This is why identifying as a ‘witch’ is empowering

Witches fight the patriarchy, capitalism and the destruction of nature, it’s no wonder were seeing more of them in popular culture, writes Diego Rinallo

Saturday 27 November 2021 14:52
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<p>‘Feminists were among the first to embrace the witch myth by claiming that witches were rebels against patriarchal forces and one of the few symbols of female power in the Western world – because they were feared by men’ </p>

‘Feminists were among the first to embrace the witch myth by claiming that witches were rebels against patriarchal forces and one of the few symbols of female power in the Western world – because they were feared by men’

In the past, being suspected of being a witch could cost you your life. During the 15th-17th centuries, an estimated 20 to 50,000 people (mostly women) were killed because of witchcraft accusations. Even today, every year, thousands of people – women, children, people with disabilities, and albinos – are accused of witchcraft and subjected to banishment, torture and murder around the world.

In July 2021, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a long-awaited resolution condemning human rights violations associated with witchcraft accusations.

Yet, in other contexts, and especially on social media, witches have never been so popular. On Instagram, the hashtag #witchesofinstagram has more than eight million posts. On TikTok, videos tagged #WitchTok have surpassed 21 billion views. Behind such online content, there are people – women, but also members of the LGBTQIA+ community, people of colour and from other marginalised groups – who proudly identify as witches.

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