The problems that the societies of Montaillou and Salem faced seemed to be related to marriage and family and the power that the men wanted to contain. In Montaillou, it was important for the men to keep control of their ostal and to be able to pass it onto an heir one day. Most of the women seemed to keep with the Catholic faith, which placed more importance on the roles of wives and mothers. Hartman tells us that the population was increasing and that because of poor weather conditions they didn’t have the food supplies to support everyone. For the men to be able to be able to contain control of their ostal, it makes sense that they would break away from the Catholic teachings so that they weren’t forced to follow rules that could lead them to lose all that they were working for. They could then incorporate new ways to live their life that allowed them to maintain their ostals and allowed them to maintain the power that they had.
In Salem, most of the accusers were women, so at first you might not think that men were struggling to keep control in society. Hartman makes the argument that even though the women were making most of the accusations, they were doing it on behalf of the men in Salem to protect them. Hartman uses evidence from Karlsen to support this idea. Karlsen notes that the majority of people who were accused of being witches were women. Most of the women that were accused were older, had no male heir, and were either single or widowed. The circumstances that these women were in gave them more power in society compared to the other women, which could lead to the men feeling that they were losing some of the power that they once had. After reading about how the societies were set up, I think that Hartman was able to successfully prove her point and showed how men wanted to be able to maintain their power.