The Witch Ball Will Cast A Nasty Spell On Toxic Masculinity
By Liz von Klemperer and Leah Bank
Brooklyn nightlife producers Coral Foxworth and Raechel Rosen are fighting the patriarchy — one party at a time. Photographer Leah Bank captured the revelry of the first ever Femmequerade Ball — bask in the boogie below! — while the duo gave us the lowdown of the second femme-tastic soiree, The Witch Ball, coming to the hot heart of Brooklyn on October 25.
“We strive to make it an inclusive, intersectional feminist party,” explains Rosen, who doubles as the lead singer and keytarist of The Coven of Mima Good, a tres witchy rock and roll girl band. “It’s expansive, nonhierarchical, not your mother’s ‘Feminism.’”
The party celebrates women and femmes in the most open sense, and attempts to wipe out toxic masculinity by naming it and countering it with the might of the divine feminine. To Rosen, toxic masculinity appears in “concerts and parties with all alt-bro bands and fuccbois dominating the lineup, flaunting their masculinity with no awareness of their patriarchal embodiment.”
Taste the rainbow.
The parody of the boot-stomping, man-hating feminism remains a poignant and cheeky way to reclaim space that is often a site for violence against and harassment of femmes. Rosen wants to show partiers how “fun being militant can be,” and provide a place where costumed guests can boogie under the heady lights of a disco ball and twirl in plumes of smoke while MC Marcia Belsky cracks jokes about the patriarchy.
“We wanted it to be all kinds of loud and soft types of power,” Raechel says. “Powerful femmes being honest about their experiences.”
The first Femmequerade’s roster this past August boasted a diverse array of pop punk, rock, electronic . . . and beyond. Rosen curated live musicians including T-Rextasy, Ashni, Meager Pencil, DJ Dylan Sparkle, Jay Boogie, Nani Castle, YATTA, and Moonbear.
Foxworth — also known as FXWRK — will flank a robust DJ set (including herself, WWIII (Soleil Grant) and Abyss X) with Grammy-winning singer Anna Wise alongside Latasha Alcinor. YATTA, Coven of Mima Good, and DJ Dylan Sparkle will also re-join the fray.
“Anna Wise was a big get for us,” Foxworth says. “We can’t really afford her, but she was into the message and purpose of the Ball. We’re really excited about this lineup.”
An administrator of Sister — an international collective of women and non-binary people in electronic music — Foxworth is part of a rich web of artists. The collective takes the form of a private Facebook group with over a thousand members globally, hosts an event series in several cities, and also manifests as a Soundcloud mix series.
After years of DJing in NYC, Foxworth notes a distinctly “territorial, almost masculine vibe” to NYC nightlife. Certain nightlife contexts feel unsafe, and not just due to the all-too-common threat of sexual harassment and violence. “It’s in the vibe of a place. A closed-ness,” she says.
Mima Good keytar-ing in pigtails.
Foxworth dreamed of countering this phenomenon, this domineering energy which eclipsed others; she began plotting to bring a new kind of vibe to NYC nightlife. When planning events, Foxworth asks herself: “how can I bring sacredness back to the human act of gathering and celebration? How can parties be a means of transcendence and collective organization as opposed to a means of escape?”
The upcoming event in Brooklyn will also feature a pop-up shop and tarot salon by Catland — a metaphysical boutique and event space for Occultists, Yogis, Pagans, Mystics, Witches, and beyond (of course!) — in East Williamsburg.
When asked if they’ll do anything differently this time around, Foxworth says that she and Rosen plan on “focusing on being more present at the event, and on inviting people into the space. People don’t expect that when they go out to a club.”
Keep yer eye on the Facebook event page for updates, details, and things that go bump in the night.
If you like dancing, reveling, and celebrating femmenergy while gyrate-smashing toxic masculinity, you’re gonna wanna get thee to the Good Room in Greenpoint, Brooklyn on October 25. Everyone — and their mother, as they say — is welcome, but sorry, straight cis white men, you’ll have to pay an extra $3 at the door for admission.
Photography by Leah Bank