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Witches, Witch-Hunting, and Women

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The world is witnessing a new surge of interpersonal and institutional violence against women, including new witch hunts. This surge of violence has occurred alongside an expansion of capitalist social relation. In this new work, Silvia Federici examines the root causes of these developments and outlines the consequences for the women affected and their communities. She ar The world is witnessing a new surge of interpersonal and institutional violence against women, including new witch hunts. This surge of violence has occurred alongside an expansion of capitalist social relation. In this new work, Silvia Federici examines the root causes of these developments and outlines the consequences for the women affected and their communities. She argues, that this new war on women, a mirror of witch hunts in 16th- and 17th-century Europe and the “New World,” is a structural element of the new forms of capitalist accumulation. These processes are founded on the destruction of people’s most basic means of reproduction. Like at the dawn of capitalism, the factors behind today’s violence against women are processes of enclosure, land dispossession, and the remolding of women’s reproductive activities and subjectivity.


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The world is witnessing a new surge of interpersonal and institutional violence against women, including new witch hunts. This surge of violence has occurred alongside an expansion of capitalist social relation. In this new work, Silvia Federici examines the root causes of these developments and outlines the consequences for the women affected and their communities. She ar The world is witnessing a new surge of interpersonal and institutional violence against women, including new witch hunts. This surge of violence has occurred alongside an expansion of capitalist social relation. In this new work, Silvia Federici examines the root causes of these developments and outlines the consequences for the women affected and their communities. She argues, that this new war on women, a mirror of witch hunts in 16th- and 17th-century Europe and the “New World,” is a structural element of the new forms of capitalist accumulation. These processes are founded on the destruction of people’s most basic means of reproduction. Like at the dawn of capitalism, the factors behind today’s violence against women are processes of enclosure, land dispossession, and the remolding of women’s reproductive activities and subjectivity.

30 review for Witches, Witch-Hunting, and Women

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Jaffe

    If you're tempted by but don't have time to read Caliban and the Witch, this is a quick readable rundown of its arguments; if you have, it also has updates that are worth a look. If you're tempted by but don't have time to read Caliban and the Witch, this is a quick readable rundown of its arguments; if you have, it also has updates that are worth a look.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Renee

    Some points were made that were worth considering, but as a sociohistorical analysis of capitalism and witch hunts, Silvia Federici left much to be desired. As a historian and anthropologist that focused on early modern European crime, including a course dedicated to witchcraft in the Atlantic, this was a disappointing book. Attempts at intersectionality were made, but conflating the witch hunts with slavery, indigenous genocide, and the Holocaust were absolutely not the way to do that. A lot of m Some points were made that were worth considering, but as a sociohistorical analysis of capitalism and witch hunts, Silvia Federici left much to be desired. As a historian and anthropologist that focused on early modern European crime, including a course dedicated to witchcraft in the Atlantic, this was a disappointing book. Attempts at intersectionality were made, but conflating the witch hunts with slavery, indigenous genocide, and the Holocaust were absolutely not the way to do that. A lot of my frustration came from the feeling that Federici was describing the manorial system as a communist utopia, when the manorial system was based on indentured servitude to a single wealthy elite. There were no "commons" to lose to capitalist possession. The "commons" that she describes at one point were owned by a wealthy land owner, not the people. There also seemed to be a huge disconnect with the reality of the Church and its role in medieval and early modern Europe. There was no church and state. The church WAS the state, there is no separating that. She also spends a lot of time blaming capitalism for things that were present before capitalism even became a Thing™, seemingly refusing to admit that those specific problems were perpetrated and encouraged by the Church. There are countless specific examples used in the book's early chapters that were either objectively wrong, or were portrayed in a misleading way to support her later arguments. When the very foundation that your theory is based on is flawed, it has trouble standing up to scrutiny. Federici's approach towards the "resurgence" of witchcraft persecutions in countries she refers to as existing in the "pre-civilization" stage also relies on the outdated idea in Anthropology that societal development follows a clear "path of progress", something that was used to justify racialized violence and colonialism. This isn't the only example of Federici using outdated approaches in this recent summary of her own work. Maybe it's my own fault for assuming that a book analyzing the link between capitalism and witchcraft persecutions would look towards capitalism's focus on property over human life, or the clear link between early capitalism and the Church's patriarchal systems. An intersectional approach could look at these tied in with racial prejudices within those structures. Instead this is a piece that relies on old, arguably racist, theory systems in Anthropology with a flawed historical basis to look at a problem that has existed well before capitalism and will likely continue whether capitalism remains the dominant economic framework or not. These problems she describes are a patriarchy problem, and while yes capitalism is inherently a patriarchal system, patriarchal systems can exist without capitalism and have for millenia.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Wattangeri

