‘Which old Witch?’

Ding Dong! The Witch is dead. Which old Witch?

This woman in Papua New Guinea, burnt alive?

Or one of these two women, beheaded, again in Papua New Guinea?

Or any of the 500, mainly elderly women, murdered each year in Tanzania after being accused of witchcraft? There are too many places around the world where, centuries after the Pendle and Salem witch trials, an accusation of witchcraft is a death sentence.

The Munchkins from Oz celebrated their release from slavery after the tyrant’s death. Who could blame them? But their song has now been associated with the death of former UK prime minister Thatcher.

But witches are only found in fiction and Thatcher was elected into office three times, not a tyrant. Thatcher has been out of power for over two decades, but her policies live on—indeed, the current UK government contrive to make her appear a moderate. There is much to protest, but is there anything to celebrate? Using a trope associating elderly women with witchcraft is both inapt and misogynistic.

Advertisements

About richard telford

Ecologist with interests in quantitative methods and palaeoenvironments
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s