RATING: 🌙 🌙 🌙 🌙 / 5
As a reader, I tend to shy away from the nonfiction section of the bookstore. Because of this, it’s got to be one hell of a book if it’s going to catch my eye from all the way over there. With that said, I picked up Witches, Sluts, Feminists: Conjuring the Sex Positive by Kristen J. Sollee, and boy, what a book!
Witches, Sluts, Feminists is a quick and easy read that still packs a major punch. It delves into witch history spanning from medieval Europe and up until modern day and details how reproductive rights and health have always been at the core of witch-hunts through the ages. It is about how too often sexually liberated women are the first to be demonized. There is also extensive time spent extrapolating on how the word “witch” – like “slut” – has been wielded historically and what lengths women are going through to reclaim it.
The author, Kristen J. Sollee also is the founder of the sex-positive site, Slutist, and a professor of Gender Studies at the New School, where she taught a class on witches that helped inspire the book.
Because this book is conversational in tone, I occasionally wanted more context around some of the incidents sited. Luckily, Sollee’s bibliography at the end of the book acts almost like a syllabus for readers looking to learn more. There was also a telling survey towards the end of the book, where individuals answer the question, “What is a witch?” to provide a real-life look into what extend the word has been reclaimed as well as how much of the negative connotations have lived on.