    This is a small book consisting of a series of articles written by Silvia Federici. She begins with a summary of her research into the 16th and 17th century witch hunts in Europe and America which killed and tortured thousands of women. Her thesis is how witch hunts occurred in the context of the development of capitalism, which she argues needs to be explored in the economic/political context of capital accumulation. She then goes on to explore the current-day witch hunts occurring in Africa, S This is a small book consisting of a series of articles written by Silvia Federici. She begins with a summary of her research into the 16th and 17th century witch hunts in Europe and America which killed and tortured thousands of women. Her thesis is how witch hunts occurred in the context of the development of capitalism, which she argues needs to be explored in the economic/political context of capital accumulation. She then goes on to explore the current-day witch hunts occurring in Africa, South America and India. She argues that this new war on women is a "structural element of the new forms of capitalist accumulation". She highlights the connections between violence against women and processes of enclosure, land dispossession. "and the remolding of women's reproductive activities and subjectivity." Important work and analysis much needed by feminist movement in order to challenge patriarchal capitalism. Has enthused me to read more on this subject.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    This was unbelievably good and I agree with you that this is a game changer. Amazing. Silvia Federici is an academic and feminist activist. In this book she makes the case of continued capitalist expansion in relation to ongoing oppression of women. Starting with the witch hunts in 16th Century Europe to modern day witch hunts. My mind is blown. Fascinating.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nazli

    I loved this book of essays! The bottom line is, must crush capitalism and only grassroot women’s organizations can fight this. What I loved the most though is that Federici offers concrete forms of action to combat these systemic inequalities and violence. “...the new violence against women is rooted in structural trends that are constitutive of capitalist development and state power in all times.” — sure it sounds pretty obvious, but it’s good to read it every now and again.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sara Anselmo

    a fucking masterpiece. a feminist perspective on the creation and development of capitalism, fundamental to complement marx and foucault’s works and theses. can’t wait to deepen this subject through caliban and the witch. the conclusion i take from this is that spooky season ain’t never over for us women

