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Reconsidering the Witch’s Uniform

24 Sep

Alternate Title: Why cliched pointy hats and crooked noses have to go.

I would like to extend a special thank you to GLE and Warboar for educating me about this and providing resources to make this post possible.

Its normal for marginalized groups to try and reclaim things that have been used against them. You see this in countless cultures and subcultures such as the LGBTQ+ community reclaiming the word “queer” or pink triangles as a sign of pride, or using the term “tree hugger” by environmentalists, or the use of the word “bitch” by some women. This is not a new phenomenon by any means. It is something that is called reappropriation, and according to wikipedia it is:

the cultural process by which a group reclaims—re-appropriates—terms or artifacts that were previously used in a way disparaging of that group

And I think that this reappropriation has occurred within the Pagan/polytheist scene, too. We’re a relatively marginalized group within the US culture and there have been attempts to carve out an acceptable and respectable space for ourselves. Even use of the term “Pagan” is reappropriative, as the term “pagan” wasn’t always used with happy connotations.

In addition to reappropriating the word Pagan, I believe that many of us have tried to reappropriate what a witch looks like. In most modern media, witches aren’t represented in a great light. I mean, look at the Wizard of Oz. The Wicked Witch of the West is rendered as the villain and shown with green skin and less than ideal facial features. You’ve got Witchhazel in Donald Duck’s Trick or Treat, who doesn’t look much better. There is the witch in Snow White and Ursula is called a Sea Witch in the Little Mermaid.

witches

Each of these women have something in common- they are rendered as ugly, evil, wearing dark clothing, and in most cases- they are wearing the standardized “witch’s uniform” of dark robes, pointed hats, and hooked noses (with warts!). You know the one:

I think many of us in the pagan and witchcraft communities see these images, and want to try and recraft the standard “witch” into something that is accepted- warts and all. However, the problem with reappropriating this imagery is that it’s not ours to reappropriate.

These stereotypical images of what a witch looks like are not based off of modern Pagans, or even off of witches in antiquity. These images are largely based off of anti-Semitic propaganda from the Middle Ages that has persisted into the modern era. Because these images are not tied to pagan “culture” or witches (past and present), we really have no place touching them or reappropriating them into our modern Pagan culture. Because they don’t belong to us, when you dress up like this (or dress your kids up like this) you are, in fact, perpetuating anti-Semitism.

To give some perspective on this, Pagans trying to reclaim the witch’s getup would be the same as non-LGBTQ+ people trying to reappropriate the pink triangles mentioned above. These triangles do not play a role in their history, and they have no claim on the symbol, and therefore, no right in trying to reappropriate it. Same goes for modern Pagans and the witch’s uniform.

The History of the “Witch’s Uniform”

Please note: the sheer volume of information on how anti-Semitism got its start in the Medieval era is way more than I can cover in one blog post, so consider this a very very short walk through on some of the major points of history during this time. If you are interested in learning more, please check out the links below.

It can be difficult to track down exactly how or where the standard “iconic” witch came from. Based off of what I have seen, it appears as though things shifted gradually over time, and many small pieces added up together to make the standardized “iconic witch” mentioned above. To start piecing how all of this happened, you have to go back to the 1200’s to see when some of the first changes were enacted.

One of the initial things that the Jewish people underwent in Europe was the wearing of special garments to denote that they were, in fact, Jews. There were badges, belts, and hats that were implemented over the course of history. These hats became the basis for the witches hat that we all know today:

According to Robert Wistrich:

In fact, the literal understanding of horns in the Psalter inspired the horned hat (pileum cornutum) that Jews were forced to wear from the thirteenth century on. It too began to appear in art in the ninth century and is visually derived from late versions of the Magi’s hats and from the Phrygian caps worn be deniers of Christ in the Stuttgart Psalter. These hats vary in form but have one thing in common: a single point or hump which simultaneously covers and calls attention to the horn the Jew was believed to have. That these hats denote an identification with the devil is shown in thirteenth century illuminations in which there is no clear differentiation between a demon’s single horn and pointed hats. By revealing the horn the Jews skillfully hide, these pointed hats acted as a mark of Cain. (pg 55-56)

