What’s Current: On Witches’ Eve, we celebrate female power and remember our dead

What’s Current is Feminist Current’s daily news roundup.

  • “Witch persecution became a convenient way of suppressing female power.” Jocelyn Macdonald interviews feminist historian Max Dashu about witches for After Ellen.

“That’s still with us in the archetype in the witch — the powerful woman is a bad woman, the old woman is a bad woman, the old green witch with a mole on her chin is associated with the dead perhaps in that symbolism too, but the idea that the witch was connected with evil is a part of a large shift from positive images of women, shifting over instead to the idea that female power is a threat to society.”

  • Police are investigating the deaths of two sisters from Saudi Arabia whose bodies, bound together with tape, washed up on New York City’s waterfront. The day before the bodies were discovered, the sisters’ mother told detectives she received a call from an official at the Saudi Arabian embassy, ordering the family to leave the US because her daughters had applied for political asylum.
  • A trans-identified male from Quebec has been sentenced to 18 months, to be served in a women’s prison, for sexually abusing his three-year-old daughter.
  • The Hershee Bar, a 35-year-old lesbian bar in Norfolk, VA, and one of the oldest lesbian bars on the US East Coast, is closing after being served an eviction notice by their new landlord.
  • Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, one of the many victims of USA Gymnastics’ team doctor, Larry Nassar, appeared on the Today show this week, criticizing USA Gymnastic’s failure to address the abuse. “From the very beginning, his priority and USA Gymnastics’ priority was always to cover it up,” she said.
  • Seventeen Filipina women were arrested at Halloween party in Riyadh, where unmarried singles of the opposite sex were in attendance, which is forbidden by Saudi Arabian religious laws.
Natasha Chart
Natasha Chart

Natasha Chart is an online organizer and feminist living in the United States. She does not recant her heresy.

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  • Morag999

    “The 33-year-old — the victim’s biological father — had pleaded guilty to crimes that took place in 2013 when the girl was just three.

    “The accused was separated from the girl’s mother at the time, and in the months following the assaults, she underwent a sex change.”

    Another day, another report about a trans-identified male sex predator. Another day, another rapist called “she.” And, now, a subset of violent men are serving their sentences in women’s prisons.

    Do these men-who-call-themselves-women commit violent and sex crimes at the same rate as other males, or do they offend at an even higher rate? Not sure if we’ll ever get an answer to that one. Regardless, it should be obvious to anyone who’s paying attention that these men, who lie and lie about who they are, and who demand access to female-only spaces, present a particular threat to women and children.

    • Tobysgirl

      My husband says frankly that transgenderism as practiced by males is simply a cover for criminality. Supposedly they commit crimes at the same rate as other men, but it really does seem that it’s a higher rate.

      • Jani

        Indeed. I believe that biological sex at birth is what should be recorded in the crime stats, so that we don’t end up with the nonsensical rubbish that Morag has referred to. I mean, a “woman” who is biologically male with a penis who rapes a woman is not a “woman” rapist. He is not “she” just because he says he is. Self identification should never be used in a legal context. Fine if pretending to be a woman when you apply for a library ticket, but not in criminal cases, not on birth certificates, not on passports. And whilst we’re at it, this “pregnant people” and “anyone with a cervix” nonsense needs to be kicked to the curb. How mental is it going to get?

    • lk

      I find it incredibly frustrating that news refers to male rapists as she/her. I guess they don’t want to be accused of the violent act of misgendering someone! God knows we need to respect the feelings of rapists….

      And the distortion of langauge creates sentences that make no logical sense: “sexual assaults carried out when she was still a man” WHAT?! HE is still man….

      The fact that he is being housed in a female prison is a complete miscarriage of justice and violates the human rights of the female prisoners he is housed with.

      I know in the US, crime is (thankfully) tracked by your biological birth sex….In certain parts of Canada, I know that people have the option to change the sex on their birth certificate or have a birth certificate with no sex stated….how will this influence crime stats in Canada? Will this man be counted as a female in government statistics about crime?

      • Cassandra

        “I know in the US, crime is (thankfully) tracked by your biological birth sex….In certain parts of Canada, I know that people have the option to change the sex on their birth certificate or have a birth certificate with no sex stated….how will this influence crime stats in Canada? Will this man be counted as a female in government statistics about crime?”

        BINGO! Transgender ideology is a FANTASTIC way to bury the facts about male violence against women. It’s such a win-win for patriarchy on so many fronts that it’s utterly mind-boggling to me, day after day, that so many people can’t see the misogyny of transgenderism. It’s breathtaking.

  • May Loo

    If you look at what female gymnasts have to go through to become top world competitors, the whole of female gymnastics is corrupt. And it all probably goes back over 40 years and the emphasis on boyish female gymnasts’ bodies. Look at past female gymnasts now. Do any of them look like normal grown women, or do they all still look like little girls – under normal height and weight?

  • Retorter

    absolutely! And to always, always, share these news items with others making it clear that these are MEN. The language of “transwomen” coupled with media’s insistence on referring to these criminals as “she” NO DOUBT confuses a large part of the population into thinking that they are somehow reading about ACTUAL WOMEN. This is no accident.

  • Tobysgirl

    I agree completely with you and May Loo. Have you ever looked at female swimmers? Broad shoulders, flat chests, and no hips, not a common body type for female humans. I asked someone who follows track about female runners’ bodies and he told me they regularly break bones due to osteoporosis because they are so thin. There is no interest in health and fitness, only winning, which is the logical priority of a corporate capitalist culture.

  • unfashionable

    I’d try media. Or maybe your congressional rep, who wants your vote (AG doesn’t). Maybe picket in person at the prison.

  • unfashionable


  • Cassandra

    And how.

  • Maeve

    I was an Olympic level swimmer for fifteen years (age 8-22), swam full scholarship for a top sports university. I was pressured into it by mostly my mother until I felt like if I quit I wouldn’t be “good enough” and would have an identity crisis (my mother a narcissist). My point though, any sports at that level are extremely detrimental to women’s health. I have suffered with severe, chronic insomnia since age 14 due to the trauma of performing. I’m 37. I’m doing neuro-feedback treatment for insomnia now after years of other expensive alternative treatments and medicines that haven’t worked. I’m already experiencing early menopause as well…my body was too depleted for too long to maintain natural production. I get expensive physical therapy to help me with my swimming induced back problems and old repetitive motion injuries. Half the women on my college team had eating disorders, many of them ashamed to be looking like men with bulky muscles so they would stop eating to try and fit the anorexic female look instead. Our team nutritionist would test our body fat levels regularly and weigh us, while our weight coach would feed us mysterious “protein” shakes for muscle “recovery.” WTF? After that chapter in my life, I felt like I was free from a cult. And you don’t even need to be an insider gymnast to know that sport is totally fucking abusive.

  • Deborah

    I thought so to, until I learned that women are still being accused of witchcraft in many parts of the world, at alarming rates, often for economic reasons. This radfem blog wrote this great piece for Halloween: https://rageagainstthemanchine.com