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mckenzie Ragan

    First time reading Silvia Federici, and I’m not sure how. Caliban & the Witch has been on my ‘to read’ list for several years. Apparently Witches, Witch-Hunting, & Women condenses a lot of the former’s arguments, or at least provides an introduction to them. Some of the essays seem to be laying groundwork for future publications. Essentially, Federici ties witch-hunting from both historical and modern times to the development of capitalism. Obviously there is misogyny and sexism entailed in witc First time reading Silvia Federici, and I’m not sure how. Caliban & the Witch has been on my ‘to read’ list for several years. Apparently Witches, Witch-Hunting, & Women condenses a lot of the former’s arguments, or at least provides an introduction to them. Some of the essays seem to be laying groundwork for future publications. Essentially, Federici ties witch-hunting from both historical and modern times to the development of capitalism. Obviously there is misogyny and sexism entailed in witch-hunting, but there equally is a hatred of woman not just as body but as symbol with looming implications for the capitalist project. With the ascension of enclosure and private property, there was a drive to establish hierarchy, to cement woman’s place in both the family and society – to establish male authority and production and capital accumulation as first priority of the state. Among other things, this meant setting boundaries on the female body and sexuality by defining sexual norms – and deviations. It also meant dousing any flames that might grow to challenge the burgeoning order. Women recognized within their communities as “healers” were viewed with superstitious fear. Fear denotes an admission of power, and the last thing growing authority wants is the idea of competing power, on whatever plane, spreading through society. The mysteries of female sexuality were tied to notions of woman’s ‘magic’. Female sexuality and pleasure, as an economic threat, finds its demonization within the Church (itself engrained in patriarchy and the rise of capitalism). Fear of the feminine and the powers of the witch is redirected in efforts to turn woman against woman: to pursue sex for personal pleasure (not man’s, not for the purpose of producing more laborers), to engage in the healing arts, to act in any way outside of prescribed roles set for woman, or to even associate with women who fall into any of the above categories, is to court the devil and risk damnation. In this way, the patriarchy, the Church, the very economy as defined in terms of a move towards rationality, order, conquest, and plentitude become protectors welcoming ‘good (subservient) women’ into their arms. Different tactics have grown out of this, but it is particularly interesting to consider the pitting of woman against woman we see in today’s political climate. Federici goes on to explore a number of other topics and shades of the above. She explores the evolution of the word ‘gossip’ in one essay, illustrating the way language can be turned against women. She touches on the frequency of lobotomies and commitment to insane asylums for women under shaky pretenses in the early 20th century. She speaks of woman as nurturer, a force holding together community, a noncommercial source of vitality and social structures. She talks about woman as cheap labor, sex trafficking, woman as object of violent male frustrations during times of economic hardship. Witches, Witch-Hunting, & Women is not a book about witches. It is not a history, in that sense anyway. In fact, the word ‘witch’ more than anything else figures into the arguments of these essays as a pejorative, scandal-laced term for a scapegoat. I’m currently reading The Second Sex and am struck by how well many of de Beauvoir’s observations fit with Federici’s, albeit outside of the witch-hunting matrix. I think it shows that any perceived threat to a power – be that power man or capital or a corporation or whatever – will be sought out with particularly vicious application and then snuffed out just as generously, by whatever means available, necessary, or possible to skew as socially sanctioned. I wasn’t aware there were still witch hunts today, but I’m not surprised. Even in the U.S., while burning, drowning, or burying alive may no longer be in practice, we see these things done on a daily basis symbolically. Women are degraded, silenced, questioned, and mocked – and held in the highest regard as long as they stay in line. In Africa, they are killed mercilessly. For all its posturing, the world is as primitive as it ever was.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Linde

