Recommended book : In Defense of Witches by Mona Chollet.
Updated: Mar 27
Book Recommended : In Defense of Witches: The Legacy of the Witch Hunts and Why Women Are Still on Trial.
“No need to join W.I.T.C.H. If you are a female and you dare to embrace yourself, then you are already a witch.”.
Mona Chollet's In Defense of Witches is a “brilliant, well-documented” celebration (Le Monde) by an acclaimed French feminist of the witch as a symbol of female rebellion and independence in the face of misogyny and persecution.
Celebrated feminist writer Mona Chollet explores three types of women who were accused of witchcraft and persecuted: the independent woman, since widows and celibates were particularly targeted; the childless woman, since the time of the hunts marked the end of tolerance for those who claimed to control their fertility; and the elderly woman, who has always been an object of at best, pity, and at worst, horror. Examining modern society, Chollet concludes that these women continue to be harrassed and oppressed. Rather than being a brief moment in history, the persecution of witches is an example of society’s seemingly eternal misogyny, while women today are direct heirs to those who were hunted down and killed for their thoughts and actions.
The last part of the book return to the thesis announced in the introduction: to adopt a feminist lecture of history, the author expresses that witch-hunts have been symptomatic of a philosophic and societal upheaval. This is because they are in the name of the cult destined to the “reason” that they have been hunted (also that of the name of the religion); reason that incarnates for example Descartes, who supposes that men must be the “masters and possessors of nature”. (Descartes, Discours de la méthode, quoted by Chollet). He could have included “and women”.
Mona Chollet discovers at length the link between rationality, domination of nature and that of women. The remarks of the ecofeminist philosopher Carolyn Merchant (quoted by Chollet) have basically explained this.
“The witch, a symbol of violence of nature, enraged thunderstorms, caused diseases, destroyed crops, hindered the generation and killed the young children. The woman who caused disorder, like the chaotic nature, should be placed under control.”
Who is this #remarkablewoman ?
Mona Chollet is a Swiss journalist and author. She is chief editor at Le Monde diplomatique since 2016. Her best-seller Sorcières (In Defense of Witches) has sold 370,000 copies in France. Born in Geneva in 1973, she is known as a feminist figure in France.
Chollet then worked for the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and for Arte Radio. As the host of the 19-part audio series L'ésprit d'escalier , she dealt with social issues in 2004/2005, in particular on feminism and the media.
Today Chollet is editor-in-chief at Le Monde diplomatique and runs the culture-critical website Périphéries together with journalist Thomas Lemahieu.
Her book Witches was published in 2020 . The undefeated power of women .
In an article entitled “Femen partout, féminisme nulle part” ( German everywhere Femen, nowhere feminism ), in 2013 she criticized the feminist group Femen harshly . In the article published in Le Monde diplomatique , she accuses her of constantly showing her bare breasts. In the “sex extremism” propagated by the group, it is primarily “sex” that makes an impression. The interest in Femen turns out to be compatible with the crudest anti-feminism, she writes.
2015 : Beauté fatale
2018 : Sorcières : La puissance invaincue des femmes, La Découverte
2021 : Réinventer l'amour (Reinventing love), Zones
2022 : In Defense of Witches: The Legacy of the Witch Hunts and Why Women Are Still on Trial, translated by Sophie R. Lewis, Macmillan Publishers
"Palmarès des meilleures ventes : Modiano et Chollet au zénith". 18 October 2021.
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