As well as:

While continuing their role as Christ’s torturers and deniers, from the thirteenth century on they also appear – identified by the Jew’s hat – as Apocalyptic riders, false prophets, worshipers of Antichrist, and companions of the heretics in Hell. In such works, Antichrist, demons, apocalyptic killers, heretics, and Jews often have hooked noses. This originally demonic feature became associated specifically with Jews by the thirteenth century, and has remained an accepted stereotype to this day. (pg 53)

During this time frame, there were many changes made to art and other religious iconography that were made to demonize and dehumanize Jewish people. This included adding horns to Jewish Biblical figures such as Moses and David.

Many of these dehumanizing actions came to a head during the Inquisition during the 1600’s and 1700’s. According to an excerpt from Stephen Haliczer:

During the fourteenth century, with the breakdown of the old toleration that had permitted Christian, Jew, and Moslem to live side by side in relative harmony, the Jew became more and more identified as the chief enemy of Christianity. By the time of the Cortes of Toro in 1371, the Jews were described as “rash and evil men, who sow corruption with impunity so that the greater part of our kingdom is ruined by them in contempt of Christians and the Catholic faith.”[5] […]

By the 1380s the weakened condition of the Jewish communities and the relativistic philosophy then popular among Jewish intellectuals were producing numerous conversions.[6] After the rioting of 1391, Jews converted en masse, led by their rabbis, and from then on Spain’s Jewish communities became smaller and more impoverished while the converted Jews grew in numbers, wealth, and political importance. By the middle of the fifteenth century, however, resentment of the conversos was giving rise to a polemical literature that rejected the possibility of their true conversion to Christianity and blamed them for all the crimes normally attributed to Jews. The most interesting and important of these writings was the Fortalitium Fidei (Fortress of the Faith) by the Franciscan Alonso de Espina, first published in 1460. The work is divided into four volumes, each dedicated to describing the iniquity of one of the four chief enemies of the Catholic faith: heretics, Muslims, Jews, and demons. For Espina, Jews and converts did not exist as a separate category; there were only “public Jews and secret Jews.” Since conversos were secret Jews, they were naturally guilty of all the offenses traditionally attributed to Jews by European folk tradition, including profanation of Hosts and the murder of Christian children and the use of their blood or body parts in religious rituals. According to Espina, Jewish law, which is equally binding on both Jews and converts, commands the destruction of Christians and Christianity, which they actively strive to accomplish by starting fires, poisoning wells, and doing other evil deeds.[7]

It was left to the Spanish Inquisition, however, to officialize medieval demonological myths about Jews and apply them to Jewish converts to Christianity in such a way as to keep alive the flames of Spanish anti-Semitism long after the expulsion of the Jews themselves. This process began with the case of the so-called Holy Child (Santo Niño) of La Guardia when both Jews and converts were accused of working together to commit a crime of unimaginable horror which threatened the very existence of Christian Spain. So successful were the inquisitors in this that the La Guardia case served to create in the public imagination a kind of bogyman, a larger-than-life image of the Jew/converso who was at once child murderer, blood sucker, rebel, and demonic sorcerer who sought to reverse the divinely established order of things by destroying Christianity so that, according to Licenciado Vegas, the Holy Child’s first chronicler, the Jews “would become the absolute lords of the earth.”[8]

Just by examining these few texts alone, it is easy to see how everything comes together. The Jews were forced to wear different clothing, which mirrors the typical “witches clothing” that we envision now. The hooked nose became synonymous with Jewish people, and was utilized as a means to demean Jewish people. And the Jews were often cited as stealing and killing children, as well as poisoning people and performing witchcraft, which likely explains the green skin witches are “attested” to have.

