Witch Craft

Julia Boyle
Taking sides
Was the Salem witchcraft hysteria caused by a fear of women?
According to Carol Karlsen men perceived woman as evil, whoreish, deceitful, extravagant, angry, vengeful, insubordinate and proud. This puritan belief all stemmed from the story of Adam and Eve. Eve was a woman who could not be trusted because she had succumbed to the devils temptation. They did not like woman because they scared them and they did not trust them, which is why they accused mostly women of being witches.
Also men did not like the fact of women owning or inheriting land. Men resented woman who inherited land because they were angry. It was a social norm for father and son to own land. Accusations of being witches were outlets; in accusing these women it stopped them from disrupting the social order.
They did not like women being independent. Hierarchy and order were the most important values to the Puritans. The witches were women who resisted the rules or new truths. If a woman was independent and did not bow down to man then they were considered proud. Which in return upset the Puritans because it stepped out of line of how it was supposed to be according to them. People who did not accept their place in the social order were the embodiments of evil.
Laurie Winn Carlson argues that the victims of the Salem witch trials suffered from encephalitis. It is a disease that is insect borne and is strong enough to affect a whole community. The effects of encephalitis are unexplained physical and neurological behaviors, which is exactly what questioned the puritans who saw others resembling the behavior.
Sociologists suggest that the witch trials were based on jealousy. They believe that there were two different Salem’s, Salem village and Salem town. Salem village was less developed very swampy and rocky while Salem town was well developed on the east side. Salem village had a lot of animosity toward the wealthier Salem town. This jealousy...