Storify: Modern Witches and Social Justice

Storify is shutting down in May and has informed users that we have to migrate our content elsewhere if we wish to save it. This is one of my old threads.

After seeing a man compare "Politically Correct culture" to witch trials of the past, I wrote the below series of tweets.

I'm still angry about that asshole's "PC culture is like witch trials" because THIS IS MY PET PEEVE.

The thing about witch trials, TO START WITH, is Salem is not a good example but it's the one Americans all know of. They know of it because it was romanticized during the McCarthy era as a sort of modern parallel that arguably fit poorly.

For the vast majority of witch trials, the victims were people who didn't fit into the community's white patriarchal ideal. And for the vast majority of those trials, the accusers and people running the show were privileged rich white men. So to try to jam "PC culture" into that framework doesn't work. At all. Period. Ever.

You can see hints of this in what ACTUALLY went down in Salem (not the romanticized version). Several of the "young girls" doing the accusing were white women in their late 20s and 30s. One of the reasons the Salem trials snowballed were because the property of the accused was seized by the authorities.

So the vision of Salem as a hapless community terrorized by young girls and helpless (due to their religion) to stop, is... no. Greedy, selfish, PRIVILEGED adult men and women used the system to kill and steal from the weaker members of their community. Which places modern people married to the use of their racial slurs on the side of the abusers, as usual. Not the victims.

When I say witch trials historically weeded out members of the community who weren't a white patriarchal ideal, btw, I mean it. Women who couldn't reproduce were regularly targeted. Infertile, elderly, very probably trans women, disabled women. People of color and people of different religions were targeted very often. Wealthy women who weren't attached to a man and family (widows, especially) were common targets to seize their property. Very likely queer people of all stripes were targeted as well. People who didn't fit a cis, hetero, allo, Christian, white mold.

This is important, both because those "PC POLICE!!" parallels piss me off, but also as why modern pagans BETTER NOT be bigots. We don't get to claim spiritual kinship with our forewitches only to turn around and perpetuate the same hatred. And this goes ditto for feminists who like to call back to our witchy mothers: you can't pick only the white cis allo ones.

If you won't support women of color, ace and aro women, trans women, disabled women, DON'T INVOKE WITCHES. So if you're carrying a "we are the daughters of the witches you failed to burn" signs, you BETTER be intersectional. Because we CURRENT witches who've failed to burn are subtle and quick to anger. (Props to JRR Tolkien.)

(as a side note!)

Every time I do Wiccan / Witch threads, I get sweet children in my mentions asking if Love spells exist. My dear hearts: There is no spell that can make someone love you, and even if there were it would not be ethical to use it.

There ARE spells to make you noticeable to others, the same way you might change your hair or clothes or scent or style. Those might be worth a look. Or you could experiment with your hair or clothes or scent or style. Or you could use your words. Telling someone "hey, I LIKE-like you" seems hard, but it is easier and more direct than most spells, I promise.

Above all else, be aware that "thanks, but no thanks" is a valid option for your love interest and respect that. Always.


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