Yes, This is a Witch Hunt. I’m a Basic Witch and My ‘Hunt’ is an Internal Revolt

My witch hunt may look a little different than yours. As I try to heal from a traumatic #MeToo experience that left me with PTSD, I won’t be publicly naming those who hurt me. I ask that the world can respect this decision.

I know many of us are feeling pressure to name our accusers with the whirlwind of this week, and I wrote a poem to express how we are not what happened to us and that it is okay to be where we’re at in our healing process. With all the retweets and shares and messages I’ve received from it, I truly don’t feel as alone.

Yes, This Is a Witch Hunt. I’m a Witch and I’m Hunting You

As I pondered the badassery of The New York Times headline today and how I’m going to move forward through this murky week, I started to think about (as I do quite often) the history of witchy women and our persecution. The message of this meme couldn’t be more on point/relevant today:

From the film, The Love Witch. But TBH, I have not seen the film because I’m a millenial who only reads memes

I have a really hard time when people label women as witches in a derogatory way. This is not just because of my love/adoration of Harry Potter, but from my research about how witchy women have been treated throughout history.

Luckily we have witch figures in modern literature that show women owning their power.

Women were tortured, beaten, and killed for simply existing as women under the guise of ‘witchcraft.’ In my research and readings on the power of the witch archetype and the witch hunts of yesteryear, I’ve read varied reports of tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands to millions of women killed because of ‘witchcraft.’ Some publications refer to it as a ‘gendercide.’ It truly was a war on women, and it’s continuing to this day.

Have we forgotten about the hate-fueled murderous rampage in Santa Barbara just a few years ago? Elliot Roger went on a shooting spree and killed six people and injured seven after he posted a misogynistic rant on YouTube:

“College is the time when everyone experiences those things such as sex and fun and pleasure, but in those years I’ve had to rot in loneliness, it’s not fair … I don’t know why you girls aren’t attracted to me but I will punish you all for it.” -Elliot Roger

He believed women owed him sex. He wasn’t okay with them expressing their sexuality when it wasn’t directed at him. And then he took the lives of others because of it.

The witch hunt against women never really ended. We are still not free to be our sexual selves without judgement from others or possible persecution. Our bodies are monitored and shamed IRL and on social media. There is the double-standard that if we show too much we are asking for it, but if we show too little we are prude.

And now the tables are turning. The witches are the ones doing the hunting, thanks to the power of social media.

And well, forgive me for perhaps being a bit of a lame / basic witch, but I’m not going on much of an outward hunt. I will not be publicly tagging every man who has harassed or assaulted me. I do not know your journey or your experience, so I will not judge or shame those who do.

But for where I’m at now, it’s more of an inner revolt of tapping into my ‘inner witch.’

I made this tshirt after I saw it on a sign at the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. SOFASHION

For starters, I don’t have the names of everyone who has harassed or assaulted me over the years. But some were strangers on the street and some were friends and some were romantic partners.

The ones that are still in my life and may be reading this now, I think you know what you did, either because I confronted you firsthand or maybe (I hope) you’ve learned over the years that what you did was wrong. I am just not in a place to name you and destroy your career or your relationships. I don’t want that for you. What I do want is for you to be a better man.

I also don’t think it would be healthy for my psyche to go back into all of it.

You could even deny it happened which I couldn’t handle. I also don’t know what good it would do for you becoming a better person. I just want you to be better now. But it is out of my control. Again, this is only my personal experience I can speak from. I hold no judgements of anyone who publicly names their accusers.

I just hope you, the one(s) who did what you did, have changed. But please be honest with yourself. I can only hope that wherever you are in the world, you are not hurting anyone else. I pray a lot about that.

I am still trying to figure out how to exist with all that has happened to me. I know there are countless others in the same boat. I have received messages from so many women just today who have read my poem + my piece yesterday — messages of compassion, kindness, and solidarity. To all the women and men and non-binary folk who are sharing their stories: I am with you. I see you.

What I just want to focus on is liberating mySELF of trauma through exploring my femininity and my inner strength and my creative expression + sexuality through art. That is my revolt.

Me, age 12, when I had my first experience with harassment. Me, now, looking like I wish I had a mermaid tail

I want to feel no more shame in being a woman. I want to feel like I belong in my body again and feel like it’s okay to be sexual, alive and all things WOMAN without needing male approval.

You tried to take my humanity away from me but I think you wound up making me more powerful in the end. I thought for years you made me weaker.

But it’s almost like magic, that feeling you get when you realize no one can take your power from you. It lives inside you. It’s always there, waiting for you to own it.

So sit back and enjoy the ride as all the witches around the world rise. We have woken up.

You can heal from what happened. You are not defined by what has happened to you.

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