All of these symbolic items were meant to demonize Jews, and they have persisted into the modern era, albeit detached (to an extent) from the original meaning behind these symbols.

What does this mean for Pagans?

There are plenty of posts out there that talk about eradicating things like racism, ableism and sexism in our community, however I have seen very little about eradicating anti-Semitism. From my perspective, the fact that the iconic witch is anti-Semitic should be reason enough to no longer utilize those items in any capacity, because to continue to ignore the anti-Semitic origins of the witch’s uniform would be the equivalent of continuing the oppression of a group of people.

However, there do seem to be certain groups of people who believe that Jews are somehow immune to things like oppression or bigotry. I would like to completely smash that idea to pieces, if possible, by reminding everyone who is reading this post that anti-Semitism is on the rise, and is a huge problem in multiple countries across the world. Anti-Semitism didn’t die with Hitler and the end of World War II. Anti-Semitism is not something of the past that no longer exists. It still exists in the here and now and is something we should be fighting to eradicate.

So, in other words, if something like this bothers you:

Then this should bother you, too:

Because both are perpetuating oppression of a group of people.

So how do we remedy this situation?

I think the first thing that we should do is to simply stop utilizing the stereotypical witch’s trope. Remember that it’s not ours to reclaim. Find other ways to express your witchiness, if that’s something you enjoy doing. Find other ways to express yourself and your practices that doesn’t rely on imagery that has been used to oppress people. Stopping the usage of pointy hats and crooked noses probably doesn’t seem like much, but its the small things that add up to larger things in the long run. And no longer utilizing these symbols is an easy step that we can all take.

From there, look into other ways to support the Jewish community. Raise awareness about anti-Semitism that occurs in our community, and remember not to speak for Jews, but instead to help their voices be heard. Remember that this isn’t about us as witches, but about Jewish people who have been experiencing oppression for centuries now.

If anyone has any other links relevant to this topic, please let me know so I can add them below.

Related Articles, Posts and Books:

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41 Comments

Posted by on September 24, 2014 in Rambles, Uncategorized

 

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41 responses to “Reconsidering the Witch’s Uniform

  1. felixdaatcat

    September 24, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    Demon depictions are a weird hodgepodge – for awhile I thought people seemed to be fascinated by the grotesquery, or this was western society’s very early version of cartoons. It’s unusual to see a demon look “pretty” in classical art unless it’s, say, a romantic depiction of Satan in chains or Lucifer’s fall, where you’re supposed to feel some sort of wrenching over something beautiful being cast down because of their hubris… in these cases, the features are very classical/”Roman”, they’re ideal. They’re usually done to give an artist a chance to do some sort of proud beauty while still fitting their work inside the religious contexts of their society (and patrons). But for any fallen angel or demon that wasn’t the highest, cast down, the facial features are extremely charicatured. Hooked or big noses, big lips, other features that could be right from a Nazi propaganda poster. Eventually I started to wonder if it was another case of antisemitism, and this article lends a lot of weight to that theory.

    I might compile a post to match this eventually, using demon depictions and a few grimoire excerpts. The child-killing, baby-eating stuff is in fact in a few magic books, some of which purported to be real magic rites but for all intents and purposes were probably just thriller to line someone’s library with and goggle at with curiosity. The hundreds-years-old equivalents of urban legend emails.

    As a demonolatrist, I think pretty much every old demon depiction is a problem in some way, they weren’t oft given much respect. But instead of hatred for demons, I’m thinking a lot of these depictions were framed in hatred for jews and other outsiders. Demonolatrists and demonologists today go through these old materials and most don’t even know why demons were described in this way, and there’s few resources to really explain the context. Old clothing and hats alone take a lot of research to understand the customs and meanings of.

    Thanks for this. It’s an important thing to get the community talking about, and in a lot of ways it’s a difficult conversation to start. So many old customs just get taken as inscrutable or tradition, because there’s often so many layers to peel back before you see why those customs and traditions were started… and then things get icky.

