The Inquisition (or: What Did You Expect, VA?)

February 18th, 2012

A follow-up to The Scarlet Letter, inspired by VA’s proposed forced vaginal ultrasound requirement.


“An unfortunate accused witch would be physically examined. It was believed such witch’s teats [the “mark of the devil,” or marks on the accused witch’s body that proved she was a witch] would be near the breasts or vagina.” — Women in Early America: Struggle, Survival, and Freedom in a New World


“To try to force a confession, priests applied hot fat repeatedly to… eyes and her armpits, the pit of her stomach, her thighs, her elbows, and ‘dans sa nature’ — in her vagina.” — Witchcraze


“Sexual mutilation of accused witches was not uncommon. With the orthodox understanding that divinity had little or nothing to do with the physical world, sexual desire was perceived to be ungodly. When the men persecuting the accused witches found themselves sexually aroused, they assumed that such desire emanated, not from themselves, but from the woman. They attacked breasts and genitals with pincers, pliers and red-hot irons.” – The Witch Hunts


Republicans want to make

Government so small

That when the force it inside you,

You’ll hardly notice at all.


That’s until phase two of their plan

Goes into force

And they ultrasound probes

To the Taliban outsource.


Or maybe VA Gov. McDonnell will demand

He personally perform the examination.

(That’s what colonial witchfinders did

When they felt like forced flirtation.)


Repubs will also modify the probe

By adding razor spikes,

And see how  the woman it’s used on

That modification likes.


Since the goal seems to be punish women

And to cause them pain,

Why even bother pretending

To be humane?


Why not just

Go all the way

And bring witch trials and torture,

Back to VA?


What, you didn’t expect

The Spanish Inquisition?

That’s what happens when the VA GOP

Gets such a powerful position.


Here’s our titular inspiration, Monty Python’s famous Spanish Inquisition skit. Notice it’s only the women who get tortured.

Here’s a more serious (and disturbing) look at the witch-hunting craze which swept Europe and America (admittedly, America to a lesser extent, since our settlement coincided with its winding down in Europe). This 1972 movie was considered highly controversial in its time due to its graphic depiction of the torture that women (and some men) were subjected to by the “witchfinders,” a group of perverse moralizing, misogynistic power-hungry religious extremists the likes of which hasn’t been seen since until…the Religious Right? No, I don’t blame this kind of thing on religion per se: I still believe it is and has been a force for good in human history. But much evil has been done in religion’s name by people like the colonial witchfinders and their modern day successors: VA Republicans, Rick Santorum, and the Religious Right in general. Thank God we have separation of church and state instead of a theocracy.

Here’s another movie along the same lines, though not quite as graphic.

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