    This book states the premise that “an analysis of new witch hunts, like other forms of violence against women” is in order. Sylvia Federici, identifies the ongoing female witch hunt as a function of hyperbolic patriotism within the domain of capitalism, land enclosure and “religion and the regurgitation of the most misogynous biases against women providing the ideological justification.” Federici denotes historically it was the most poverty stricken women accused and murdered as witches. Poverty This book states the premise that “an analysis of new witch hunts, like other forms of violence against women” is in order. Sylvia Federici, identifies the ongoing female witch hunt as a function of hyperbolic patriotism within the domain of capitalism, land enclosure and “religion and the regurgitation of the most misogynous biases against women providing the ideological justification.” Federici denotes historically it was the most poverty stricken women accused and murdered as witches. Poverty is a sign of a failing capitalist economy. An over-patriotic society scapegoats, instead of addresses and corrects. It was the women who resisted poverty, who were accused of “stirring up trouble” who were predominantly burned at the stake. This book exemplifies female standards of acceptability, such as wifely female obedience, reproductive obligation, female submissiveness, and devaluation of women, especially when they are old, that predominately define what it is to be valued as a female in a male dominated religious, patriotic and capitalistic society where women are exploited for unpaid domestic work, financial gain and systematically reduced to a product of sexual value, and punished by an inherited precedence of social violence and humiliation for failing to conform. “We must think of an enclosure of knowledge, of our bodies, and of our relationship to other people and nature.” - Sylvia Federici The author provides numerous historical standards of treatment of women that have been somehow buried under mass documentation and alarms the reader to a new female awareness and required intervention aspired for the right to live a dignified female life. The reader learns that women depicted as perpetrators of “gossip” or “evil speech” were paraded through the streets in 1547 Scotland with a device in their mouth that forced their mouth open by 2 inches lest a scaffolding device lacerate her tongue. A weapon intended to prohibit women from unifying together and that similar torture devices and rituals were inflicted against women worldwide. Federici parallels this female torture device to male forced female voice exclusion in making critical life changing decisions in business, religious organizations and male dominated power structures worldwide. This book educates the reader that despite an effort toward feminist empowerment the stigma of women as witches continues as a vehicle of justified female murder in modern day. Between 1991 and 2001 at least 23,000 ‘witches’ were killed in Africa in broad daylight with impunity. Beyond that, these female witch murders continue in Africa and parts of India and feminists (and the media) fail to step up. In modern day India there is an escalation of dowry murders in order to remarry to acquire new money in the form of a tradition of men abandoning their "ex" by murder by fire. Encouragingly, the Indian culture protested and attempts to shame the men who exploit women as a commodity wiith mocking theater exemplifications. From this book, a new feminine awareness can be found, from the disclosure of the transformation of historic social beliefs by evolution to modern day female oppression. Globally, the witch hunt is still on, or has morphed into different forms and has failed to be addressed in a humanitarian effort and held accountable as the crime against humanity that it is. The author stresses, an intervention is urgently required and an ongoing elephant in the room for feminists worldwide. Brilliantly the author states, "the magic is that we know that we know.”

  9. 4 out of 5

    Colleen

    Silvia Federici is a long time activist on a range of human rights issues, co-founder of the Wages for Housework movement, and a radical Marxist feminist and scholar. I've always learned from and been inspired by her work, from Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation, to Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction, and Feminist Struggle and even her early work published under the nom-de-plume Guido Baldi. Witches, Witch-Hunting, and Women continues her keen social Silvia Federici is a long time activist on a range of human rights issues, co-founder of the Wages for Housework movement, and a radical Marxist feminist and scholar. I've always learned from and been inspired by her work, from Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation, to Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction, and Feminist Struggle and even her early work published under the nom-de-plume Guido Baldi. Witches, Witch-Hunting, and Women continues her keen social analysis. For those who have already read Caliban, many of the themes will be familiar. For those who haven't, it provides a solid synopsis of the major points. Divided into a seven essays, Federici first lays out her basic argument, that the witch hunts across Europe from the 15th-18th centuries, which led to the executions of 40-50 *thousand* people, was intimately connected to the development of capitalism. Why? Because it required the enclosure of lands previously held 'in common,' (there is ample historical literature on the enclosure movement), leading to dispossession and needing to sell one's labor, the criminalization of any behavior considered antithetical to the needs of capital (e.g. vagrancy and so forth). Women--particularly older women--who expressed insubordination, sexual 'deviance,' and resistence in other forms, were labelled witches. Women's powers had to be subjected to the demands of capital because women's very bodies were needed to reproduce a pliant workforce. With this thesis in place, the following essays touch on why it is important to revisit the witch-trials to understand some of what is taking place today, including the continuance of witch-hunting in places like Ghana, Kenya, and Mozambique as well as Nepal and other countries. She points out that perhaps because of fears of reinforcing stereotypes about Africa, scholars and activists have largely ignored the human rights and women's rights crisis that is witch-hunting in these countries, but which have in the past 30 years led to the deaths of tens of thousands of women (23,000 from 1991-2001 alone). It was indeed an education to read about the 'witch camps' in Ghana, witch-hunters in Kenya and the scholarship being written by those 'on the ground' there, such as Justus Ogembo. Federici ties the witchhunts of Europe to those of Africa by showing how structural adjustment in Africa has led to the same dynamics--women are seen as agents of resistance to ending communal ways of life, expanding the cash economy, defending that which is beyond the reach of commodification. The rise of violence against women in Africa, but also in Latin America and India is linked to the process of dispossession, wage slavery, the diminished status of men as wage earners, but the ever-present need to control women's bodies to ensure the continuance, unabated, of the workforce. Overall a cogent analysis that while, as Federici herself mentions, is based on circumstantial and historical-contextual evidence, makes compelling arguments and more importantly, as usual, gives passion to the cause of ending women's suffering.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Louise Hewett

