Report Card
Why Women Should Reclaim The Word "Witch"

Shannon Coffey takes a look at the word "witch" as it's been used against women throughout history, in this episode of "Report Card" for RIOT.

See more about this Episode
When it comes to gendered, female-specific insults, it's tough to choose which one is the most eye-roll-worthy. From "bossy" to "bitch," many of these terms have been slung at women who dare to possess any amount of authority or intelligence. This brings us to our insult of the day: witch. As Shannon Coffey notes in this episode of Report Card for RIOT, even Beyoncé and Hillary Clinton have been called witches — because, naturally, they've only risen to their respective seats of power thanks to satanic magic, right?

Of course, the term's actual meaning isn't always taken into account when a woman is slapped with the "witch" label. Calling a woman a "witch" is often just a way to make women with agency look bad.

Here at Refinery29, we support all things witchy — The Craft, crystals, et al. — so we're in hearty agreement with occultist Melissa Madara when she says in Report Card, "It's a word that deserves reclaiming."

Whether you practice real magic, idolize Hermoine Granger, or just happen to think you look good in a black, pointy hat, embrace the witch in you. We're sure you'll find it positively charming. Watch the video above to learn more about why we call women witches — and why we should reclaim the label.

About Report Card

Comedian Shannon Coffey discusses tough topics from herpes to daddy issues, working to shed much-needed light on the stigmas facing modern women.

Witch Female Insult Name CallingReleased on June 7, 2016
Report Card
About
Comedian Shannon Coffey discusses tough topics from herpes to daddy issues, working to shed much-needed light on the stigmas facing modern women.

Watch

R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Documentary
Five love stories behind diverse, multicultural marriages.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Life experiments, 5 days at a time.
Watch Now
Fashion
The style of subculture.
Watch Now
Beauty
Viral trends, tried and tested.
Watch Now
Documentary
From vibrators to lipstick, learn how your favorite products are made.
Watch Now
Documentary
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
Documentary
The latest stories to watch.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Inside the homes of millennial women — & what they paid for them
Watch Now
Comedy
Let's talk about sex, baby.
Watch Now
Documentary
Female artisans around the world
Watch Now
Politics
Made by and for smart, opinionated women.
Watch Now
Film
We helped 12 female directors claim their power.

All Shows