Re: “Ding-dong! The witch is not dead” (Features, October 28, pages 15-17)
I appreciate this timely, if unfocused, article this year. I am not sure if either of the writers practice witchcraft, but as a closeted practitioner I was excited to see this in The Daily.
I found this article to make a strange draw between feminism and witchcraft – these two are intricately combined throughout a history where women were maligned to remove power, particularly the power to heal and lead. This parallel is deep and rich, not something that is just drawn up by the writers of this article. The implication that they had to come to this conclusion on their own I think takes a lot of credit away from the skilled witches who have painstakingly transcribed our history and gendered struggles, often at great risk.
There is a conflation of witchcraft as a religion, which is not always the case. Witchcraft does not have to be a religious act. While some folks, like myself, self-identify as witches, others have had this label forced upon them. Though reclamation is a powerful act of healing for many witches, like all reclaimed words and practices there is still an element of privilege to that reclamation that should be acknowledged.
This article is also written without acknowledging that the witchcraft practiced by Indigenous people, women and two-spirited people in particular, has been persecuted brutally and McGill and The McGill Daily sit on stolen territory. My experiences with silencing of Indigenous witchcraft, as a settler, is limited to the west coast of this country, but I imagine that Montreal has similar issues that should be a priority when discussing the persecution of any witchcraft or practices that have been forcibly labeled as witchcraft. These are serious issues facing witches today, and it is a large oversight to not address this.
—A McGill Witch