Sex Trouble: Yes, Feminists DO ‘Practice Witchcraft … and Become Lesbians’

Barb Wire

“[Feminism is] a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”
Pat Robertson, 1992

Today the first edition of my book Sex Trouble: Essays on Radical Feminism and the War Against Human Nature is available for purchase from Amazon — just in time for CPAC — and by happy coincidence, another journalist has recently confirmed what I have been telling you guys for months: Every single word of that quote is true.

All any researcher has to do is to Google “Dianic Wicca” or “Goddess Movement” to learn all they need to know about this, but I went beyond that; I’ve already read five books about neopagan witchcraft and especially about the feminist witch cult known as “Reclaiming.”

The link between feminism, lesbianism and — yes, believe it or not — witchcraft is familiar territory for those who have been reading the “Sex Trouble” series here for the past seven months, but it was news to Guardian columnist Sady Doyle:

Season of the witch: why young women are flocking to the ancient craft

Rapper Azealia Banks brought witchcraft back into the mainstream by tweeting ‘I’m really a witch’. But women in the US have been harnessing its power for decades as a ‘spiritual but not religious’ way to express feminist ambitions

Trending: Will Oregon Voters Defund Abortions?

. . .Witchcraft — and the embrace of “magical” practices, like reading tarot cards — has recently experienced a resurgence of sorts among young, creative, politically engaged women. This is largely reflected in niche corners of US pop culture: 2013’s American Horror Story:

Coven, in which witchcraft stood in for girl power, was the most popular American Horror Story season ever. A popular Tumblr blog, Charmcore, purports to be run by three witch sisters; it gives sarcastic “magical” advice and praise of the female celebrities it deems to be “obvious witches”. On the more serious side, teen sensation Rookie magazine has published tarot tutorials along with more standard-issue feminist and fashion advice, and Autostraddle, a popular left-leaning blog for young queer women, has an in-house tarot columnist.

Speaking of which, those tarot cards are available in trendy Brooklyn knickknack shops and Urban Outfitters, as well as new age stores. And these days, no one thinks there’s anything weird about herbal medicine and other potions. . . .

“To reclaim the word witch is to reclaim our right, as women, to be powerful,” wrote Starhawk, in her seminal 1979 book The Spiral Dance. “To be a witch is to identify with 9 million victims of bigotry and hatred and to take responsibility for shaping a world in which prejudice claims no more victims.”

Today, The Spiral Dance is in its third edition, and has sold over 300,000 copies. It is many people’s first introduction to Wicca, the earth-based spiritual movement that was created in the 1950s and has come to be a recognized religion around the world. It is also one of the most well known and comprehensive texts from a very particular moment in feminist history which until recently was largely unfashionable: the “women’s spirituality” movement, in which women radically rewrote existing religions, or simply made their own to be in line with the goals of women’s liberation.

Doyle quotes Autostraddle’s lesbian tarot columnist talking about “women who were persecuted in the past — wise women, witches, women who practiced that kind of ‘kitchen table’ healing that wasn’t part of the patriarchal progression of medicine.” This feminist myth of medieval witches as pagan proto-feminists persecuted by religious patriarchy was promoted in the 1970s by radical lesbians Mary Daly and Andrea Dworkin. As I explain in Sex Trouble, “These claims have since been debunked by legitimate historians, including the British professor Ronald Hutton, whose 1999 book The Triumph of the Moon is arguably the definitive history of modern witchcraft.”

Let me make two points about my methods as a journalist:

  1. I never underestimate the intelligence of my readers. It is a common mistake of journalists to think they are endowed with special wisdom, so that they must explain everything to readers who are presumed to be too stupid to figure things out on their own. Such an arrogant attitude insults the reader. Besides, who wants a readership of dimwit ignoramuses? Daily Kos?
  2. In the Internet age, every reader is their own fact-checker. You can use Google the same as me. If I were to start just making stuff up like a Rolling Stone reporter, my readers would bust me in a heartbeat. There’s no point trying to deceive or mislead readers. Even if I wanted to lie to you, I couldn’t get away with it. My job is to find the truth and write the truth, and if it weren’t for the relationship of trust that has been developed with regular readers here in the past seven years, I wouldn’t be doing this.

