Thursday, January 9, 2014

Slutty witches

Hello there. A friend of mine introduced me to the listserve a few years back, so Zuleyma if you’re still on here: hi, it's Danielle!

I’ve decided to talk about the two things most important to me (which also happen to be the two most criticized things about me): witchcraft and feminism.

now im almost 100% certain that my use of the terms 'witchcraft' and 'feminism' alone has scared a few people off, but for those of you who remain, thank you. im not here to preach to you all; im just here to share some stuff & make some people more aware of the issues that the vast majority of society likes to pretend don’t exist.

sadly, feminists have such a bad rep. Here is how this conversation usually goes:
me- are you a feminist?
person- oh god no never absolutely not
me-well, do you believe women and men should be equal?
person- well, of course
my friends, if you believe women and men should have equal rights, you are a feminist. Many feel as though women have already achieved full equality, and while we have achieved a lot... We still have a long way to go.

Here are few terms that are a little too ingrained in our society: man up, don’t be a pussy, grow a pair, you throw like a girl, boys will be boys, the list goes on and on. you get the picture.

Can you all do me a favor? Erase the words 'slut' from your vocabulary. It is a term invented to shame a woman for being comfortable with her sexuality. God forbid, right?

rape culture. rape culture. rape culture. my best friend, Keagan (what you mras would probably call a mangina) once said: “I think there are more false accusations of false accusations of rape than there are actual false accusations of rape”

I recommend 'ceedling' on YouTube. Her videos are amazing & she is much more articulate than I am on these subjects.

i receive a lot of “well why don’t you call yourself a wiccan instead of a witch?” or “why not call yourself a humanist, rather than a feminist?” (I suppose to avoid negative connotation). the history of witches and feminists, what they’ve accomplished, what they’ve overcome lies in those names.

When most people hear the word, “witch,” they probably think of old, green hags, using their powers for evil, harming others. The media has done a stupendous job at making us think of witches as ugly and maleficent.

practices vary from coven to coven, but there is some common ground for all types of witches. Witchcraft teaches people about ethical ways to use magic--Spells that bring luck, healing, self-empowerment, etc. Witches are harmonious thinkers. Wicca is a nature-based religion and most Wiccans focus on the power and independence of females. And they don't believe in the devil.

it is actually Christianity that ruined the reputation of witches. Christian priests in the Middle Ages associated the Pagan hoofed god with the christian Devil, and this belief persists today. this is probably where the stereotype that witches are “Satan worshippers” came from.

It is a sad, sad realization to reach-realizing how many people are uneducated about the subject or just outright ignore it. Realizing that we may be in too deep with these misconceptions—for the sake of Hollywood and popular culture, witches will probably always be depicted as malicious, Satanic, evil creatures.

The best I can do is win the listserve and try to open a few eyes to the sexist, racist, homophobic, witch-fearing world we live in.


Danielle Stemen
dstemen1111[AT]aol.com
indian trail, nc

1 comment:

  1. Just read your list serve. Great read, love your bravery. I will argue one point though - and it's an argument I have with my brother a lot. If the goal of feminism is to make both sexes equal (and I have no doubt it is) then you'd do better to call it egalitarianism.

    I know you touch on the fact that the name represents the struggles of the past and tries to honor them. That's great and if that's important to you then by all means go on ahead. But I can assure you that it's very hard for men, even as liberal as I am, to carry that call when they've seen so many modern extreme feminists ostracize them under that creed.

    It's a sad truth and it would be great if it weren't so. But in the same way many men are too proud to admit they're part of the problem, feminism needs to swallow some pride and rebrand itself if it intends to capture the hearts and minds of those men.

    I posted as anonymous because I assume this will be a one off posting, but if you'd like to carry the discussion I'll be happy to mail you.

    Best,
    Isaac

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