     
    • von186

      September 24, 2014 at 4:36 pm

      I definitely recommend looking at the book that the first quote was pulled from (you can read a fair amount of it through google) because they discuss te various ways in which the caricatures started. It seems that the targets were not just Jews, but Muslims/Moores, and Roma as well. When combined all together, it becomes easier to see where the propaganda/racism fits in.

       
  2. rosemary1987

    September 24, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Reblogged this on Wonderful Wiccan Adventures and commented:
    A very insightful article about the stereotypical–and often utilized–image of the witch in black robes and pointy hats.

    Blessings,
    Rosemary

     
  3. G. B. Marian

    September 24, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    This is a most excellent post, and I couldn’t agree with you more. I’m sure one or more of you probably already knows about this, but there’s also a very fascinating intersection between (1) the anti-Semitic blood libel that eventually contributed to early modern European “witchcraft” and (2) the demonization of Seth in Late Antiquity. I refer to this a few times on my own website, but I haven’t had time to address the issue in full detail as of yet. If you can manage to find a copy of it, however, I highly recommend the following article:

    Van Henten, J. W., & Abusch, R. S. (1996). The depiction of the Jews as Typhonians and Josephus’ strategy of refutation in Contra Apionem. In Feldman, L. H., & Levison, J. R., Josephus’ Contra Apionem: Studies in its character and context with a Latin concordance to the portion missing in Greek (pp. 271-309). New York, NY: Brill.

    This doesn’t quite cover the whole thing as I see it, but it’s one of the very best resources I’ve ever found on the subject so far.

     
    • von186

      September 24, 2014 at 4:55 pm

      I’ll have to see if I can get a copy of it and take a look at it. :>

       
  4. elfkat

    September 24, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    It’s more likely that the pointy hat is from the Welsh women’s traditional dress of that time period ala Mother Goose and the pointy nose is the natural occurance of elderly women with no dental care and when they lose their teeth the nose and chin get pointier. Also women lived longer if they didn’t die in childbirth so were suspect when they did survive to old age. Sometimes it’s just superstition not prejudice against other groups.

     
    • von186

      September 24, 2014 at 6:13 pm

      Your response pretty much tells me that you completely disregarded all of the research materials listed above. It’s much easier to push something off as coincidence, as opposed to considering that maybe there are other, less savory things going on. I’m sorry, there is too much information on this for me to simply write all of this off as mere coincidence.

       
      • elfkat

        September 24, 2014 at 7:42 pm

        Or sometimes people have a theory that is a lot more complex than it needs to be and go looking for data to back it up rather than common sense and Occam’s razor

         
      • von186

        September 24, 2014 at 7:45 pm

        Considering the sheer volume of information on my “theory” presented here, I don’t really think it’s a matter of some kind of distorted wishful thinking.

        Either way, this conversation is going nowhere, so I will be two response ruling this now.

         
      • CourtSea

        October 23, 2015 at 11:32 am

        I find this response to be a be very dismissive and sounds like you’re calling the commenter lazy without considering their point. Google the painting “Portrait of Mrs Salesbury with her Grandchildren Edward and Elizabeth Bagot”. I think you’ll find that the style of hat is much closer to a witch costume hat, than any of the hats MEN were forced to wear. I would also like to point out that Muslims/Moors also made jews wear that style of hat as well, in Muslim cities.

         
      • von186

        October 24, 2015 at 4:48 pm

        My response is probably dismissive because I find the notion that someone would read the post that I have written, look at all of the evidence provided and go “no, that can’t be it” dismissive in and of itself. I am not denying that there aren’t multiple cultures with similar hats. What I /am/ saying, however, is that that doesn’t change anything about what I have written or shown in this post. When someone basically disregards everything I’ve written and insists that it /must/ be another way, they’re more or less trying to deny what is, at this point, rather proven fact. And I don’t really have time to try and convince people of what they’ve already decided in their own minds.

