The ascetism of early Christianity, which turned its back on the world of the flesh, had degrenerated, in some quarters of the Church, into hatred of those who those who brought that flesh into being. Misogyny, the hatred of women, had become a strong element in medieval Christianity. Women who menstruate, and give birth, were identified with sexuality and therefore with evil. "All witchcraft stems from carnal lust, which is in women insatiable," stated the Malleus Maleficarum.
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