“We were the movement secretaries and the shit-workers
We were the earth mothers and the sex-objects for the movements men”
Witchcraft and feminism. What is the connection?
Now I am an essentialistfeminist at heart and have undertones of feminism throughout my new adult fantasy romance, Superheroes Wear Faded Denim. My female characters are all strong. Though they may not always know what they want out of life they know definitely what they want when it comes to their sexuality.
Sometimes I have many of these powerful characters wielding magic. Even though I know historical events have shaped much of our views on magic, leaving many writers to associate magic with witches and warlocks, I redefine the definition for my novel. Why?
Because witches seem so dark and anti-feminist to me. At least that is what I thought until I discovered The Witches International Terrorist Conspiracy From Hell.
Before I stumbled on the organization, I had been researching the connection between the concept of the witch and feminism. What better place than to discuss such a topic than on Roxanne’s Realm.
At first I was led to an article on Digital History describing the roles many women were forced to take while in organizations for social change during the Civil Rights movement and the Second World War. Oftentimes they were "responsible for kitchen work, typing, and serving "as a sexual supply for their male comrades after hours."” One woman summed up female roles as “the movement secretaries and the shit-workers . . . the earth mothers and the sex-objects for the movement's men." (http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/database/article_display.cfm?HHID=382)
Such feelings of frustration caused women to band together. Some of these women came to be known as WITCH.
At first I thought this was the sobriquet a women’s terrorist organization in the Middle East received from a group of frustrated, overworked soldiers. How wrong I was.
WITCH was one of the radical organizations marking second-wave feminism, sprouting up along with hundreds of feminist organizations in the late 1960s. Unlike first-wave feminism, a term coined in the 70s, second-wave was focused on issues pertaining to “sexuality, family, the workplace, and reproductive rights.”
Taking to the streets to join fellow sisters in the movement, they were innovative in their approach, attracting attention to their cause by using mostly theatrics and guerrilla tactics.
One of the most interesting pieces of information I found was the WITCH Manifesto. It reads like a poem, and should be quite a bit of entertainment.
“WITCH is an all-woman Everything. It’s theater, revolution, magic, terror, joy, garlic flowers, spells. It’s an awareness that witches and gypsies were the original guerrillas and resistance fighters against oppression…Witches were the first Friendly Heads and Dealers, the first birth-control practitioners and abortionists, the first alchemists…WITCH lives and laughs in every woman. She is the free part of each of us, beneath the shy smiles, the acquiescence to absurd male domination…if you are a woman and dare to look within yourself, you are a witch…you are free and beautiful…Whatever is repressive, solely male-oriented, greedy, puritanical, authoritarian-those are your targets…you are pledged to free our brothers from oppression and stereotyped sexual roles as well as ourselves. You are a witch by saying aloud, “I am a Witch,” three times, and thinking about that. You are a witch by being female, untamed, angry, joyous, and immortal.” (http://jhstrega7.wordpress.com/2008/05/30/the-witch-manifesto-of-1968/)
It could be argued the whole idea of the witch is just a way of holding women down. Just think of the Salem Witch Trials. The majority of its victims being women, it was one more way for men to punish women for being who they are. Another argument that makes the witch anti-feminism is provided by this blogger, “the goddess fulfills nearly every feminine stereotype, with a great deal of focus on fertility” (http://www.redpolka.org/blog/archives/000310.html)
Another could say the witch itself is feministic. Going against mainstream roles, she is powerful, dominant, and in tune with herself.
I could present arguments all day, but what do you think? Is the concept of the witch anti-feminist or not? Let me know in the comments below. I would love to hear your thoughts.
Blissany Cherry is tired of sleeping around. Her neurologists’ sleep solutions have failed her. Now that her bizarre sleeping habits have begun to include week long dreams she has resorted to her own methods for a cure.
METHOD ONE: CONTROL DREAMS. All attempts to morph dreams about a gorgeous warrior into romantic fantasies are thwarted. He keeps on insisting she is destined to marry a great king and lead their armies into war. At the end of every dream he asks her: will you fight the war and save mankind?
She laughs in his face.
METHOD TWO: RESIST! Blissany has plans for her life. None include fighting an intergalactic war. When her dreams begin spilling over into reality, she is forced to make a decision that will forever redefine her life. Standing between destiny and desire, she is left with only one option.
METHOD THREE: SURVIVE.
About the Author:
Law Reigns has an odd obsession with romance. At the advice of her friends, she gave up the plight of playing cupid in their lives. Developing her own characters to manipulate proved to be more rewarding. After having studied creative writing at the University of Florida, she decided to write Superheroes Wear Faded Denim. A proud Gator alumni, she based her novel where blood runs orange and blue. She personally invites all adventure druggies and love fanatics to dive into the pages of Faded Denim, a story that transforms a swampy, southern town into a battlefield for life and love.
Connect with Law Reigns
Why this story:
I wrote this story for three reasons:
1. As a narcoleptic, I wanted to inspire others by writing a story about a character who struggles to overcome sleep. Harriet Tubman’s story inspired me. For those who do not know, she was also a narcoleptic. She most certainly did not let it bother her. Anyone who faces obstacles in life will be inspired by this story of triumph.
2. Telling the story of a young woman who had to undergo a transformation to achieve greatness was important to me. Life will always ask more of us, more than we sometimes even think we can give.
3. I wanted to capture the beauty and culture of my college experience. There are so many different types of people we meet in college. Many stories do not even try to convey this.
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