men found so frightening. The birth control pill is not about birth control, it is Dolby sound for women’s hormones, a way to control that legendary fury which hell hath no greater than and a sacrifice of women’s own genius to make them a little closer to the masculine ideal. The fear of women’s hormonal changes is ancient and pervasive. It is predictable that it was women suffering post-natal depression that were a favourite target for brainwashing by Canadian intelligence services. What would be hilarious if it were not an environmental catastrophe is those same hormones that are being used to declaw women globally are of course returning to the earth and combining with the simulated estrogen in plastics to create an excess of women’s hormones the world over.

Centralized medicine brought the industrialization of childbirth and removal of breastfeeding. The pharmaceutical industry has managed to conflate the pill with birth control almost completely and further conflate the pill with feminism. Feminists who feel their role consists of convincing the world that women are identical to men and preaching complete assimilation would rather deny that natural hormones exist and embrace any pharmacology that minimizes them. It is interesting that the exact same pills when provided to an ethnic group are a scandal but not when provided to an entire gender.

The war between women and men is the war for control over chaos. As chaos rises, a small but effective percentage of men seek to control women. Pythagoras wrote, “There is a good principle that created order, light and man and a bad principle that created chaos, darkness and woman.” The desire to remove any variation in character from women goes back to earliest writings. In European mythology women are frequently powerful wild cards with a passion for vengeance such as Nemesis, Nyx, Lilith, Eris, Calypso and many others. In science fiction women are most often robots (frequently literally), predictable and characterless with child bearing function removed or industrialized. The hoped for transition in character is hard to miss. In societal norms women must be heavily moderated, use endearments instead of cursing and any negativity or assertiveness is attacked as ‘hysteria’ or ‘unacceptable anger’. The need to constantly train women to be passive and subservient partly results still from a very real terror instilled by the relentless propaganda of the last millennium.

In matrilineal societies women controlled the home and were responsible for all of the child rearing as well as most agriculture. As descent could only be proven from women, they were the heads of families and men could be banished from the home and even shunned from the village if they offended. This shunning could equal a death sentence if the man had nowhere else to go. The terror of women’s anger may have had something to do with this traditional fear in some cultures. Centuries later the same concerns about women’s property ownership and maternal rights and the same complaints about women’s ‘natural character’ are being repeated by the masculinist MRA (men’s rights activists) group. Conversely, they also complain if property ownership is not available to women as they then are considered ‘gold diggers’, seeking possession of men’s property.

In today’s society any reminder of female physical attributes comes with a perception of lesser intelligence. Women are described as ‘a mom’ as a demeaning dismissive. Respect and perception of intelligence decreases with the number of children born while for men more children still adds to the perception of leadership. In the technology fields currently hailed as our future in every aspect of society, ‘mom’ is a euphemism for ‘imbecile’ and some self-proclaimed feminists still sneer at other women as ‘breeders’.

In the fight to regain their power the witches have lost themselves. Their personal stories and professional pride have been erased, their own bodies have been used to enslave them and their economic and social relationships are removed from the structure we live in. The only current path to autonomy for women is to become a lesser Great Man and the primary path to being a Great Man is through mind and body altering pharmaceuticals, politicized access to health services and obsequious service to existing Great Men. Witches need to stop playing a game which was designed for them to fail. It is less logical to join an economy rewarding those who serve Great Men than it is to design one rewarding those who serve society. Instead of standing outside begging for admittance to power, witches need to reclaim their own power, on their own terms.

Hail Eris.

Witches and neurotypical intolerance

In a world where systems are governed by highly specialized epistemic communities of elite knowledge, it is essential that there is broad diversity in those communities.

It is common to point out that men score more highly in math and abstract areas than women to account for their prevalence in STEM fields. By that logic we would also expect almost all public speakers to be women since they score significantly higher in verbal areas. There should also be far more older women in all professions than older men since mental faculties in men deteriorate more quickly. Since both fields are completely dominated by men, especially as they become older, we can concede that there are plenty of both that are qualified for both areas but something is still sending far more men to the top in every high status field.

