Saturday, October 29, 2011

Christianity, Capitalism, and the "Witches"

Perhaps it is coincidence, but perhaps not, that Wintery Knight has again written a blog post against feminism--this time targeting nurses.  I say coincidence because in the spirit of Halloween, the original "healers," the doctors of the past, were women.  They were, as the church called them, "witches," and were demonized and burned at the stake when the church realized they had independence, autonomy and the respect of their communities, and did not need men to support them.  Interestingly, what Wintery Knight is complaining about--that is the lack of humanity and compassion amongst nurses--is is ironic, because the "witches" specialized in care and compassion.  They were the humanitarian and compassionate original healers who, for example, developed birthing chairs to make childbirth easier for women.  They also developed herbal therapies--some of which are still used today.  The church destroyed the humanity of the witches, and replaced it with the cold business known at "medicine."  I will delve into the issue Wintery Knight has with "feminist nurses" of today in a moment, but first I would like to elaborate a bit on the history of the "witch."

The medical practices and scientific techniques of the "witches" of the past were evolved, and worked so well that the church felt it gave women too much power.  Their work was then deemed the fruits of the devil, and the men of the church created propaganda against them by accusing them of sexual impurity, and that their "witchcraft" i.e. their "healing powers" was a product of carnal lust--said to be insatiable in the witches.  The so-called "fantasies" of these women were in reality the fantasies of their accusers, and they were used to torture them in some of the most inhumane ways possible. * They were often raped, and in many cases had their sexual organs cut off and mutilated--with the church's blessing.  Wintery Knight's moniker is also appropriate in this case, as the "knights" in the age of the witch burnings participated in torturing thousands of innocent women, and as their bloodlust grew, so did the scope of their victims, as they began targeting not only the healers, but also widows, and the "spinsters" ie. the women who "spun wool" and did not need men to support them, which evolved into the church persecuting anyone that did not agree with them as a way of "purifying" society.  I am sure that if "Wintery Knight" had been born in the age of the witch burnings, he would have gladly participated in their torture and murder.  After all, he would consider it "God's Will" as the negative stereotypes against women, and their methods of torture and death originated with the church.

Now, Wintery Knight is complaining again that feminism is the cause of the lack of humanity within the medical profession.  Again, he is sorely mistaken, as the medical profession is dominated by men who regard medicine as a business--and is not at all like the humanitarian efforts of the witches.  No, medicine today is a "for profit" institution, created by MEN--not women.  If Wintery Knight and anyone else has a problem with the lack of humanity within the medical system, they need to put the blame at the feet of those who created the system in the first place--men.  When the men took over from the witches, their goals were different.  Their goal was to make money, therefore millions died needlessly from infection because they did not practice the same cleanliness techniques the "witches" passed down to each other throughout the generations--because cleanliness takes time and effort. Instead of using a birthing chair, which also takes a great deal of time, the men developed forceps so they could come into a home, yank out the baby as quickly as possible, and move on to the next--which caused many injuries and deaths.  But that was just the cost of "doing business" for the men. 

Christianity is the root of the problem within the medical system, as it demonized the original humanitarian healers, creating the system we have now; and also promotes the belief that all life has intrinsic value--even the lives of those that are brain dead yet kept on life support.  The Capitalists then use this paradigm to make money, and they use the nurses and other care givers to keep those in vegetative states alive.  To let nature take its course however, is not a "lack of humanity,"--but having overworked, underpaid caregivers release their frustrations on those that cannot defend themselves is--which would never happen if the "witches" ran the system.

If there are nurses that lack the humanity that "Wintery Knight" feels they ought to have working in such a profession, he should be blaming the patriarchs for creating the medical system in the first place--not the nurses.  After all, the nurses are now just "businesswomen" according to Wintery Knight, doing what the patriarchs tell them to do--much like the knights of the past who, on orders from the Christian patriarchs killed the witches.  If Wintery Knight wishes to blame anyone for a "lack of humanity"--blame the patriarchs, for the feminists did not create the system that promulgated the inhumanity found not only within the medical system, but within society itself.  Nurses are underpaid and overworked, and understaffed --yet do the majority of the labour, and in this system people who are vegetables and/or have no quality of life are being "warehoused" in medical institutions--because it makes the Capitalists' money.  Because to the predominantly male hierarchy in the medical establishment, the bottom line is always going to be worth more than humanity and altruism.

Real feminism is the fight to get back the system that men took away from the witches.  Real feminists have not forgotten the "witches," and neither should anyone else.  We should all embrace our "inner witch" and become more humanitarian and compassionate towards each other.  The world would be a much better place if we did.

As a final note, my father had congestive heart failure, and his health deteriorated to the point where he required life support.  He was too old to be a candidate for a heart transplant, and although he could have been kept alive for a long time on life support, we knew that was not what he have wanted, as he told us he was ready to "go" when he was conscious and aware that his heart was failing him.  His doctor agreed, and stopped administering the drugs that kept him alive.  He died peacefully in his sleep, with his family by his side--which was the most humanitarian thing we could have done.  His nurses were wonderful, and stood with us--with tears in their eyes.

* Mary Daly Gyn/Ecology, p. 180


aerie said...

"The Capitalists then use this paradigm to make money, and they use the nurses and other care givers to keep those in vegetative states alive."

This was the hardest, most emotionally agonizing part of my job as an RN. In the majority of these situations, it was the religious (Christian) families that chose to keep their dead loved ones "alive". Theirs is not a merciful god; he gets his lulz on human suffering.

A is for Atheist said...

@ aerie

Thanks for the comment. I agree, the Christian god is not merciful at all. In fact, he is a sadistic monster for not only accepting the sacrifice of healthy living things (animals and humans) but the Christian god promotes suffering, as Mother Teresa herself believed that suffering brought one "closer to god." How bizarre that anyone could worship a god that sees nothing wrong with seeing his so-called "children" suffer and die. Especially those children who died as a sacrifice to him. Human parents would be jailed for such actions, but Yahweh is hailed as a merciful god. Again--how bizarre.

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