    I decided to read this short book before reading Caliban and the Witch, and it has seriously whet my appetite for the more detailed exploration of the violent transformation from feudalism to capitalism achieved over the bodies of women. The essay regarding the meaning, and devaluation, of the word "gossip" was interesting, and tragic. Recommended. I decided to read this short book before reading Caliban and the Witch, and it has seriously whet my appetite for the more detailed exploration of the violent transformation from feudalism to capitalism achieved over the bodies of women. The essay regarding the meaning, and devaluation, of the word "gossip" was interesting, and tragic. Recommended.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Avni Pravin

    Really phenomenal introduction to Federici's work on witch-hunting and it's direct connection to primitive accumulation. Since it's comprised of shorter chapters/essays, I expect that one would have to read Caliban and the Witch for a more complete understanding of witch-hunting as a tool of a capitalist ruling class. Still, this is a great summary. Really phenomenal introduction to Federici's work on witch-hunting and it's direct connection to primitive accumulation. Since it's comprised of shorter chapters/essays, I expect that one would have to read Caliban and the Witch for a more complete understanding of witch-hunting as a tool of a capitalist ruling class. Still, this is a great summary.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Julia Diotallevi

    A fantastic collection of essays, this book brought Federici to my attention and she has since become one of my favourite thinkers. The blend of sociology, history, cultural theory, and socialist politic in this book provides a captivating read that will send you into deeper contemplation when you are finished.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Laura Kovácsová

    “Violence against women did not disappear with the end of the witch hunts and the abolition of slavery. On the contrary, it was normalized.”

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ren

    Written with the clarity and urgency for which I appreciate Sylvia Federici, this slim volume of 88 pages outlines in 5 essays the main points of Caliban and the Witch, with particular expansion of her analysis of the word “Gossip” and its use to destroy the powerful collective relationships of women. Part 1 of this volume outlines her thesis connecting the phenomena of witch-hunting to capitalism. Part 2 explores her thesis in relation to today’s upsurge in witch-hunting across the globe. In so Written with the clarity and urgency for which I appreciate Sylvia Federici, this slim volume of 88 pages outlines in 5 essays the main points of Caliban and the Witch, with particular expansion of her analysis of the word “Gossip” and its use to destroy the powerful collective relationships of women. Part 1 of this volume outlines her thesis connecting the phenomena of witch-hunting to capitalism. Part 2 explores her thesis in relation to today’s upsurge in witch-hunting across the globe. In so doing, she expertly lays out the political and contextual structures that are intentionally set up to destroy communities in the remaking of social relations, valuation, and concepts of wealth to support capitalist accumulation- of which witch-hunting is only one tool. However, it’s prolific use and the exaggeration of accusations also highlights the inherent value that women have to their communities. Federici comprehensively answers the question, “why violence against women?” So too, she also sends a call out to feminists, wherever they are, to break their silence on this global phenomena. While she paints a bleak picture, she also includes the heroic ways that women are resisting and how. It centers on women reclaiming the power of their female networks- their covens. Reclaiming so much that we haven been socialized to hate about ourselves as we have been “integrated” into capitalism. I have never been more proud to be a witch.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Meredith Murphy

    If you have the time and want to get an in-depth understanding on the connection between the witch hunts and capitalist accumulation, read Federici’s Caliban and the Witch. This book is the popular version of it, meant to raise the questions it asks in the minds of a broader audience. Caliban and the Witch gets into the theoretical and historiographical details and offers a deeper analysis.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mackenzey B

