It is the year 1555. You are at home minding your own business when people storm down your gate, beat down your door and drag you outside by your arms, hair and the extra fabric of your dress. You are bewildered. Out in the street, people are chanting: “death to the witches!”, “get rid of the vermin”. You begin to understand what all this is about. Your husband died after only a year of marriage, you refused to be married and have your husband’s property snatched from you. You did not conform to the society’s expectations. They are mad at you, because they do not have the courage to do the same. You are burnt at the stake. You are look them in the eye and say nothing, you would rather be dead than live in this non-conformist society.
Where a person decides to target another person for reasons which may, or may not, be obvious. – Urban Dictionary definition of Witch Hunt
It is the year 2003. You are in your second year of campus when you get knocked up. You hide your growing belly for months until it is time to go home. Your parents throw you out and discontinue your education. You have embarrassed them in the eyes of the villagers. “Where will we hide our faces?” They ask as they throw your bag of clothes after you. The villagers point and laugh, “That is the degree she went to get at the university!”. No one helps you. You move to another town and rent a single room. You do odd jobs to carter for your child, you put your life on hold. Your child is successful and moves you into a mansion. They come looking for you, “our child, please come home.”
It is the year 2013. An impressionable freshman girl with no prior comprehensive sex education gets knocked up. She is not ready for motherhood, physically, mentally and financially. She raises money and goes to Marie Stopes, where she procures an abortion. Her church leaders are mad, she is excommunicated. The neighbours are angry, she is shunned. The entire country is angry, they sign a petition to shut down all Marie Stopes facilities. “How dare you play God?” “Do you know how many people crave children?”. She wonders why there are so many children living on the streets.
It is the year 2019. A final year university student is brutally murdered in broad daylight in the presence of many witnesses. She is busy minding her own business, trying to transform into a productive member of the society. “She infected him with HIV/AIDS, so he killed her in revenge,” theorizes an internet stranger. “Men have fragile egos, her rejection broke him,” apologizes another. One attempts to add up how come every rejected man does not go about slaughtering women who rejected them
The times have changed, the laws have changed, but human nature is still the same. People still detest that which is out of norm of what they are accustomed to, for a non-conformist is always to be feared. In truth, they are hiding behind moral panic or mass hysteria to suppress that which they do not understand. Witch-hunting will always be present in our society; only the definition will change.
The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me. The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them. – George Bernard Shaw