         
      • rzg

        June 26, 2016 at 8:13 am

        Well then, you can’t be mad when people disagree with you, and continue to wear a costume which is ancient and beloved. You’re the intolerant one, trying to tell people what to do.

         
      • DevoTTR

        July 7, 2016 at 9:21 am

        Me: you should consider not doing this because it hurts people and has a history of oppression.
        You: you’re so intolerant, telling people what to do!!!

         
  5. G. B. Marian

    September 24, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    Yeah, there’s a reason why the Witches Sabbath was called a “Sabbath.” Some Pagans continue to use the Latin version, “Sabbat,” without understanding how it came to be associated with witchcraft in the first place. Here’s an article I wrote about it:

    The Sabbath

    Also, I recommend:

    Cavendish, R. (1967). The black arts. New York, NY: Penguin.

    Medway, G. (2001). Lure of the sinister: The unnatural history of Satanism. New York, NY: New York University Press.

     
  6. trellia

    September 25, 2014 at 5:29 am

    My husband’s school’s policy on bullying is simple: If the victim says it’s bullying, then it is bullying, no excuses. I think the same can be said for the targets of racism. So history of the costume aside, if the Jewish community as a whole think that the witch stereotype is offensive to them, then we should all re-consider using this image very carefully in light of this, the same we we no longer find golliwogs a harmless and whimsical toy.

    When it comes to Pagans, the community seems pretty divided on whether the old-fashioned witch image is offensive or not. Some Pagans find it insulting, but I think most of us find it inoffensive and rather cute.

    As a Pagan, I have never found the witch stereotype offensive to me personally – like Elfkat, I always thought that the uniform was inspired by Welsh national costume (I’m half-Welsh myself and I find the idea that the national costume I donned every St David’s Day as a child is associated with witchcraft absolutely delightful). But I would be concerned if the majority of Jews out there did have a problem with the wicked witch uniform. I’d like to hear more opinions from the Jewish community on what they think about this issue.

     
    • von186

      September 25, 2014 at 8:30 pm

      Well, as I said, I don’t really think its up to the Pagan community if the Jewish community says “that’s hurtful”. As stated above, it’s not about us as Pagans because even though it’s “a witch”, it’s not about us, but about screwing over Jewish people.

      I don’t have any links for you regarding the Jewish community’s “official stance” on this, but the few Jewish people that I know, that know about this (the origins of the witch stereotype), are not okay with it being perpetuated. The same way that they aren’t pleased about other anti-Jewish tropes in the media (which I did link to such an example in this post). I have been told that the Tumblr Jewish community and tag are pretty friendly with being asked things, but I did not do that for this particular post.

      And I will say the same thing to you that I said above. There is too much evidence that directly ties anti-semitism to the stereotypes witch for me to simply ignore it. Perhaps if there was a stack of citations stating that it is tied to Welsh national costumes (which I largely doubt. All of hte imagery I’ve seen, the hat is nothing alike), I might be inclined to reconsider. However, considering the overwhelming evidence that points at anti-semitism, I don’t expect a change in stance to occur.

       
      • trellia

        September 25, 2014 at 10:35 pm

        Do you think this stereotyping also applies to the common depiction of gnomes and elves etc. with pointy hats? Do you think we need to reconsider how these are portrayed as well?

         
      • von186

        September 26, 2014 at 12:16 pm

        it depends on which iteration of the gnomes you’re talking about. Originally, gnomes were not seemingly tied to anti-semitism. According to some peeps who know history better than I do:

        ” Paracelus (a Swiss-German) introduced the idea of “gnomes” in the 16th century, as I recall. At least, that’s the earliest recorded mention we have of gnomes specifically, so while they do share strong similarities to the tomten/nissen, I’m not sure there was a direct derivation from Scandinavian folklore. But they’re close enough, and Paracelus didn’t mention anything about Jews with relation to gnomes that I’ve read.”