In 1996 Ellen Winner wrote[8]: gifted girls have much more trouble socially than do gifted boys. For example, in one study, academically gifted boys were shown to be more popular than average ones, while gifted girls were less popular than average girls. In fact, the most popular of all four groups were the gifted boys, and the least popular of all were the gifted girls. The gifted boys were perceived as funny, smart, and creative, while the gifted girls were classified as moody, melancholy, self-absorbed, aloof, and bossy. What is seen as leadership in a boy is seen as bossiness in a girl. (Winner 230)

Girls with high grade-point averages report more depression, lower self-esteem, and more psychosomatic symptoms than do boys with such grades. The conflict between intimacy and excellence is also felt acutely by children from minority groups in which it is not "cool" to excel at school. (Winner 231)

the striking decrease in the number of girls in gifted school programs in later grades. Girls make up about half the population in these programs in kindergarten through third grade, but by junior high school they make up less than 30 percent. Girls show lower self-confidence and lower career aspirations than do boys of equal ability. The ambitions of bright girls decline in high school, even though they tend to get higher grades than boys. And girls are more likely to hide their abilities in order to be socially accepted. (Winner 298)

If you ascribe to the theory that the extra X chromosome brings women an extra resilience from neurotypical deviation we can speculate that the very rarity of women who stray very far from the mean is grounds for their persecution. There are many factors yet to be eliminated before we can accept any such theory, such as the effect of poverty and chronic stress on iq testing, but whatever the cause, less deviation in women could lead to less tolerance of diversity. You may also consider that persecution of witches, whether women or minorities, may create a greater need for solidarity against a common enemy elite. It could be a cumulative rage against the idea of survival of the fittest in a trade economy which was designed specifically to exclude them that causes hostility towards elitism. Equality may evoke memories of the Commons, an idea which for women represents the last time they were recognized as contributing members of society entitled to their share, not just parasites dependent on charity or pale reflections of men. Or perhaps societies in which women were beaten and killed for incompetence and burned at the stake for attaining skill or knowledge have created a culture where pulling attention is taboo.

Whatever you choose as the cause, it is impossible at this point to deny the hostility the majority of women feel for women who excel too far beyond them or lag too far behind them. Since this hostility is shared (although far more impotently) by the average man, it seems safe to say neurotypical intolerance is probably at least a significant factor. Studies describing the social behaviour of women seem frequently to be describing the faults of neurotypicals, not necessarily all women.

If girls are now in some cultures more accepting of higher achievement among girls it is only as a mass movement. There is still no support for relative excellence or originality or the independent thought that would lead to radical creativity. Feminism, like all group affiliation, preaches solidarity not individualism. While neurotypical men resent the ‘elites’ it does not produce the hostility it does in women when other women excel. Men generally accept some sort of ranking as unavoidable, even if they resent it. Women will vehemently deny that relative attributes even exist or believe if they do exist they should be compensated for. ‘Feminism’ is a celebration of ‘normal’ or average where everyone is pretty, smart and just the right fitness, a neurotypical paradise. These women will never promote another woman to relative superiority. They will choose someone who is relatively disadvantaged and promote her as the one that ‘deserves’ to be promoted in compensation for the weaknesses. Any woman that is already seen as advantaged will not receive the support they require to attain a higher role. Indeed if they begin to achieve success, the pack will attack and attempt to bring them back down. Neurotypical women are fighting for the inclusion of neurotypical women in places requiring elite expertise.

Even with no further attack, shunning is one of the most effective punishments humans have devised for each other. It is possible that the effects of shunning are felt more by women if you believe they are more socially developed and inclined and biologically dependent on creating society. They are the ones most in need of support and encouragement from each other, both because of vulnerability to outside threats and a greater biological and cultural workload to share. Shunning and lack of approval from the vast majority of other women and a lack of peers is enough in itself to strongly discourage women and minorities from offending the pack with any attempt at excellence or achievement. Women with superior ability either accept inferior roles or learn that women are their mortal enemies. Women at the top are the ones picked to be there by men and not eliminated by women.

Witches, whether women or minorities, usually never realize they are intelligent, as they are more likely to be told they are arrogant. While potential Great Men will be hailed as leaders, witches will be destroyed by their peers. If witches excel they must downplay, apologize, minimize and hide it. Women and minorities are consistently criticized for not promoting themselves but the risks in doing so are too great.

Dependency and parasites

The root of society, the first dependence, is created when a woman gives birth to a child. The nature of society depends on how it is built out from that core, whether all share in responsibility for the first and all other dependencies or whether the strongest are pulled away to isolate caregivers and commodify dependency.

In the capitalist society we live in corporations are people and people are means of production. The rapidly escalating international industry of human trafficking is a picture of a society which has reduced people to dissociated bodies. Men object to a society which gives them responsibility for childbirth without authority or choice and women object to a society which gives them responsibility without choice, support or acknowledgement. Men and women, old and young, able and infirm have been forcibly ripped apart in an attempt to destroy and commodify society and halt the creation of a horizontal network of inter-dependencies.

The master morality considered appropriate for workers in the trade economy is replaced by slave morality for anyone working as caregivers or in service to society. No human achievement would have been possible without the caregivers that raised and enabled those achieving. Mothers receive instant blame for failure as seen in the media coverage of tragedies like the Newtown massacre or the Boston bombing, but no credit for success.

