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Witches, Sluts, Feminists: Conjuring the Sex Positive

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  2,561 ratings  ·  341 reviews
Witch, Slut, Feminist: these contested identities are informing millennial women as they counter a tortuous history of misogyny with empowerment. This innovative primer highlights sexual liberation as it traces the lineage of “witch feminism.” Juxtaposing scholarly research on the demonization of women and female sexuality that has continued since the witch hunts of the ea ...more
ebook, 178 pages
Published May 22nd 2017 by Threel Media
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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 ·  2,561 ratings  ·  341 reviews

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Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book! I love the premise. She's drawing analogies between witches, sluts and feminists using cultural discourse and history. It's just that the ideas don't hang together well and it just seems thrown together. It reads like a blog....which makes sense since the author is the blogger who does Slutist. She just needs an editor badly. There are silly cliches and dangling participles on every page. I stopped noticing after a while. An example--"To explore the interaction betwee ...more
Thursday Simpson
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much. It's worth your time. I love its intersection of serious analysis and immediate commentary on contemporary politics and issues and events with interviews with some of the coolest & most badass people around. Like Jex Blackmore. I fucking loved this book.

And one thing that really meant a lot to me, there are a lot of just and accurate criticisms of the consumerification of the occult, but the author points out one advantage this has, is for rural & small town youth.

Oct 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
Like with all essay collections, some are better than others. Overall an interesting book but I'd borrow, not buy. ...more
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is 150 pages and it took me a week to read. Not because I didn't like it but since it deals with several very current feminist issues that I feel passionately about, I had to keep putting it down.

And you know, going through some shit over here on top of that so...

But now that I'm done, I'm so interested in learning everything there is to know about modern witchery. I read the entirety of The Witches Salem 1692 in July and this book really delves into the present puritan sexism that ex
Vikki Patis
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm currently working on my research proposal for an MA, focusing on the witch trials from a feminist perspective. This is a great book to start with, whether you're an academic or simply interested in the subject. This isn't strictly academic, although it has a vast bibliography, and mentions a variety of credible sources. It also offers a feminist perspective on so many aspects of what being a witch might entail, from the goddess worshippers BC, to the early modern witch trials, to the modern ...more
Paige Vanderbeck
You know that question “if you could give someone any one book that explains what you’re about, what would it be?”? Well, this is that book for me. I absolutely loved it. I’ve actually read it twice since I got it, because I read it so quickly the first time and I’m genuinely surprised I didn’t write this.

Kristen J. Solée sucinctly blends together all the things modern witches are talking about – racism and different systems of magickal practice, the history of witchcraft, witchcraft in north am
Ally Muterspaw
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I think Solee does an amazing job of laying out the histories and practices of witchcraft, and how these histories affect contemporary witchcraft in a consumerist and digital age. From Salem to the "Wicked Witch of the Left" and plenty in between, the book gives well-researched insight to how witchcraft is feared and beloved by different people. Solee's book is accessible to readers, while trying to achieve a goal: sparking readers' own witchy curiosities, and finding out what kinds of witchcraf ...more
Kody Keckler
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
I was SO excited about this book, from the topic to the cover, but I was overall disappointed. It didn’t take as intersectional a lens as I would have hoped, to the extent that the last brief chapter of quotes from other witch-identified folx did more for my understanding than the rest of the book.
How do you make this stuff boring?

Slim little volume of essays that report history and pop culture with little insight and even less editing.

