Witches of East End is one of many current TV shows about supernatural phenomena. But unlike other shows that deal with otherworldly forces, Witches of East End—which is currently airing its second season on Lifetime—illustrates an important real-life history lesson: how one of society’s favorite ways to persecute women and justify violence against them has historically been to brand them as witches. The series reminds us how patriarchal cultures vilify women who are considered too capable or independent.
If the glossy pages of my elementary school history books had told me stories like that of Grace Lee Boggs, I would have paid more attention. Like me, Boggs is Asian-American who was born to immigrant parents—if I’d learned her story growing up, I might have felt invested in our country’s history instead of feeling disenchanted by it.
Australian duo Luluc at home onstage in Sydney earlier this year.
On one of the hottest days of the summer, I plugged in my headphones and turned on Luluc’s new album Passerby. It was 90 degrees in my office and the air was stagnant, but as the first song kiceds in, I felt like I was drinking rosé on a porch swing, a cool breeze wafting through the foliage over my head.
Cosplayers at San Diego Comic-Con in 2012. Original photo by Pat Loika, via Creative Commons.
It’s hard for comic conventions to shake the idea that they’re the sole domain of people who look like the Simpsons' Comic Book Guy. In reality, comic conventions are attended by an ever-growing number of female fans: Female attendance at New York Comic-Con has grown 62 percent over the last three years alone, making women to 41 percent of total attendees. As the number of female fans attending cons has grown, so have conversations about harassment in the comics industry and at conventions specifically.
In sci-fi classic The Handmaid's Tale, women's bodies are controlled and seriously policied by society.
We can all agree that fetal alcohol syndrome is a tragedy. But although American public awareness campaigns about the dangers of drinking while pregnant have good intentions at heart, recent media initiatives have deployed tactics that shame moms while ignoring bigger issues. Instead of helping improve the lives of women and kids, these public action campaigns veer into borderline Handmaid’s Tale territory.