Witch, Slut, Feminist: these contested identities are informing millennial women as they counter a tortuous history of misogyny with empowerment. This innovative primer highlights sexual liberation as it traces the lineage of “witch feminism.” Juxtaposing scholarly research on the demonization of women and female sexuality that has continued since the witch hunts of the early modern era with pop occulture analyses and interviews with activists, artists, scholars, and practitioners of witchcraft, this book enriches our contemporary conversations about reproductive rights, sexual pleasure, queer identity, pornography, sex work, and more.
Kristen J. Sollee is an instructor at The New School and founding editrix of Slutist, an award-winning sex positive feminist website.” – Goodreads.com
You know that question “if you could give someone any one book that explains what you’re about, what would it be?”? Well, this is that book for me. I absolutely loved it. I’ve actually read it twice since I got it, because I read it so quickly the first time and I’m genuinely surprised I didn’t write this.
Kristen J. Solée sucinctly blends together all the things modern witches are talking about – racism and different systems of magickal practice, the history of witchcraft, witchcraft in north america vs. europe, the enduring legacy of the salem witch trials, the witch in fashion and on screen, sex positivity and blending sex with spirituality, and a really great reading list.
Though it’s a short read, it packs a ton of incredible information into short chapters, and fully encourages witches to do some research of their own. Before you know it, you’ve followed the path of the witch from ancient times, through the dark ages, to the “new world” via colonialism, to MTV and the 2016 Presidential Election. It examines some of the sexist and capitalist motivations of witch hunts (hindsight is 20/20 y’all), where the witch has worked her way into every wave of feminism and women’s liberation, and features the words and experiences of modern witches channeling their magick into art, music, and sex work.
It’s basically everything I’m about.
Whenever I review books I like to look at other reviews from other blogs and websites. I like to read reviews by witches and non-witches if I can find them and this book got really interesting reviews. Every feminist news outlet plugged the book and every witch online scooped it up as soon as they could. It got 5 star reviews almost everywhere, and when it didn’t it always seemed to be for the same reason: “there’s nothing new in here”.I respectfully disagree. Though the info in the book is stuff you could find on your own, this is really the knowledge and work of almost a lifetime. All of the things I already knew from the book I learned over years of reading witch books and blogs and articles FULL TIME for years. I learned some more than 15 years ago, and some of this stuff I learned 6 months ago. If I could have started out with something like this my life and practice might have been much different. (for example, I actually took a doula certification course, which took me years, and lead to my reading some of the books referenced – I might not have found that info otherwise.) More so, having all of these lines explicitely connected is new. The modern and completey inclusive take on historical and practical witchcraft is also new, and sorely needed.
As I mentioned above, one of my favourite things about this book is that it gives you the tools to do research of your own. It features a really great and well-organized reference list in the back of the book, gives differing perspectives from different witches and experts, and makes you question what you think you know about sex, religion, feminism, and race. It doesn’t tell you what to think, it encourages you to confront that yourself.
I also absolutely loved the look and artwork of the book. The simple, yet provocative, cover is probably one of my favourite book covers of all time, and the illustrations by Coz Conover (@cozcon on Instagram) are wild and witchy and totally match the vibe of the book.
Witches, Sluts, Feminists modernizes the image of the witch without stripping her of her power or history. I honestly can’t recommend it enough and would almost consider it mandatory reading for all modern witches and feminists (and sluts!).
Ever wondered what my crystal ball rating system actually means?
The Fat Feminist Witch Rating System:
🔮🔮🔮🔮🔮- I literally cannot live without it now
🔮🔮🔮🔮 – YASS
🔮🔮🔮 – It’s good, but it’s not for me
🔮🔮 – Nah
🔮 – I’m literally angry this even exists