Okay, first of all, I just want to say that all the people calling me a “misogynist” for this are out of their minds, alright? I’ve been a die-hard ally to the women of this colony from day one. I support their right to own property, like spindles and wooden spoons and weird little bonnets. I’ve spoken out against public lashings for wearing shoes below the ankle. I even believe women should be able to cough audibly in church without their husband’s permission. I mean, hey, I liked that Anne Hutchinson chick, before she turned out to be all weird and uppity and got banished from the congregation for heresy (which, let’s be real, she totally had coming). But sometimes you have to be honest with yourself and judge people on a case-by-case basis. And in this particular case, I’m not afraid to say that at least half of the women in our town are straight-up, 100% witches.
There’s been a lot of fuss over my recent accusations of witchcraft against Goody Stewart, our local blacksmith’s wife (and for real, I am SO SAD to accuse her of this stuff because genuinely I REALLY used to like her). But honestly? I don’t think any reasonable person can keep pretending that she’s not aligned with Lucifer at this point. It’s not just me, either — I have a lot of female friends whose opinions I really trust, and at least 6 of them were like, “Oh yeah, Goody Stewart? She’s definitely a witch.” And I’ve always felt so, so strongly that we need to believe women when they share those lived experiences with us. Obviously, women aren’t a monolith, and some women are gonna disagree on things, but, y’know, personally, I feel like I have a pretty good sense of which women to believe and which to not.
I mean, are we really going to ignore when she accused Goodman Fairchild of stealing her set of silver candlesticks? I’ve known him for years, and he is a REALLY nice guy. Seriously, I’ve never heard anyone else have a problem with him, other than a few kinda uptight people who are just looking for stuff to take issue with. But then suddenly she’s all like “Oh yeah, uhhh, he totally stole my mother’s silver candlesticks that I brought over from England for like, no reason”? I just don’t buy it. And the timing is… I mean, I’m not saying that she has an agenda, but it is a little weird that this is happening right after his daughter rejected her son’s marriage proposal. I think we’re all justified in being suspicious of that. And if we can’t trust her about the candlesticks, what else can’t we trust her about? Probably most things, including her not being a witch.
Now, is it true that women get disproportionately and unfairly accused of witchcraft? Absolutely. And it is a huge problem and one that I would totally speak out against in a case where the woman in question didn’t clearly deserve it. But feminism means treating women as equals, including when you’re criticizing them or accusing them of souring the milk of the local dairy cows under the direct instructions of Satan himself. I know you’re going to ask me why I don’t seem to go after men for witchcraft the same way I do women, and all I can say is that coincidences happen. I would LOVE to get behind a virtuous, devout, morally upright woman from this community and tell the world that she is NOT a witch, but things just don’t always shake out that way. Yes, 8 out of 10 people in Massachusetts accused of witchcraft are women, and yes, 10 out of 10 people I’ve accused of witchcraft are women, but you know what? That’s a pretty small sample size. And frankly, I don’t think it’s fair to insinuate that there’s a correlation.
Which brings me to another thing: a lot of you ladies have pointed out that I only ever seem to accuse women of witchcraft after they gain some degree of power or influence in the community. Which like… come on. There are plenty of strong, capable women in this village that I would never accuse of witchcraft, like Goody Morris, who we all know bravely flouts convention by agreeing with all the bold political stances of her husband and father. Not everyone could respect a firebrand like that, but I do. And before you pull out the Anne Hutchinson thing again — ”Ohhhh, Hezekiah, didn’t you say you only respected her before she started standing up to the church?” — all I can say is, everyone learns and grows. I knew Anne wanted to change the status quo; I just didn’t know she was going to go off the deep end and start leading prayer meetings and expressing opinions and being a huge fucking bitch about everything. Like I said: case-by-case basis.
But really, this is what it all comes down to: gender politics are all very well and good, but sometimes we need to prioritize the well-being of our community over these philosophical squabbles. I mean, we are at the very real risk of Satan stealing our souls, turning our fields fallow, corrupting our children, and wreaking havoc on this good, Christian town. Is this really the time to be nitpicky about who we do or don’t burn at the stake? Sometimes you just have to trust your gut when it tells you that your perception of things is the objective truth, even if other people think it’s kind of suspicious that your gut keeps telling you to kill women with fire.
So, I just want to say one last thing to the ladies of this community: I hear you. I trust you. And I stand with you. Except for the half of you that are absolutely, definitely witches.