by Renee Damoiselle
Woman. Demon. Witch.
The patriarchy is going down, but not without a fight.
Women are still being demonized the world over. In fact, it seems to be getting worse.
From the Free the Nipple movement to the Burkini controversy, #metoo to abortion bans, women are constantly being told exactly how to be.
Frat boys are still receiving slaps on the wrist for violating a woman’s body and politicians are still vying for control over our sexual freedom.
The safe passage of women through life is conditioned upon their behaving and appearing a certain way.
We are all TOO something; too thin, too fat, too pretty, too ugly, too fashionable, too disinterested in fashion, too smart, too dumb.
Who among us can strike that perfect balance of meeting that razor’s edge of societal acceptance?
None of us! It’s a fabrication. It’s fake!
And women are evolving into their own personal realness. This is why it seems that the patriarchy’s oppression of women is waxing rather than waning, as it should be.
It is because we are growing stronger, and they are becoming more and more frightened.
When any entity (a human, a butterfly, a society) goes through a transformation, there comes a time of war, a time when two opposite notions the entity has of “self” are clashing and causing extremely uncomfortable dissonance.
This happens just before the truth wins out and the entity changes.
So take heart. I believe this is happening and we as Witches can help to bust open the chrysalis.
The number of self-proclaimed witches in the world is increasing exponentially.
Think about that. As Witches, we can’t agree on much, but I’m pretty sure we can agree that everything is connected.
Every thought and action sends out a ripple of energy into the world. That’s why magic works! The connection; the web of reality.
To claim the title of “witch” is to openly fly in the face of convention.
We tell the world, “I am embracing the fact that I don’t fit in. I AM different. I AM Powerful. And your thoughts on the matter are of no concern to me.”
A self-proclaimed witch is an uncontrollable entity, an unknown.
A witch, by her very existence, is an affront to the patriarchal powers that be.
But I believe we have a greater responsibility to our sisters and to the world.
As Witches we’ve honed our magickal prowess.
We’ve worked to form our hearts and minds into powerful forces for change. The thoughts and actions that we send out to the web of existence are more potent because of that. So we need to use that power for good.
So what else can a Witch do to finally turn this proverbial Prince (of patriarchy) into the toad that it truly is?
Ok… before I go any further – I’m reminded of a little story I must share with you my witchy friends!
A princess frolics through the forest, you know, as princesses are wont to do, and she happens upon a toad which has a tiny crown on its head. She is fascinated.
Even more amazing, this toad can speak! It croaks to her, saying that it is, in reality, a handsome but enchanted prince. The toad brags on and on about his beautiful and expensive castle and how many beautiful princesses like her he has “conquered”. He regales the princess with wonderful stories about how much land he owns and how that land has been passed down, from father to son, for generations. He expounds on how he must produce a male heir for all of his riches. And then, he offers her the great honor of becoming his bride if she will only give him a kiss and break the enchantment.
After hearing all of this, the princess levels her gaze at him, which the toad, of course, takes as a sign of interest. She asks, “And what might such a bride do as mistress of this elegant and wonderful House of Toad?” The toad answers, “Why, you would serve me, of course! You would be at my side whenever I wish! You may also prepare glorious meals for me, attend to my washing and you would be in charge of keeping the castle just so!” He said this as if this would be a dream come true for any princess!
The Princess blinked, and then moved closer to the toad and leaned in, only a hair’s breadth away and…. Could later be heard to say (as she enjoyed a lovely meal of sautéed frog’s legs and a glass of fine wine), “I don’t fucking think so!”
[Insert evil grin here!]
And now back to our Witchy Weapons of Patriarchal Destruction!
1. Cultivate an awareness of subtle sexism.
We can all easily notice sexism such as the toad in our story telling the princess that she can cook and clean for him.
But do we notice when we are “innocuously” given the task of calling the caterer for the office party?
We may be perfectly aware when some misogynist questions our moods by referring to a certain time of month. But do we sense ourselves censoring our own emotions when speaking to a group?
Is there a thought, deep down, that if your emotions show, you won’t be taken seriously?
It’s true. Studies have shown that women are more likely to be interrupted during conversation and more likely to be perceived as untrustworthy for expressing emotions.
And those interruptions and perceptions of lower value are perpetrated by men AND women.
If you’ve ever used the euphemisms that equate parts of women’s bodies (Pussy) with weakness and parts of men’s bodies (balls) with strength, that’s something to become aware of.
I’ve taken to using the words “Uterus”, “Vagina”, and “Yoni” in place of balls. It wakes people up because they’re not expecting it.
