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

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