“Witches: The Threat of Change” — My December Pick

by K.P. Kulski

Last year we used the month of December to pick out our favorite posts of the year. First up, E.J., Carrie, and I will talk about our favorite articles to write and then bring you our favorite guest article of the year.

So here’s my December pick “Witches: The Threat of Change.”

Of course this one wasn’t all that long ago, but it was my favorite simply because of subject matter. The idea of historic witches and society holds endless fascination for me. Long ago I wondered why witch hysteria occurred when it did, a question that led to some moderate research. The more source material I read, I couldn’t help but frame the primary sources against the greater social situation, I realized how often these hysterias occurred alongside great social change.

My October article was born of that curiosity and investigation. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it!


by K.P. Kulski

You tell ’em I’m coming… and Hell’s coming with me.

I’ve often thought these words, while said by Wyatt Earp in the movie Tombstone, had to have been first uttered by a pissed-off witch somewhere in history.

Women overcrowd the rosters of those who bear the label of witch. Even in the modern lexicon, the very word summons the image of a woman… specifically a threatening woman. But why? What is it about these women that are threatening? What about them warranted the extreme punishments we’ve all read about? Was it really just religious?

In my opinion, it was not so simple. I see witch hysteria as one of the many incarnations of the status quo reaction to female agency.

Interestingly enough, the major historic witch hysterias occurred during periods of significant change or disruptions to social norms. In fact, attacks on women in general have been…

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