January 12, 2015

Zine: Witchy Women

We're feeling witchy.

Witchy Women: A Zine of Witchcraft and Feminism works to explore and reframe the narrative and portrayal of witches and witchcraft. It has an organic and authentic feeling; even though it is online it has a handmade aesthetic. The opening letter strongly defines the zines intentions while serving as a good introduction to the world of witches. It brought back feelings of nostalgia, of a personal childhood desire to be a witch. As the zine strongly emphasizes, the character of the witch is very appealing to many young girls (and boys). Witches were the strongest, smartest, and stylish characters in many shows and stories, despite that throughout history they have been demonized. The zine states that the term "witch" is attached with much stigma and used as a tool to other and delegitimize their practices and intelligence. Witchy Women recovers the power that the patriarchal structure has attempted to suppress. 

The zine contains both personal pieces and works of fiction. The personal narratives reinforce the handcrafted, tangible feel of the zine. The writers and curators voices and styles are very clear throughout, uniting the writing and artwork together smoothly and without hesitation.

There is also a comical maternity shake recipe in Witchy Women which is a reminder of the medicinal practice and knowledge of witches of the past and present. Midwifery is also discussed in a collage called “The Witch Doctor” which aptly emphasized the demonization of the knowledge of women. As shown in the zine, the wisdom held by women and derived from experience is often viewed as incomplete and ignorant in comparison to western male thought.

Toward the end I was struck by a piece on race dynamics and the popular television show Sleepy Hollow by Angela Woolsey. Through its examination of race and gender in tandem, pointing out tropes of the white damsels in distress and the fragility of this femininity, Witchy Women aided in my understanding of the belittlement of witches and female strength through another lens. The theme of reclaiming, understanding and proudly finding strength in feminine power while reframing images and histories of witches and witchcraft positively shined through.

Read the full issue here.

Judith Jones is a writer, blogger and angry intersectional feminist from the South. When she is not reading feminist theory, making zines or eating donuts she can be found on Twitter and Tumblr.