For ex: 'Emily Tepper says being a slut means "pulling the Patriarchy out of your ass and owning your sexuality without getting arrested or institutionalized."' That seems like a misquote; maybe "being a slut *should be*..."? The entire page this appears on is just the author asking various sex-positive bloggers their definition of "slut" and reprinting wit
Kenza Vandenbroeck
Jun 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of my favourite books to date. So informative and intersectional, covering the vast and cross-cultural history of witches into modern day feminist, queer, non-binary witches and witchcraft practices. The writing is fun and accessible. Great read if you're a practicing witch, or interested in the history and modern-day presence of witches and witchcraft. ...more
I am going to keep this review short and simple.
This is an easy to read, interesting and enjoyable book. It won't take you long to read this.
The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because it could have gone into a little more depth in some parts, but the fact that it didn't, probably made it more accessible for more people to read.
I recommend it to anyone interested in the whole women, feminism and witches (and the historical persecution of witches) connection and why slut shaming and se
Chels Patterson
Aug 07, 2017 rated it liked it
The parts that were more scientifically researched or historically backed were very interesting. But other chapter were interviews with "witches" and the occult with out comment on its real impact on feminism or why women decided to be witches, or feel the need. The author seemed largely on the sides of the witches rather than an observer. The flow of chapter to chapter were more like articles just put in a book, at times. Although it was an interesting book with interesting topics. It largely d ...more
Mira | I Read Like Phoebe Runs
What art and also earth-based religions can do is to refuse the social control suggested by spectacle-based acts of violence perpetrated by our leaders and in our communities. We have agency through art and ritual to create our own constructs that in turn lead others out of the darkness.

An easy yet absorbing read! Kind of has the same feeling as Roxanne Gay's Bad Feminism, but for witchcraft. It covers so much ground that it comes a little repetitive at a few different points, but I am willing t
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was ok

Kind of incoherent and reads like a random collection of witch-themed essays. I liked some of them (specifically the one on the intersection of witches, feminism and capitalism), really didn’t like others and found yet some others to be really boring. At the end there was a super brief mention of modern witch camps in Ghana and women getting executed in Papua New Guinea and India and I wish those topics had been expanded on more.

I think I would have liked this a lot better a few years ago bu
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars
J Earl
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Witches, Sluts, Feminists: Conjuring the Sex Positive by Kristen J. Sollee is an eye-opening overview of the similarities and relatedness of the terms and their histories. Much of the material is not so much new as it is juxtaposed with parallel situations that illustrate the links between events of the distant past, the recent past and, sadly, the present.

Sollee manages to present her views very well while also giving space to different and counter views. Like any area where our multiple identi
Carmilla Voiez
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Witches Sluts Feminists is a slender volume. It positions itself as a primer on the connections between the three subjects in the title and in this respect it is very successful. It looks at the subjects in fresh ways, with quotes from different women, and strengthens the connections between each of the tropes and an overarching fear of female power and autonomy.

The book is intersectional, white cis feminism this is not, and I would say that is its main strength. It considers, admittedly at a su
May 02, 2018 rated it liked it
I give this 3 stars because there was research put into it and I learned much about Salem and the Witch in older centuries. I really liked how she ties together sexism and the witch/slut title.
But this book reads like a too-long blog. After all the interesting history lessons I can't say that I read anything I haven't read dozens of times in feminist articles.
A rise in feminism that never went away - no matter what naysayers desperately want you to believe - has birthed a new wave for a new generation. From this indestructible surge of female empowerment and self-realization, comes a new rise and interest in witchcraft.

Witch and feminist. The two identities are intertwined - by scholarly and knowledgeable feminists, and even by anti-feminists. Since all recognize their collective power and influence, and they speak so much and for so many women arou
Jan 28, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not as smart as the author thinks it is?

I went into this wanting to like it, but I don’t feel like this told me anything I didn’t already know something about, and I don’t feel anymore enlightened about the image of the witch than I already was. Also the placing of prominent suffragettes and female politicians on pedestals without nuanced scrutiny of their legacies rubbed me completely the wrong way. Like, did the author know that many of the suffragettes she praised were also virulent racists?
Aug 03, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feminism, non-fiction
2.5 rounded down

Kind of interesting? But it just all felt very light and vague and ultimately a bit shallow. I didn't feel like any of the conclusions drawn here were particularly unique or inspired.
Sara Wright
Aug 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sollee draws amazing comparisons between the societal judgment of historical witches (think Salem trials) with the contemporary sex-positive "sluts." This book will inform your feminist practice in a witchy new way and make you question your definition of a witch while giving new context to the way the patriarchy has shaped the historical lens of powerful women.

