W is for Witch
Noun: A woman thought to have evil magic powers.
Verb: (of a witch) Cast an evil spell on.
noun. hag - sorceress - harridan - hex - beldam - enchantress
verb. bewitch - spellbind - enchant - fascinate – charm
Many of my friends have embraced the word Witch. Even the title of my blog shows that I too identify as the word. However what does it really mean to be a witch? And what do we say about ourselves when we use it?
Over my lifetime I've been in many minority categories. I've been called a Dyke, White Trash and Witch. As many in these groups I took these words (reappropriation) and tried to embrace them as some form of empowerment. Recently in a discussion group I belong to we talked about reclaiming these words as a way to take away the oppression that usually goes along with them and “take back” the power that is lost when a minority is singled out and ridiculed for a particular attribute.
Even though I sit and claim to be a proud witch, one of the most hurtful times in my life was just this past year when family members used it against me. Posting on Facebook the words, you crazy WITCH still sting like fist to the gut. Being called names is never a good thing but when someone so close to you takes something so near and dear and stabs you with it, the pain is unbearable.
So have we really taken the word back? Are we really better off by calling ourselves witches. No one can really say for sure, it’s a very individual process. I do feel good about using “Witch” as a descriptive word for myself. I think that even though it is empowering, there is still that little one inside of us that is hurt when people attack and words that we've chosen to make us stronger can still cut deep.
So what do you think, have you claimed a derogatory word as your own and then had it come back to bite you? I’d love to hear your comments.
Until next time my pretties –
Namaste and Blessed Be