    This was really interesting to read. A short history of witch-hunts and their continuation in the modern world. Has given much information about violence against women that I was not aware of. Recommend for any one Interested in women’s rights literature.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Clare

    I know you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but how could I possibly resist that little black-and-purple, tattoo-art number, contrasting so beautifully with the neutrals of the Hauswitch shop floor? And especially emblazoned with those enticing words: Witches, Witch-Hunting and Women, by Silvia Federici. Alas, my love for slim purple volumes has again landed me in a world of disappointment. Unlike the pirate book, however, this book isn't actually bad, and the problem is hardly tha I know you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but how could I possibly resist that little black-and-purple, tattoo-art number, contrasting so beautifully with the neutrals of the Hauswitch shop floor? And especially emblazoned with those enticing words: Witches, Witch-Hunting and Women, by Silvia Federici. Alas, my love for slim purple volumes has again landed me in a world of disappointment. Unlike the pirate book, however, this book isn't actually bad, and the problem is hardly that the subject matter barely exists. In fact, the only real issue I had with this book is one that I walked squarely into by picking up this book instead of Caliban and the Witch, like a lazy dumbass. Namely: This book is very short, barely 100 pages; it's meant to build on and update the arguments in Caliban and the Witch; and is largely (to the extent that there is a "largely" in a book this small) transcripts of talks that Federici has given rather than being stuff that was developed to be read as serious academic theory. The result is bite-sized; vague; a bit sweeping; and frequently lacking in dates, statistics, specific locations, explanations of how precisely increases and decreases in violence are being measured, methodology, and other such stuff I expect to find in serious scholarly works -- probably because it isn't one. I should have sucked it up and suggested we read Caliban and the Witch instead, as now I have to go read Caliban and the Witch on my own, with no book club, and only some weird lefty podcasts and YouTube videos to share it with, which is not the same at all as actually having in-person book clubs where I can participate in the discussion instead of merely consuming it. The biggest issues with the very condensed format ended up being a) feudalism seemed to get sort of glossed over or even squished out of history sometimes, like we went straight from pagan Dark Ages stuff and then Christianification and the birth of capitalism were talked about at the same time, sort of like they were the same thing, even though I think there was several centuries of Christian feudalism in between there, and b) claims of violence against women "increasing," rather than changing form, with little discussion of how we were measuring violence or what constitutes violence or how we knew there was less of it beforehand, which is the sort of thing that pings a little "alarmist rhetoric alert" bell in my head. I am sure that violence increases and decreases, societies go through periods of stability and instability, but I expect a little more backing before I'm willing to just take it as fact that a disruptive or unstable period necessarily means that violence, overall, is increasing rather than becoming more visible. A lot of very stable societies have a lot of institutionalized violence as part of their everyday operation, even if they don't have people being cut down in the streets the way a war zone does. The rhetoric here gets a bit more solid as the scale shrinks to discussions of specific forms of economic and social violence in the "new witch hunts" in India and Africa, where she does discuss particular economic policies and institutions in particular countries. And with some actual content to illustrate it with, the theory gets a lot more interesting! The influence of American fundamentalist sects on Africa and the other colonized nations where they do "mission work" is something that ought to be of as much concern as the actions of the big institutions of international governance, but it's also worth noting that "witch hunting," while popularly portrayed as some backward medieval mystical shit -- after all, who believes in witches? -- is essentially a playbook for capital accumulation. Anyway, I'm weighing the likelihood of my being able to squeeze in a read of Caliban and the Witch before Memorial Day weekend, and the forecast doesn't look good. Originally posted at The witch as a lazybones whomst doesn't read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Isa

