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.

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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.
Witch Female Insult Name CallingReleased on June 7, 2016

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