Essay On Marital Rape, As Well As A Historical Background On The Sexual Manipulation And Control Of Women. This Was Written For A Senior Level Behavioral Science Course

4373 words - 18 pages

The torture and rape of women has been commonplace on the society and notably so since at least, the archaic times. While behaviors such as torture and rape are no longer socially acceptable or politically correct, they are still condoned and practiced in all modern societies, as well as endorsed in others. Although women today are not so readily expected or openly commanded to throw themselves at the will of their male acquaintances, counterparts, or husbands, female degradation, as well as mental and physical battering through rape still exist at embarrassing levels. Acquaintance harassment and abuse, by far, is the worst, as though women have traveled through centuries of time, they must ...view middle of the document...

The church, particularly the Catholic Church, condemned any form of birth control. The Church also forbade abortions and the rhythm method. Clearly, the intent was for a woman to know her place in the family home and to have as many children as her husband deemed necessary or so desired. Midwives were said to be sinning by attempting to ease the pain of childbirth. After all, Eve, back in the Garden of Eden had committed the "Original Sin". She was a temptress, attempting to remove women from the will of God, as all women were required to bear the pain of childbirth as a punishment and furthermore, as remembrance of that Original Sin (Wilson, 1997, Pp. 258-259).Beginning in the Sixteenth Century, the Witch Hunt became a new means of controlling women. The "hunt" was another way of combining the beliefs of the Church as well as man's ownership of the female body and subsequently, her behavior. Laws were set in place to ensure that physicians and healers carried licenses. However, the only way to legally obtain a license or study for that license was to be a male. As a result, any woman found to be practicing medicine without a license was assumed to be of the Devil, the one who provided her with the knowledge to heal. Witch-hunts became a way of weeding out societies unwanted. Not only were female healers at risk, but also those who were widowed, deformed, or mentally unstable. Witch hunts and tribunals were always held by men and over 85% of those who died were females. As a means of funding the hunt, women and their families were required to pay for all torture, feasts that the preceded death, as well as the death penalty being enacted. If a woman does not practice medicine and she does not openly declare herself a witch, how does the State determine that she is indeed a witch? This determination is done by stripping the woman of her dignity as well as her outer clothing in search of marks that would not bleed when pricked by a pin. A simple poke that did not produce bloodshed indicated a place on the woman's body where the Devil and his demons were to feed. Women were stripped of their clothing, in the presence of men, and often shaved in pubic areas in order to find this mark. Upon the finding of a mark, may it be a mole or a birthmark, the woman was instantly judged to be a witch. Even after conviction, the woman's pubic hairs would be burned while she was still very much alive and she would be beaten, while naked from the waist upwards. In one lengthy and disturbing account of torture, a woman was left to hang while the torturer went for breakfast. After he returned, he set her afire again and weighted her down to the point of fainting. Then, he whipped her until she was bleeding (Wilson, 1997, Pp. 259-263).Throughout the Middle Ages, and all the way up until Colonial times, men were still encouraged to beat their wives and to keep them in submission. As an example of an indignant or immodest wife, a man could permanently maim or scar her...

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