    Perhaps I should have read Caliban and the Witch alongside this, which, I feel, would have given more depth to the arguments that Federici presents here. Don’t get me wrong — as a fan of Federici, I loved how she linked the vilification of (old) women to globalizing forces and how fear of women’s power and autonomy led to there alienation. Still, however, I would have liked if she had given more(?). Further, I would have also liked how she might have linked the arguments to contemporary examples Perhaps I should have read Caliban and the Witch alongside this, which, I feel, would have given more depth to the arguments that Federici presents here. Don’t get me wrong — as a fan of Federici, I loved how she linked the vilification of (old) women to globalizing forces and how fear of women’s power and autonomy led to there alienation. Still, however, I would have liked if she had given more(?). Further, I would have also liked how she might have linked the arguments to contemporary examples witch hunts to give it a bit more salience. That said, I love the points that she did present and how throughout history, there just seems to be a thorough line of controlling women. Her last point about communalism touched on the idea about how cooperative societies might reduce incidences of witch-hunting in society, which was also great! There’s a lot more to say but I’m on my phone so I can’t brain. A side-note, the “we are the daughters of the witches,” etc etc just got really corny. I’m reading this in 2021 and it feels tired at this point.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sorcha

    4.5, this was such an interesting and troubling read, and also very concise and accessible. would STRONGLY recommend to anyone interested in history and feminism, anti colonialist and anti capitalist political theories

  20. 5 out of 5

    Vari Robinson

    Really interesting and important to think about where witch-hunting stems from and why it is still in practice in so many countries. It is due to capitalism and is truly an attack on women’s bodies (and non-conforming individuals) as means of taking away autonomy and land. I had no idea witch hunting as a reason to murder women (especially older women) was still so common in various countries, and this definitely opened my eyes to that. Highly recommend.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Holiday

    A brief book about the historical witch hunts and present day witch hunts and how the forces of capitalism contribute to these massacres against (mainly) women.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Matilda

    This book was incredible! I am so glad that Federici mentioned the disproportionate violence again black trans women, as sometimes marxist feminists can come across like Terfs. She is a feminist icon and i recommend reading this book so much. It is easy to read, concise and and yet covers so many complex and interesting themes. Where ever capitalism goes the violence and the oppression of women follows.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lee Ann

    This book was equal parts informative and terrifying. I learned so many new things about sexism and capitalism. The book itself is short and the writing accessible. Despite occasionally feeling sick to my stomach while I read these essays (particularly reading about different forms of torture), I enjoyed reading it overall and value it for everything it taught me. 5/5 stars! Highly recommended.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Grace

    Fascinating connections between misogyny, witchcraft, capital, and persecution.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Salo Birra

    It delivers on what it promises to. Succinct overview on the topic (not comprehensive or detailed), establishing a constant parallel between capital/accumulation/market and the demonised witch, both in the past and in contemporary societies. It reminds us of our own (implicit and explicit) implication in perpetuating the atrocities and horrors of witch-hunting.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jay Booth

    Main Takeaways When money became hegemony, women's communal role got devalued Were not able to own land, then some unmarried became vagabonds Christians felt threatened, labeled them as witches, corrupters of scoiety Witch-hunting still happens today in Africa Overall we should have more empathy for "witches" plus understand the societal context and how that played into their experience Main Takeaways When money became hegemony, women's communal role got devalued Were not able to own land, then some unmarried became vagabonds Christians felt threatened, labeled them as witches, corrupters of scoiety Witch-hunting still happens today in Africa Overall we should have more empathy for "witches" plus understand the societal context and how that played into their experience

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sohum

    as others have noted, this book recapitulates and recontextualizes some of federici's arguments from caliban and the witch. it's short, and a fine read. whatever you do, don't let this be the only Federici you read as others have noted, this book recapitulates and recontextualizes some of federici's arguments from caliban and the witch. it's short, and a fine read. whatever you do, don't let this be the only Federici you read

  28. 4 out of 5

    Eri

    4.5 stars. Very interesting and illuminating.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mela

    "womxn's integration in the global economy is a violent process" // witch hunting still happens! important and quick. must get hands on other works by federici...... "womxn's integration in the global economy is a violent process" // witch hunting still happens! important and quick. must get hands on other works by federici......

  30. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    4.5 stars. A good primer for Federici’s work. Docked .5 stars simply because I needed more context for some of the arguments she made. Definitely adding Caliban and the Witch to my queue.

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