Nobody has a monopoly on the facts, so I encourage readers to do their own research. So many of the stories I tell here begin with somebody in the comments throwing in a link, or a Twitter follower tipping me off to a story. And this whole crazy radical feminist trip really began when one of my friendly readers called my attention to this crazy sentence:

“No woman is heterosexual.”

As I explain in the concluding chapter of Sex Trouble:

That four-word sentence sent me off on an investigation of her sources, especially including Professor Dee Graham, whose 1994 book Loving to Survive theorized female heterosexuality as a response to male-inflicted “sexual terror,” akin to post-traumatic stress syndrome.

Understanding this claim in turn required me to examine the sources cited in Graham’s bibliography, including lesbian feminists like Marilyn Frye, Adrienne Rich, Mary Daly, Audre Lorde and Charlotte Bunch. Graham even managed to work in a citation to “Starhawk” (neé Miriam Simos), the lesbian feminist who was the founding high priestess of a California-based pagan witchcraft cult known as Reclaiming. From such dubious sources Graham had propounded her theory of sexuality, based in a view of men as violent oppressors and women as victims suffering under tyrannical male supremacy.

Still more, from the same concluding chapter:

In 1980, Australian feminist Denise Thompson described how “countless numbers of lesbians” joined the feminist movement because it offered them “the possibility of a cultural community of women whose primary commitment was to other women rather than to men.”

Furthermore, Thompson added, the rise of the feminist movement produced a “mass exodus of feminist women from the confining structures of heterosexuality” in such numbers as to raise questions about “the institution of heterosexuality in the consciousness of those feminists who, for whatever reason, chose not to change their sexual orientation.” And why shouldn’t this have been the expected result?

Women “changed their sexual/social orientation from men to women,” Thompson explained, “in response to the feminist political critique of their personal situations of social subordination.” If the personal is political (as feminists say) and if women’s relationships with men are “confining structures” of “social subordination,” why would any feminist be heterosexual?

You can buy Sex Trouble now at Amazon and read the whole thing, which brings the whole thing full circle back around to Starhawk, Dianic Wicca and the “Goddess Movement.” All of this may seem like kooky fringe stuff to some readers, but you’re not stupid. Do you really think an experienced political reporter would have spent so many months on this subject just for the fun of it? Oh, sure, it’s a lot of fun to point and laugh at these kooks and weirdos, but perhaps you’ve forgotten how this began with “The Long Shadow of the Lavender Menace.” Perhaps you didn’t recognize the significance of all those names of radical lesbians who joined the Women’s Liberation movement in the 1970s. I did.

This story isn’t going to go away, my friends. Republican strategists never had a motive to go that deep in their opposition research files in 2008, because Obama destroyed Hillary in the Democrat primaries. Yet the smart money now says Hillary is a near-certainty for the 2016 nomination; she seems to have no serious Democrat opponent. The connections between Hillary Clinton and Charlotte Bunch (who has never recanted her 1972 lesbian manifesto) and the 1995 Beijing women’s conference? Yeah, that subject is likely to become very interesting to a lot of people if and when Hillary gets the Democrat presidential nomination. Trust me on this. The prophetic omens are clear.

“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools . . . For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature . . .”
Romans 1:22, 26 (KJV)

This special 120-page first edition of Sex Trouble is, of course, really a preview of the larger work that I now expect to finish by this fall. My original plan was to have the whole thing wrapped up months ago, but then I got swept up in the whirlpool of this radical madness and realized there was so much to synthesize and explain that there was no way I could do it in a hurry. Rather than force readers to wait another six months, however, I decided to put together this first edition for the loyal readers who have done so much already support this project.

Keep me in your prayers as I continue toiling away at this. Please buy my book, help promote it to others and don’t forget the Five Most Important Words in the English Language:


First published at

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Robert Stacy McCain
Robert Stacy McCain is an award-winning journalist with more than 25 years of experience in the news business. He is a correspondent for The American Spectator, editor-in-chief at Viral Read and blogs at

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