Em Maxey ~ Staff Writer
Wiccan, paganism, and witchcraft for centuries have been practiced mostly by women. There is a reason there is a strong resonation between witchcraft and the moon. The connection between women’s menstrual cycles and the phases of the moon has been a connection of interest since the beginning of humankind. Why, out of all the domination that men have had in the development of the patriarchy, does it seem that witchcraft is predominantly women?
It is a possibility that there are many causes to the deterrence of witchcraft to men. At the center of nearly all forms of witchcraft, there is a balance of masculine and feminine energies. It is possible that in modern day society, it is seen as more acceptable for women to be in touch with their masculine side, rather than men to be in touch with their feminine side. Reaching out to men in witchcraft, you would see an incline in the ideology of masculinity being rough and rigid.
Men in witchcraft are accusing women of marginalizing male practice by restricting the empowerment within men. In reality, witchcraft has been female dominated for ages. The reason men in witchcraft feel overpowered is because they are uncomfortable with a women driven practice in a male driven world. The issue lies not with the majority of witchcraft practitioners being women, but the issue lies in the fact that witchcraft is a feminine practice in a masculine world.
With that being said, the main cause for masculinity being threatened within witchcraft is the social misogyny that underlies every issue based on the context of gender. Unequal pay for men and women? Misogyny. Lack of employment for women in certain fields? Misogyny. Lack of employment for men in certain fields? Misogyny. Why do you think that females are the most employed in areas of nursing, preschool and grade school care, social workers, public relations, and psychologists? Because these jobs require feminine touch, feminine qualities, and feminine energies.
Like these professions, witchcraft requires a feminine touch, and a soft connection to the world and the environment. And like most misogynistic viewpoints, witchcraft has been a retaliation to the male control of other religions. In fact, the root of female oppression within witchcraft lies deep in history, to the Salem witch trials and even prior. The witch trials were abused by the power of men and corrupted to the grievances between men and young women. It was not uncommon for men to accuse a woman of witchcraft, based on the premise that the man was simply distraught by the actions of the woman.
In order to understand why men in the interest of witchcraft are disturbed by the control of the women in the topic, it is important to understand the decades of mistreatment, abuse, and misogyny women faced from the patriarchy of men. When this patriarchy and control is demolished, the balance of power and oppression will be resolved in the witchcraft community. I urge you to remind yourself next time to question which roles and beliefs have been normalized in society that lead to this imbalance of power.