This episode is a good one. It conjures up women dancing around bonfires, chanting, mixing positions, invoking curses and being gagged, bound, and hung.
The Salem Witch Trials.
I wanted to include this topic on Stark Conversations because this is the apex of women being accused of nothing more than being women.
Because there was no chanting, no curses cast, no brooms ridden. Instead, what we find are just people. Every day community members using their voices when wronged, dressing for themselves instead of society, breaking stereotypes, and challenging religious oppression. All topics that feminism embodies. All topics women are judged for in 2023.
The lessons we glean from the trials still resonate today. What are we actually doing when we judge others? Deem them as “weak souls,” decide they need Christianity and force testimony and religious doctrine on them? What damage are we inflicting when we make graceless assumptions instead of loving inquiries?
Although the Salem Witch Trials happened over 400 years ago, it feels as though humanity has only taken 10 steps forward. We are still judging women, dictating what they should and should not wear, demanding they yield to their husbands, telling them they are the “lesser” and “weaker” partner, and still telling them they are too much, too loud, and overreacting.
Listen to my conversation with the energetic Dr. Wendy Lucas, Salem Witch Trial Extraordinaire, as she talks with me about this time in history. She answers all my questions and then some. We laugh in utter disbelief and empathize with those who were gaslit into believing they could be the devilish witch their neighbors accuse them of being. But most of all, we discuss the wisdom we can take from this confusing and painful time and use it to give humanity advocacy, equity, and healing.
Specifically, Dr. Lucas explains:
What circumstances led to accusations of witchcraft.
Why women were viewed as a necessary evil.
If the afflicted girls were really having convulsions.
The reasons why people, specifically women, were accused of witchcraft.
Why gender roles and societal expectations are so crucial to Puritans.
Moral Stewardship and how quickly it can get out of hand.
The idea of a feminine soul
How the trials ended.
What amends were made to the accused?
What lessons can we learn from this time in history?
Friends, I promise this is a good one. As always, if you enjoy it, please leave a review!
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