        “Gnomes are more based on Scandinavian tomte or nisse. They’re house vaettir, much like other spirits found across Europe that decide to sort of move in with human society and play pranks or do chores/warn of danger in return for food offerings.”

        Obviously, gnomes and dwarves have sorta kinda meshed together in some regards, and dwarves (the kind in LOTR and D&D, f’ex) do have heavy anti-semitism tied to them. Or, as was said by the people I was talking to:

        “And for the Dwarves, initially in Scandinavian lore they were described as manlike in most ways, not as short, grubby people with hooked-noses, but in the High Medieval and Early Modern and Modern Periods, they were gradually turned into demeaning caricatures of both Jews and Scots.”

        So I think the stereotyping does apply to modern representations (not necessarily the gnomes you place in your garden that have the brimless hats, but the D&D/LOTR kind). Do I think it would be beneficial to remove anti-semitism from their depictions? Yes. Particularly the ideas that they are all greedy and dirty and ass backwards in their behaviours (since most of the LOTR/D&D dwarves don’t have the hats, but more the hooked noses, such as the witch trope above). Same way I’d like a lot of stereotypes to be removed from media because they’re harmful.

        Not entirely sure what this has to do with this post, though. I feel like you are moving goal posts on me in an attempt to try and prove a point (or, more accurately, to disprove my point).

         
      • trellia

        September 26, 2014 at 12:19 pm

        No, I wasn’t trying to do that at all. I was actually genuinely interested in what you had to say in the topic as it bothers me that I have been surrounded by imagery that I thought was innocent all my life and it now transpires that it isn’t. I am so sorry if you felt I was being confrontational.

         
      • von186

        September 26, 2014 at 12:24 pm

        *nod* Sorry for jumping to conclusions. It can be hard for me to determine the intent of someone from text sometimes :\ But yes. It seems that originally they weren’t anti-semitic. But then Grimm’s fairy tales did use some gnome stuff that was anti-semitic, and then Tolkien was pretty much straight up anti-semitic in his version of dwarves. And that has laid a lot of foundations for modern uses of the standard ‘fantasy’ realm- elves, dwarves, men, etc. So yeah, it is a problem for the more modern versions. But the super old kind is okay, afaict.

         
  7. damadomundo

    September 25, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Reblogged this on Into The Mist / No Nevoeiro and commented:
    It’s good that I never wear pointy hats… neither on Halloween!

     
  8. Doopi

    October 26, 2014 at 5:46 am

    Not only was “witch” used to paint many, many people as evil (not just jews, but “shrill” women, along with actual magic believers), but there are many theories as to where the image of the witch came from.

    One theory is that witches are warty and have big noses is because in using magic you can become cursed (and possibly ugly, or green..), especially regarding magical karma. Another is because the word “witch” was used to discriminate old, sick women.

    The hat and cloak they wear could be based off of a pilgrim’s hat, or a theory that seems more likely to me is that their hat and cloak is based off a hat and cloak that Odin (a “pagan” god) wore

     
    • von186

      October 7, 2015 at 6:35 pm

      Those may be theories, but the connection btwn the iconic witch and Jewish women is attested from multiple academic sources. You can posit as many other possibilities as you’d like, but that doesn’t change the facts listed in this post.

       
  9. Abigail

    October 30, 2014 at 10:23 am

    This is wonderful! I’m a Jewish witch and I couldn’t agree more. Anti-semitism is so closely tied to fear of witches and pagans, and so many people don’t realize/don’t accept that fact. The amount of anti-semitism I experience in the witchcraft and pagan communities is really unacceptable, and I’m so grateful for articles like these that help educating people 🙂

     
  10. Hannah

    September 29, 2015 at 9:20 am

    It’s not just based on anti-semitism from the middle ages – it’s also anti-welsh propaganda. Historically there has always been emnity between the people of England and Wales (wars etc. dating back to the middle ages) and if you look at traditional rural welsh dress (particularly from the 1600s and 1700s when persecution of witches was particularly rife) you will see an almost exact replica of a ‘traditional’ witch’s outfit.