Sexism rears its ugly head in our society in many ways and we need to be aware of these subtler expressions of it, so that we can…
2. Call people out on their sexism. Male AND female.
Whenever you notice sexism in action, with your high-powered awareness, say something. Whether it’s some internet troll objectifying a woman or a woman who is begrudgingly accepting a role put upon her by the patriarchy.
Speak. Up. Every. Time.
Know this. You will be attacked for it.
Because how dare you point out a man’s foibles, you uppity *%$# (fill in the derogatory term of choice; bitch, feminazi, perhaps even Witch!)?!
In which case, you can slow-grin at them and give them a proper education.
I read an article recently called “Girls’ Guide to Calling Out Sexism Without Being Attacked”.
I prayed it was meant to be an ironic title, but I really couldn’t tell even after reading the article, which suggested we adjust our tone when doing so, and advised us that we might be seen as “shrill” or “preachy” in doing so.
The article gave no advice as to how to call out the sexism of the attack itself.
And it was written by a woman. Obviously not a witch.
Don’t be like her.
Don’t tone it down for the sake of peace. That’s how we got here in the first place. Fear. Don’t let that be you.
And while we’re on the subject of fear…
3. Empower others.
Do your best, as the witchy, wise, persuasive powerhouse that you are to bring those affected by sexism out of their fear. Be an example but also be a shoulder.
One of the things that witches are great at is bringing the love.
If there are women around you who are giving away their power, show them how to do things differently.
If they show interest in growing and becoming more empowered, help them discover ways to do that.
I volunteer at a non-profit for women teaching them workshops in self-discovery, finding their power and transforming their lives.
In other words, I’m teaching them to be witches without calling it that.
Do the same for those you care about because, as I mentioned before, the more witches, the better!
And so, Witch… what’s next?
4. Do Magick!
So you know how to cast a love spell and you can conjure up some cash when you need it.
You can witch some weather for your special event and call on Jupiter to expand your business. And all of that is awesome.
But every once in awhile, consider doing some altruistic magick. Goddess knows the world needs it in may ways.
Be creative! Come up with a spell that helps to open the eyes of those who appear to be blind to casual sexism.
Practice a daily devotion to Diana requesting that she increase women’s power in the world.
Hell, masturbate with a sense of adoration and respect for your yoni and expand that feeling to the universe.
You’re a witch, you can think of a spell that suits your purpose.
And if you are part of a group of witches and you work together for the end of sexism in our society in some way, all the better.
Use your powers for good. The world will thank you for it.
5. And finally,
continue to be your witchy, wise, bad-ass self unapologetically!!!!
If this essay resonates with you, please join our WITCH email list by using the forms on this website so we can stay in touch.
About the Author:
Renée Damoiselle is a Worldly Wise Crone Witch with personal ties to warrior deities. Her “raised eyebrow” style of Truth-Telling enables her clients to face the realities of their challenges and triumphs with confidence and humor (each when necessary). Renée is the Author of the forthcoming book from Red Wheel Weiser publishers entitled, Storytelling Alchemy – Write Your Own Happy Ending. She offers divination and coaching combining Cartomancy, Reiki, Skrying, Mediumship and a healthy dose of good old common sense. She also offers many workshops and talks, and facilitates the GODDESS DIVINE retreat. Friend her on Facebook.
Check out this site for all the details on Renee’s Retreats!
For more about Renée, read her blog.
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Show Comments (5)
How does an ally who wishes to help with your crusade help? Using similar steps? I am sick of the isms in the workplace as well.
Thank you for your Comment! I’m so sorry it took me so long to find it! Men can be fantastic allies! And yes, using the same tools mentioned above. Think how much more powerful it is to have a man point out another man’s sexism. Picture a woman who has just made a statement in a meeting dominated by men. Her statement is ignored and a few minutes later repeated, almost verbatim, by a man at the meeting and suddenly it’s treated as a great idea. If the woman responds, “I just said that!” she’s seen as whining. But if another man in the room points it out. “Um that’s exactly what Jane just said.” it carries more weight. Thanks for reading! -Renee
hi. i’m bob. i’m a guy, but I’ve ALWAYS looked up to women. we are equal, but women are more powerful, in control than men. i’m not a whimp. I just know facts. I respect women. especially witches. I stand with you. be strong!
Another great article Renee! I’m sharing and hopefully this helps other women find their power! X
I don’t recognize sex or gender. I just see people, though I tend to prefer people with traditional ‘female features’ like breasts and heart-shaped bottoms. Peace and harmony to all.