Women are depicted as parasites on society. The term single mom today is as derogatory as unwed mother was in the past, the morality offended being not in the lack of marriage but in the dependency on social support. Parasites are hated as they weaken society instead of strengthening it. In all of the talk of dependency as parasitism, it is not recognized that all men and women parasited off of women in a very physical reality in order to exist. Women who hate those parasiting off of them are considered an abomination, but a mother presented as a parasite on society is openly derided and hated. Who gets to decide when dependency becomes evil? The line that infants did not consent to being born so are exempt from judgement is disingenuous, no one chooses to be dependent on society and unlike every other dependency, society would not exist without infants. Dependency is a natural part of the human experience and mothers are not creating dependency, they are relieving society of the vast majority of responsibility for it. The propaganda depicting them as parasites is coming from the true corporate parasites, deflecting blame onto their victims.

The continual humiliation of living in a society which views them as parasites leaves women vulnerable to even more capitalist scams to force more free labour from them. “The AP investigation and internal reports showed just how brutal the SKS microfinancing program was, how women were particularly targeted because of their heightened sense of shame and community responsibility.” For women conditioned through generations to believe they are parasites and expect slavery it is harder to recognize and fight off these predators. Most women with dependents pride themselves in their ability to survive in the system while obeying all the ridiculous rules, and condemn other women who refuse.

Women and children are the last unit of a social structure to be dissociated and the most physically and socially difficult to separate. Corporations regulate reproduction with propaganda and hard coercion regarding the social acceptability of reproducing or not reproducing. China forces abortions while Ireland refuses them. People are a commodity but there is no return on investment for producing them, just coercion in one direction or another. Industry no longer needs the population growth we are experiencing so both motherhood and children have experienced a sharp devaluation in society.

Women’s reproduction can be regulated by limiting access to birth control and forbidding its use, as well as making it impossible for women to survive without a family structure which includes heterosexual sex, but this only serves to increase reproduction. A society that wishes to decrease reproduction typically needs to make it disastrous to reproduce, historically by making it impossible to protect yourself while pregnant or to protect small children once they are born. This has continued today, where children are killed constantly and very publicly and dismissed as simply ‘collateral damage’. A very short time ago, the death of a child was considered by western society to be a non-debatable tragedy, an evil so pure and complete its evil was never questioned. This mindset was first altered by a persistent campaign during the US war against Iraq to depict Iraqi children as bomb carrying subhumans created by their parents only for the purpose of death. ‘They do not value life’, ‘they would rather die than live’, and ‘Iraqi children are not like ours’ became the new truths that society was convinced to accept.

As always, the minority persecution then spreads much more easily to a societal truth. Israeli soldiers are taught to kill anything that moves and murdered children are referred to as ‘collateral damage’. The US military boasts of new guidelines that “opened the aperture” to considering children of any age legitimate targets. The children lose their humanity and become objects. This change in society is probably illustrated nowhere better than on the US police targets depicting ‘non-traditional threats’ including children. Societal dissociation is complete with the police officer who stated he enlarged images of his own children for target practice “so that he would not be caught off guard with such a drastically new experience while on duty.” If not his own children, what society is it his duty to defend? The message is clear. People are paid to kill people. People are not paid to give birth. It is more socially acceptable to kill people than to give birth to people. Genocides are being fuelled the world over on the premise that populations are growing too quickly and women are under particular attack as the source of population growth.

The famous modern example of seductive coercion against childbirth are the incentives under China’s one child system but the increasing amount of slave labour involved everywhere works as well. The state only wishes more workers for knowledge industries so caregivers are directed by the state to train their children to a far higher level, still with no compensation for their labour and at great expense to themselves. No longer will these children be destined to provide for their parents, they will be labouring instead for corporate shareholders. In a world where society has been commodified, the return on investment is highly discouraging. Economic freedom is more available now (although unequal) for women but not for children and dependents who are still left unaccounted for by the economic systems imposed on society.

Women as mothers are also derided as coercion to stop reproduction. Mothers, like prostitutes before them, are expected to not participate in society. Mothers have their children threatened if they disobey power as Pussy Riot members and many others have discovered. Western media have gone from a frenzy of approbation for the Dionne quintuplets in the 1930′s to death threats for a US mother of octoplets. In an interestingly medieval turn, the ‘Octomom’ appeared in a strip show labeled “The Final Humiliation” to pay the bills for her children. Industry has gone from punishing contraception, abortion and especially infanticide by death to trying to forcibly sterilize women.

