But I soon learn that in some Pagan traditions, the influence of African diaspora religions (Vodou in particular) transcends race lines.” It is fairly bold to state that anything in America transcends race, much less the appropriation of black religious culture by white men and women.
She insists to the end that belief can be tailor-made, as if somehow she could squeeze into it, or it into her.
As Silvia Federici argues in her 2004 book —a retelling of the transition from feudalism to capitalism in the West from a Marxist, feminist perspective—it would be a mistake to divorce the popular conception of witchcraft from the socio-economic forces afflicting women at the time.
Federici’s book exposes the European witch-hunts as part of a political agenda to discipline the female body in the nascent capitalist society, and to implement “a new model of femininity [that was] passive, obedient, thrifty, of few words, always busy at work, and chaste.” The witch-hunt was designed to terrorize women, thereby tamping down insubordination so that white men could seize control over their labor as well as their role in reproduction.
Though is a richly researched and heartfelt book, it fundamentally misunderstands what it means to stand apart and what it means to be oppressed.
Mar is more interested in the glamor of alternative lifestyles than in the long, intensely political history of outcast women.