We had a healthy even heated debate among Kasama moderators today about how to celebrate the death of Margaret Thatcher. Afterwards, wandering around, thinking over what others had said, I stumbled upong this gem of an essay from AWOL (Angry Women of Liverpool).
With a special wave to my comrades here at Kasama! Here is an excerpt (it is the last part of the essay):
Where do you stand on singing “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead?”
"Tough one. The history of witch persecution is fraught with the very foundations of modern capitalist and patriarchal oppression, as anybody who’s read Silvia Federici knows. But there are so few songs you can sing joyfully about the death of somebody thoroughly deserving.
"You want a proper argument in defence? Give me a minute.
"OK, got one. The cultural connotations of “witch” in the modern day are so fragmented, having passed from fairy tale and myth through church/state persecution, a modern reinvention as “Wicca”, developing into a full-fledged sub-culture with often positive portrayals in TV drama and children’s literature, it could be argued that the word “witch” is now primarily a fairly neutral term for a female magic-user and serves only to denote the profession of the woman in question, not her moral status. After all, the song takes care to distinguish: “Which old witch? The wicked witch,” suggesting that wickedness is by no means assumed by the term’s use.
"If Glinda, the good witch, can allow the munchkins their song of triumph over the ruby-slippered menace that has oppressed them for so long, who am I to begrudge it?"