THE OLD WITCHES

There is this story that my grandmother told me some time ago. Of her who was close to marriage with her great love, who was later my grandfather, and of his family who searched far and wide for a photograph of her to deliver it to a maara in the country so that she could curse them and separate them for always. Fortunately, my grandmother, and despite her beauty, had only been photographed a few times.
The maare, village witches and mysterious women, were therefore nothing but great bitches. They destroyed marriages and bent men to their will. They drove them crazy, they made them worse than soulless puppets. They even managed to force them to have feelings: a drop of menstrual blood in the coffee was enough and the game was done. Imagine how many poor males have been ruined by the unbridled power of women.
How bad, what fear.
But it is something that sounds quite familiar to me, this of hatred towards the female gender. The idea that women are evil has been around since the dawn of time, and it is not necessary to bring up the history of witchcraft to prove it. It seems that the woman instigates to sin regardless: it is something inherent in her forms, so most say, in the sharp look or in the refinement of her intelligence. Whatever you touch becomes bad, dies, withers. Here in Sicily to say, and this is a land where we do not send things to say eh, here we say them exactly as they are without any fear, here in Sicily until recently women with periods were prevented from touching their plant. “You will make them die, you are unclean”, they said. We are daughters of the devil, not for nothing: we bring life and, if we want, even death.
But isn't this the ideal context, the one that sees us women as inferior beings but endowed with extraordinary abilities of manipulation, the ideal context in which to turn in our favor what instead would like to demote us? In Sicily, fifty years ago - and perhaps still today - women had no other function than that of procreating and nursing their own children and those of others; clean the house, serve the men of the family, keep your eyes down and cancel your identity within that of the father, brother, husband. It was like that for all women, but only one category was saved. That of the witches. Essential figures within society, they interceded between earthly and out-of-control things, and were just one step lower than the priests, but they were much, much more fearful.
The Sicilian maare were women who were not satisfied with living by inertia, who did not passively accept destiny and instead tried to change it, with magic, spells, prayers and all that was in their possibilities. And they had no scruples, yes, but who had scruples with them?

From the mythological Circe to the girls burned in the fires of the Inquisition, passing through the seas of the South and ending with me, the witches have been the resistance in a society that has always looked at women with distrust and superiority. And that's why I'm not ashamed of my identity as a witch. Indeed I want to tell you all here, in black and white.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Gender, genderless, androgyny, bisexuality, cisgender and transgender | From guestwriters

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