Witch Hunts and the Beginning of the Sexual Division of Labor in Sylvia Federici's Text - Essay Sample

Published: 2024-01-30
Witch Hunts and the Beginning of the Sexual Division of Labor in Sylvia Federici's Text - Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Women Discrimination Sexual abuse
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1301 words
11 min read


Sylvia Federici is an analyst and female activist. She focuses on the analytic perspective of women from a historical view. The approach she employs represents that of the Marxist-feminist people. She analyzes the women despite the separation in the gap of the women of class, race, nationality and sexuality. She also presents a relationship between the catholic church in the 17th century and their aim to control the working class in ancient Europe. Thus, she eventually presents a historical examination of changes concerning women’s contribution to the running of the economy.

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According to Federici, any of the explicit topographies to capitalism can be elucidated as part of the restructuring of women’s labour. Deep-seated feminist analyses of the witch hunts explain the demerits associated with the human interaction with witch hunts (Mengistu 152). The extreme violence against witch hunts was due to a more enduring propensity of patriarchy as a public institution to discourage women and suppress their quest for independence. Federici further explains that there existed strategies set by the catholic church that aimed at controlling the reproductive labour, which would have been produced by the women (Mengistu 152). The approach used by the catholic church also aimed at suppressing the peasants’ revolts against the insertions of the commons.

According to the article, Federici outlines that witch hunts advanced in the outcome of fruitful peasant rebellions of the fifteenth to sixteenth centuries against insertions of the commons. The revolt offered a clear suggestion regarding the possibilities of a cooperative and revolutionary system of collective production which would be peasant-managed (Mengistu 153). At the end of the 15th century, there was the radical demographic disaster caused by the Black Demise devastation of the European populace. The immense death cases threatened production and supply of labour in the European firms. The scarcity of many helots of land and the resulting movement to the metropolises created a society full of single mothers, and yet frugally self-governing. It resulted in the formation of a community free of men, thus threatening male supremacy (Mengistu 153).

Federici explains that the main aim of the church seizing witch hunts was the desire to promote and advance their different projects. The church reduced women control while increasing the possibilities of more labour production—prohibited abortions as a way of growing the labour force in their firms. Apart from banning abortions, they also stigmatized women leaders as a way of controlling their modes of expression and case handling (Mengistu 155). The church played a significant role in confining the women into low paid jobs to minimize their resistance to capital exploitation and land privatization. The church also reframed the guidelines for women labour by a precise stipulation that women would normalize the rule of non-paid work. The other responsibility given to women were those of gestation and childrearing.

Additionally, Federici’s text explains that witch hunts could also be used to terrorize rebellious colonial slave subjects as well as independent women. Both groups of individuals were a threat to the progress of the desire to have a male-dominated society (Mengistu 153). The legalized system of sexism where women got downgraded and relegated was taking route in European territories. Racialization was also an issue that defined the legal rights of every man in the European continents. The arguments on racialization were that the white-coloured race had the legal rights to be citizens of the European nations while the slaves were not (Mengistu 152). Federici explains that the considerations given to slaves and a section of women was that of outcasts. It led to the legalization of slavery and other brutal forms of labour for the good of the white race. The main aim of these rules was to create a capitalist nation that would colonize the economy of the entire European continent. It corrupted the freedom of minority and downgraded race, forcing them to work for free, thus ruining their way of life (Mengistu 154).

Cultural Hegemony of Sexism

Sexism refers to gender discrimination, especially the one subjected to women. In Marxist viewpoint, cultural hegemony refers to the domination of an ethnically various society by the reigning class which deploys the ethos of that culture that is the theories, descriptions, discernments, and ethics (Brailey et al. 30). The ruling class manipulates the culture of society to be the most acknowledged and superior governing regime. In Cultural hegemony sexism, women are the most affected gender. It involves the belief that one sex is superior or more dominant than the other (Brailey et al. 30). Sexism creates a limit on the issues to be done by men and others that can be done by women, thus making an ethical shift of perspectives. Even though transgender and intersexual people had their inclusion, the concept of the cultural hegemony of sexism got formulated to help air out the problems facing the female gender.

Sexism in any culture functions to uphold patriarchy. Patriarchy is a concept used to refer to male domination in a particular culture or community. It involves formulating material practices and ideologies that undermine girls and women based on gender or sex. Such oppressive practices take forms of social ruling and economic exploitations. Individuals who practice sexism believe that women are weak and not capable of handling sensitive issues. They further argue that women are not able to hold a job or any other activity that involves hard labour. The argument extends to an insulting ideology that women are weak in terms of logic and rational reasoning (Brailey et al. 32).

According to sexism, the “society” relegates women to the domestic dominion of emotions and nurturance. Due to this reason, sexist argue that female gender cannot be influential in business, academia and politics (Brailey et al. 32). Although women are seen to be capable of handling domestic work, their roles get ignored or devalued when likened to males’ work. It is the reason behind the failure to pay some labour done by the female gender. In many cases, women are always inferior and lack social and economic know-how. Besides the economy, learning institutions are also sites for propagation of the ideologies about the female gender (Brailey et al. 34). Thus, human equality is an issue in many parts of the world which is an aftermath of the sexist mindset in male-dominated places.

In conclusion, the female gender has suffered rejection due to ignorance. Many times, they never get represented in local and state issue. As time progresses, light has down into the eyes of the male gender about the criticality of women representation in different matters. The women have also stood up despite the challenges they face in the struggle they pursue. As a result of the endless battle, many ladies have found chances to play a part in nation-building through working in sectors that were earlier on known to be for the male gender. Their participation has yielded many fruits and widened the thinking scope of men to tarnish the evil mindset of gender inequality in the world. Many if not all the countries of the world have incorporated the female gender into the arms responsible for legislative processes, thus enabling women to take part in the decision-making processes of the nations. Many countries are enacting laws that prohibit gender discrimination and boosting gender equality in all sectors of the economy. Therefore, with the current trend, sexism and female ignorance will be an issue of the past.

Works Cited

Brailey, Carla D., and Brittany C. Slatton. “Women, Work, and Inequality in the US: Revising the Second Shift.” Journal of Sociology 7.1 (2019): 29-35. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/0178/1277b459e3c9569d9c872fabda38282c4428.pdf

Mengistu, Nat. “Witches, Witch-Hunting, and Women by Silvia Federici.” Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft 15.1 (2020): 152-155. https://muse.jhu.edu/article/760673/summary

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Witch Hunts and the Beginning of the Sexual Division of Labor in Sylvia Federici's Text - Essay Sample. (2024, Jan 30). Retrieved from https://speedypaper.com/essays/witch-hunts-and-the-beginning-of-the-sexual-division-of-labor-in-sylvia-federicis-text

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