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In Defence of Witches


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A short, feminist polemic that argues that the afterlife of the witch hunts continues today: the same reasons for which women were demonized in the past - being single, ageing, deciding to not have children - lead to them be persecuted now.

About the Author

Mona Chollet is a journalist for le Monde Diplomatique and speaks fluent English. In 2017 she appeared at the Festival Albertine in New York (curated by Gloria Steinem), on a panel with Roxane Gay (to talk about women's bodies and their treatment as public property). She has written on women's bodies, the domestic sphere and dismantling right-wing political imagery.


A thought-provoking, discursive survey by Mona Chollet, a bright light of Francophone feminism . . . Chollet has emerged as a quiet revolutionary, pushing back against the clichés and the patriarchy that shapes them.
*The New York Times*

What sets Chollet’s book apart is her aligning so clearly the historical mistreatment of so-called witches with the misogyny of the 21st century. The subtitle sums it up: why women are still on trial . . . a rousing read.
*Irish Times*

Explores the worldview that the witch hunt has sought to promote - and its consequences on society today

Mona Chollet reminds us how an infamous label has become a symbol of women's resistance to male domination.
*Le Monde*

[Mona Chollet] rehabilitates the figure of the witch, this dangerously independent, educated and strong woman.

[Mona Chollet] dissects this figure from our history – and our imagination – and demonstrates how women today, those who free themselves from certain social norms, are in fact the direct heirs of those who were pursued, hunted, censored, eliminated during the Renaissance.
*Huffington Post*

The term “witches” is still used today to caricature women of power, aging women or quite simply free women . . . Mona Chollet wonders about what remains today of the great witch hunts, that is to say the massacre of tens of thousands of women in Europe between the 16th and 17th centuries . . . [She] ends up convincing: the witch is a figure more fascinating and empowering than repulsive.

What remains of the witch hunts? A stubborn misogyny, which still tints the way our societies look at single women, childless women, aging women, or quite simply, free women . . . Today more than ever, witches tell us about our world and lead the way.

A smart feminist treatise reclaiming the witch and her radical way of life as a path forward for womem . . . Chollet’s informed and passionate treatment will appeal to readers looking for more substance amid the witch trend that’s otherwise been largely commodified and often scrubbed of its feminist origins

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