Why Are We All so Obsessed with Witches?

By Alex Miller

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It’s no secret that Americans are fascinated by witches. The amount of witch-related popular culture that we as a country produce is so great it could easily be its own genre. Chances are that at some point in their lives, most of the readers of this post will have had at least one witchy guilty pleasure, and in my experience that is particularly the case for women and queer men. Why, you ask, are we so in love with witches? Maybe up until this point you’ve been unsure or never considered the query. Well buckle up kiddos, because I, Alex J. Miller, self-proclaimed witch expert (and possible witch myself), am about to take you on a rollercoaster ride of witchcraft in American popular culture, at the end of which you’ll be able to proudly proclaim, “Yes, I did watch Witches of East End for nine hours straight last Saturday, and I loved every minute of it!”

Some of the first permanent European settlers arrived on our Atlantic shores in the early 17th century, and with them they brought all their hopes, dreams, smallpox, complete disregard for indigenous cultures, shoe buckles, and ideas about witches. The contemporary … Read more

Historical Context and Why It’s Important

By Alex Miller

Last week, as I was scrolling through my feed on Twitter in an attempt to avoid writing a paper for class, I came across this tweet:

 

w'all tweet

First off I’d like to say this post is not about shaming the person who tweeted this, but is an attempt to get us thinking about the consequences of what we say from an informed perspective. This perspective takes a very important factor into account—historical context. Historical context is, briefly, all the events and circumstances that surround and build up to an event happening in the present. One person recently described it to me in terms of an iceberg—the part above the water’s surface is what is happening now, what you can see, but the part below the surface is the historical context. And as we know, most of an iceberg sits beneath the surface.

Back to our aforementioned tweet. The person who tweeted this was a Yankee living in a Southern state, so naturally he incurred some backlash. One passionate responder attempted to reason with the tweeter, through various arguments, that “w’all” doesn’t sound “just as stupid” as “y’all,” but he was unable to clearly articulate what I could … Read more

Capitalism in Feminist Clothing: Know the Difference Between Money-Making Gimmicks and Genuine Activism

By Alex Miller

This past Tuesday, FCKH8.com released its latest video, entitled “F-Bombs for Feminism: Potty-Mouthed Princesses Use Bad Word for Good Cause.” Although my initial reaction to this video was an eye-roll so hard it hurt and a speedy dismissal, after seeing many people I otherwise respect fall into its cheap trap all over social media I decided my silence was no longer appropriate. So, I want to be explicit and loud when I say this: FCKH8.com and this video are not only despicable capitalist gimmicks, they are detrimental in every way to the feminist cause.

First of all, and very importantly, I want to set the record straight on FCKH8.com. FCKH8.com has been trolling the internet since 2010, and their goal isn’t really to stop hate, it’s to make money. Make no mistake, this a for-profit t-shirt retailer. In the video, it says the company donates five dollars for every article of clothing sold to “kickass charities.” That means that if you buy one of the “anti-sexism hoodies” for $34.99, the company makes a gross profit of $29.99. If you subtract $5 dollars for cost of materials and labor, FCKH8.com is still walking away with $24.99! If you … Read more

How Nude Photos of Celebrities Actually Affect You, Not the Celebrities

I am delighted to present you The Feminist Feline’s first guest post from a man! My good friend Alex Miller wrote an excellent piece about the greater social implications of the recent celebrity photo “scandal.” 

 

As you already know, this past weekend a group of iCloud hackers posted private photos and videos of over 100 American and British celebrities, prominently among them Jennifer Lawrence, on the internet for millions of viewers to see.

Many bloggers and journalists swiftly took to the web in outrage, stating vehemently that this act was an invasion of privacy and indeed a serious crime. The women, be they celebrities or not, deserved better, and were of course not to blame for the photos being leaked. These women should not be restricted in their personal lives because their profession places them in the public eye. They should not have to live in fear that what they choose to do for themselves and choose to share with other people in an intimate way will one day be available to a guy living on the other side of the world.

I whole-heartedly agree with these views, but this post is different.

Those posts were a necessary first … Read more

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