Historically, ownership of women’s bodies is frequently explained as an issue of property ownership. Not just the women themselves but also any offspring were considered assets to be disposed of and therefore a source of power. In current society there are far easier ways to control people than by reproducing them. The current most popular method around the world, is the dissociation of people from any form of society. This ability to control others with no social relation to them combined with rapidly increasing overpopulation of the world mean motherhood is increasingly not just unsupported but targeted. Women are caught in a war between those that would dictate that women must have children and those that dictate that they must not. Choice is lost and children are pawns in a system instead of part of a society. At neither side is the support of motherhood or childhood considered at all, only the power to reproduce or not.

Since commoners will always follow, it is only the witches in outcast societies that need to be conquered. As always, group affiliation is used to create a cohesive block that can be easily controlled. Feminism is packaged and controlled, dressed in pink t-shirts and producing op-eds on the women’s pages. All topics like the massive economy of human trafficking are labeled ‘women’s issues’ and cast into the special interest ghetto. Feminism speaks for all womankind and provides the token official voice heard to cover for the lack of witches in every forum. Feminism has been used to lobby for women’s inclusion into the trade economy instead of the abolition of it, to lobby against free speech in the only forums that actually have a female majority and to tone police women everywhere. It is used as a club to bash witches into conformity and designate approved group views. Since Feminism has become a large part of the NGO economy, there is great lobbying to establish and control turf and real activism is co-opted by corporate astroturfing. Support for Feminism co-opts progress for women and puts it under corporate control.

In the debate over how much of Albert Einstein’s work was collaboration with his wife Mileva Marić, a lot of men decided she did not actually have anything to do with his work, pointing largely to the fact that she did no work after they separated. After they separated she was a single parent of one schizophrenic son and another angry fatherless son, was responsible for a sister suffering pyschotic episodes and two parents and had no professional encouragement. Einstein had all of the time, resources and expert colleagues at his disposal and he also produced nothing comparable to their work in 1905. Even during their marriage the relationship was obviously unbalanced enough that he felt the list of demands he presented to her were reasonable. Great Men are usually given a huge amount of time and resources to sit and think and study. Someone offering to take over Mileva Marić’s unpaid work while she thought is laughable even today. Witches, like everyone else, wish to be of service to society and reach their full potential. Considering the dimension the few who have been heard have brought to our knowledge, we need them.

The solutions for women will not be found in parity in a trade economy. The answer is not that women should be paid, it’s that men should not. All money comes from the powerful and we need to build a society that benefits the powerless. If service to society becomes the measure of worth we will have parity overnight. If we reject the economy based on trade to the powerful neither men nor women will have to buy their acceptance into their own families and support of those who need it will enrich the giver instead of impoverishing them.

State education takes responsibility for indoctrination of selected history and worldview and preparation for the work force, frequently a compulsory educaion that parents will go to jail for resisting. Propaganda dictates that the same parents who were capable of teaching nutrition, health, hygiene, speech, safety and so much more to their children are incapable of teaching reading. Social child rearing is needed as support for both parent and child, not state propaganda but the actual care of the child should be the responsibility of the society. If the child is to love their society they must be welcomed by it. Revolution will come when old women claim their rightful share of the economy. When both witches and wretches are welcomed back into the protection of society, when those for whom living itself is enough work to endure are not expected to contribute more, we will have autonomy, diversity and society.

Where there is society there is no need for charity.

[1] Silvia Federici, Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation, 2004 Brooklyn, NY: Autonomedia.

Russell, Jeffrey Burton (1972 repr. 1984). Witchcraft in the Middle Ages. Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-8014-9289-0. (bibrec)

[2] Isabel Pérez Molina, Knowledge and Powers, Duoda, Women Research Center, University of Barcelona

Monica Helen Green, The Trotula: An English translation of the medieval compendium of women’s medicine University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002

[3] Marguerite Porete, ‘Le Mirouer des simples âmes anienties et qui seulement demeurent en vouloir et désir d’amour’, circa 1300

[4] Pope Innocent VIII, Summis desiderantes affectibus, December 5, 1484.

[5] Aretaeus, The Causes, Symptoms and Cure of Acute and Chronic Diseases, circa 1st century CE

[6] James Sprenger, Heinrich Kramer, Malleus Maleficarum, 1487

[7] N. J. Mackintosh, IQ and Human Intelligence Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1998

[8] Ellen Winner, BasicBooks, New York 1996 Gifted Children: Myths and Realities

5 thoughts on “Witches and how they are silenced

  1. I have been sharing/ sending this to all i can reach. Thank you for this article, it really needs to go viral, so many eyes need to be opened…

    • Thank you! It is still rough and needs biblio etc, I will clean it up when I’m finished all the articles and put them all in a pdf. Time. ;-.) I really appreciate the feedback!

  2. Pingback: Weekend Links: Cadavers, crossed lines + containment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s