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Sarita
04-04-2008, 04:31 PM
Here's an article from the Pueblo Chieftain, "Unwicked Wicca."

http://www.chieftain.com/life/1206770400/1

What I'm wondering about is this:

But there’s no pointy hat, no skulking black cat, no bubbling cauldrons and, though she may own a vacuum cleaner, there are no brooms upon which to fly.

Do you think it's necessary to state stereotypes in an article like this? Is it just perpetuating the stereotype or is this kind of article helping to refute them in the long run? What do you think of the article in general?

bluntforcetrauma
04-04-2008, 08:45 PM
I find the article trite and without any real merit. Must have been a very slow news day.

StephanieFox
04-05-2008, 10:01 AM
It's a start.

About 20 years ago, a few of us in the Minneapolis area decided we neede a PR push and contacted local media outlets. At first we got the greenest of reporters (like this one) with the pointy hats/brooms comments.

But now, we're covered in the religion section, covered just like the Jews, Christians, Hindus, etc.

Of course, it helps that here, we're simply crawling with Pagans – several thousand Pagans are estimated to live in the area. There are several groups who put on public rituals and even is someone disagrees with us, "Minnesota Nice' means that they won't say it to our face.

I've had some problems, but fewer and fewer over the years.

I"m glad the article got published and hope things improve. I mean look – this board has Christian, Jewish, atheist and Pagan writing sections. I see no Budddhists or Hindu or Islamic, although there are writers of these traditions, probably on this board. We're moving up in the world.

HeronW
04-05-2008, 02:08 PM
Years ago I read how the stereotype witch got that way: (paraphrasing and the memory ain't as good as it should be)

Take a woman in the 1600's out of gaol where's she's spent the winter with no heat, little food, little water, and suffered physical abuse by the jailers.

She has blackened clothes from lying in her own feces and mud for months. She has a broken misshapen nose, skin lesions, clawed hands with broken and badly healed bones, atrophied muscles causing a stooped walk. There's a foul smell from ongoing dysentary and other diseases caused by lack of wholesome food & water. She mutters and talks to herself in a state of being mentally abused and abandoned by all her loved ones, some of whom she knows has been tortured and murdered.

There you have it: the 'typical' witch.

Leah J. Utas
04-06-2008, 05:38 AM
I think the story did a fairly good job. The stereotypes had to be referred to in order to be struck away. It also makes the story instantly understandable. We've all heard the stereotypes and thus we have a reference point. We think we know what a thing is, then we learn what it isn't.
I was a journalist for almost 20 years and this is probably the approach I'd use to show common beliefs vs the truth.

veinglory
04-06-2008, 05:54 AM
I don't think that Halloween-style witch is a stereotype, per se. It is almost universally seen as fictional and it is what more people think of when you say 'witch'. So general articles almost have to start by saying they aren't talking about the wicked witch of the west et al before getting to any substantive points.

StephanieFox
04-06-2008, 05:57 AM
I think the story did a fairly good job. The stereotypes had to be referred to in order to be struck away. It also makes the story instantly understandable. We've all heard the steroptypes and thus we have a reference point. We think we know what a thing is, then we learn what it isn't.
I was a journalist for almost 20 years and this is probably the approach I'd use to show common beliefs vs the truth.



Still, I'm glad that in some places, we've moved beyond where the sterotypes are necessary to clarify the facts.

When I was in J-Skool, I was interviewed several times by students and this article is pretty much like what they wrote. Of course, that was years and years ago.

Bartholomew
04-06-2008, 04:40 PM
I'd have written it completely different. I feel like I've read that article 900 times.

Sarita
04-06-2008, 11:52 PM
I'd have written it completely different. I feel like I've read that article 900 times.
That's kind of where I'm coming from. I was hoping for a spring equinox spin or maybe even something about Ostara. But I suppose if she's just a cafeteria witch, she doesn't follow the sabbats ritually? I'm not wiccan, so I'm not exactly sure. But I always love reading articles that give some fresh light on an aspect of pagan religion.

Leah J. Utas
04-07-2008, 03:25 AM
The reporter has to know what to ask, the subject has to be willing to spill, and it has to be written so the readers will understand it.
I loved reading articles that offer something new, too, but readers need their common reference points.

Carole
04-08-2008, 03:09 PM
I haven't read the article yet. But like Suirattigas said, the quote makes it seem that the writer is really trying to show what the average person would grasp. I'll have to read it this evening. :)

flutecrafter
04-09-2008, 05:45 AM
I've seen much worse, although I didn't have time to do more than a cursory reading.
Thank you for bringing the article forward.

Mark