     
  11. AW

    October 4, 2015 at 7:53 am

    I have seen this pointed out elsewhere, specifically in regards to Macklemore’s “disguise”. Thank you for the in depth background.

    I’d always heard that the green skin was because actresses playing witches wore green makeup so their skin would appear the desired shade in black & white film. (Likewise, the original Adam’s family house was actually pink.) But recently I read that The Wizard of Oz is the first instance of a green witch and it was a deliberate choice, not a misunderstanding of why green makeup was used in B&W.

    Did you run across any green witches that pre-date the Oz movie?

     
    • von186

      October 7, 2015 at 6:32 pm

      I couldn’t find anything overly specific, unfortunately. If you have any access to JSTOR or something similar, you may be able to find things that I can’t. Sorry I can’t be of more assistance :<

       
  12. Mackenzie

    October 7, 2015 at 9:16 am

    Hey, so you know, a few of your image hotlinks are broken. You might want to look the images up again elsewhere then upload them to your WordPress site directly.

     
    • von186

      October 7, 2015 at 6:32 pm

      I see that now. I can’t find the image again, though 😦 The original website is in German, so I’m having difficulty finding it. I may take the others and reupload them, just in case, so that way more images don’t go missing. Thanks for letting me know.

       
  13. priscilla

    October 13, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    hey, can i translate your text to portuguese (and credit you of course)?

     
    • von186

      October 15, 2015 at 9:49 am

      Yep, that’s perfectly fine by me. If possible, send me the link once it’s done, and I’ll link to it from here 🙂

       
  14. cityman1984

    July 7, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    You probably didn’t realise this, but the photo you added after describing the standard witch’s uniform is of a beautiful woman. In short, it depicts the glamorous witch figure instead of the stereotypical one. It’s easy enough to find photos of real women in the stereotypical wicked witch’s costume that would have illustrated the point you want to make, you just had to use google.

     
    • DevoTTR

      July 7, 2016 at 4:10 pm

      The stereotype is more than the green skin and warts. It’s the hat and robes more than anything (although the hooked nose, warts, and skin color all have roots in anti-semitism as well). I showed the stereotypical “ugly” witch above the image you’re critiquing, but the stereotype and “uniform” is more than just the “ugliness” that you seem to think is necessary (because let’s be real, having a crooked nose and/or having warts doesn’t make you ugly). I chose the image I chose because it’s a standard Halloween costume. Most people aren’t going to go through the hassle of applying prosthetics and the like to make themselves look “ugly”.

      Glamorous witches tend to look a bit different imo, but guess what, this post is still relevant to them, too. It’s relevant to anyone walking around in the pointy hat and robes regardless of their facial features. The fact that there is a “glamorous” witch in this post doesn’t change any of the points I made, and your criticism of said image makes me question if you actually read and processed the content of this post before responding, tbh.

       
  15. alana

    August 1, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    Fantastic post- however, one small correction: the practice of putting horn-like nubs on Moses have to do with an erroneous biblical translation. Originally: the Hebrew transliteration karan ohr panav refers to his face becoming radiant, in such a way that rays of light would project like horns around his face. Mis-translations and misunderstandings of these terms led to Moses having horns, in a time when horns were not necessarily automatically a symbol of evil.

     
  16. xanovertonbooks

    February 4, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    Hello! I’m writing a research paper for my English 101 class, and I was wondering if you’d mind if I referenced and cited your article in my paper? If that would be alright, what name would you like me to use as the author for my citations? Thank you so much!

    -Xan

     
    • DevoTTR

      February 4, 2017 at 8:57 pm

      Yep, that’s fine to cite my article. The name that I tend to use for writing is Devo TTR, so if that’s okay for your paper, we can go that route.

       

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