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The student news site of Stockbridge High School

Uncaged

The student news site of Stockbridge High School

Uncaged

Every witch way

The evolution of witchcraft in entertainment
Every witch way
Taiyler Stanfield

In recent years, there has been a powerful convergence of witchcraft and feminism in media and entertainment. Because of this, society has slowly started to reclaim female empowerment and liberation.

Addressing misconceptions

Witchcraft, historically associated with women deemed threatening to patriarchal societies, has become a symbol of feminine power. However, amidst the celebration of witchcraft as a celebration of feminine empowerment, it is crucial to critique film and media undermining this message.
The media portrays witches as malevolent or sinister beings that engage in harmful rituals. These misconceptions demonize real-life practitioners of witchcraft and harm the image of what witchcraft truly is, a religion based on the worship of nature and cycles of life.
Much of the media uses the trendiness of witchcraft for commercial gain without fully understanding the implications of their actions and the true meaning behind them. However, movies like “The Craft” (1996) positively depict feminism, nature, spirituality and empowerment.
Although this is the case, many media representations of witchcraft fail to acknowledge the diversity within the community such as the show “Charmed.”
Stereotypical outdated depictions of witches as old, haggard women with pointy hats and broomsticks reinforce the negative image witchcraft has on society. Examples include the Wicked Witch of the East from “The Wizard of Oz” and the Old Witch from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” These portrayals of witches undermine their significance and cast a negative light on them.

Cultural appropriation

Borrowing elements from indigenous cultures, such as dreamcatchers, feather headdresses and voodoo dolls, without a proper understanding of them has been widely used throughout films and television such as “Charmed” and “The Princess and the Frog.” Associating these elements erases the cultural significance of these practices and contributes to the marginalization within these communities and the miseducation of different religions and cultures. We perceive indigenous symbols like wearing dreamcatcher necklaces as something “trendy” and wear them ourselves without thinking of the true meaning behind what those symbols truly mean.
So while media does have the potential to both challenge and reinforce stereotypes regarding witchcraft, consumers and creators need to advocate for more accurate and respectful portrayals.

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About the Contributor
Taiyler Stanfield, Editor In Chief
Taiyler Stanfield joined Uncaged halfway through her junior year and is an Editor-in-Chief this year. When she’s not yelling at students to do their work or editing articles for hours at a time, she enjoys spending quality time with her family. After graduating, Taiyler plans to quit her full-time job Tokyo-drifting on the way to school to attend Eastern Michigan University, where she will pursue a degree in Young Adult Literature to become an editor for a publishing company. If all hope is lost, Taiyler will instead pursue screenwriting in hopes that one day she will make the big bucks and win an Oscar for the blood, sweat, and tears she shed. You will occasionally hear Taiyler desiring to have at least five cats, as she is dangerously obsessed with them. Because of this obsession, it is with 100% certainty that she will become the neighborhood's crazy cat lady.
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