the witch-burnings did not take place during the ‘dark ages,’ as we commonly suppose. they occurred between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries– precisely during and following the renaissance, that glorious period when, as we are taught, ‘men’s’ minds were being freed from bleakness and superstition. while michelangelo was sculpting and shakespeare writing, the witches were burning. the whole secular ‘enlightenment,’ in fact, the male professions of doctor, lawyer, judge, artist, all rose from the ashes of the destroyed women’s culture. renaissance men were celebrating naked female beauty in their art, while women’s bodies were being tortured and burned by the hundreds of thousands all around them.