After reading this book, I now aspire to be a witch who lives outside of the role that the patriarchy wants me to fill.
Maggie Gordon
Witches, Sluts, and Feminists is a decent introduction to these intertwined topics, but don't expect scholarly rigour or truly considered analysis. While Sollee has done some research, she's not trained in using it well, and her arguments don't always string together. The writing is simplistic and could definitely use some editing. On the other hand, this is all pretty par for the course for non-fiction these days. Hopefully it inspires people to read more material on these subjects (and there a ...more
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
"History-Lite" - Many little chapters on different facets of the oppression of women via accusations of witchery and the modern equivalent of slut-shaming.

In book club we debated that being accused of witchcraft (which could cover a range of phenomenon or behaviors or words) is not similar to being accused of sluttiness (sleeping w/ many people) but I argued that it was - at times both accusations carried the power to destroy your life, and you could be accused of either regardless if actually p
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feminism, edelweiss
Witches, Sluts, Feminists: Conjuring the Sex Positive is thought-provoking and relevant exploration of gender issues that have plugged our society for centuries and still continue to do so. We learn history of feminism from the early witch trials to present day. I found the parallels between witches and feminists very interesting. All strong women who didn't/don't fit with the patriarchal view of femininity and were/are persecuted for challenging the patriarchy. In the past these women were call ...more
Oct 31, 2018 rated it did not like it
I got a good deal of references to check out and google for more understanding, but that's about it. Whole book really just breeze through various subjects and themes adding a witch filter, but info in general was very shallow and could only help for someone to validate her opinion if she already takes in all that info as some sacred text. For me as someone, who doesn't label herself as witch, this was rather annoying.
An excerpt: "If I can conjure spirits with an old root and a circle of salt, w
Nov 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some of the essays were engaging. Others fell flat for me. Essays is almost too academic for this book. It felt more like a researched blog. Cutesy. Fun. Some heavier content presented in a tongue and cheek manor. I liked the pop culture element it had when looking at it. The primary focus was on witches and sluts and how feminism is applied now with these concepts in mind.

Library read. I won’t buy it. Though I might check it out again. There were a ton of books referenced that I’d had the thou
A very short, quick and fun read. I agree with many other reviewers that it reads like a blog, but it reminded me of reading Rookie Mag in high school and I liked it for the same reasons I liked Rookie (engaging and shallow enough that I'm interested and can read it quickly, but also something that introduces me to a lot of other (perhaps more interesting) things. I read it on a desktop at work (I know), so I cant speak to other editions but I was surprised that there wasn't more pictures and il ...more
I was completely drawn to this based on the cover and title, and the description pulled me further in. This exceeded all expectations and hopes though.

I enjoy Sollée's writing style, and I appreciated how she went through early modern history to look at the ties between witches and women's rights. I also really enjoyed how she tied it into different aspects of media and the ways witches and women are represented. I also feel like I have to read at least a dozen of the books she sourced.

I feel li
Chelsea Elwood
Aug 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Another quick read, but I really enjoyed it. This is written for an in-group. I'd like to see the ideas in this better fleshed out. Was it worth the read? Would I recommend? Absolutely. If nothing else for such gems as 'The Latin term for Satanic analingus is 'osculum infame.' In short, this felt like bitching about the patriarchy over drinks with an old friend. ...more
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Kristen J. Sollée is a writer, curator, and educator exploring the intersections of art, sex, and occulture. She is the founding editrix of Slutist, a sex positive feminist website, and she lectures at The New School and across the US and Europe. Sollée’s signature college course, "The Legacy of the Witch" follows the witch through history, pop culture, and politics. Her critically-acclaimed book ...more

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“The witch is at once female divinity, female ferocity, and female transgression. She is all and she is one. The witch has as many moods and as many faces as the moon.” 4 likes
“The witch is undoubtedly the magical woman, the liberated woman, and the persecuted woman, but she can also be everywoman.” 2 likes
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