Hocus Pocus is an iconic Halloween film, and now it’s been tainted by a lack of understanding of the basic principle of intersectionality.
Thursday, Bette Midler tweeted out a quote beginning with the phrase, “Women are the n-word of the world,” and in case you aren’t aware, BM is white. In fact, the entire cast of Hocus Pocus is white. Maybe Bette thought that it would be okay to say, since she didn’t actually say “the n-word.” That’s not the case. Since Midler is white, she is unable to empathize – though she may sympathize – what it’s like to be black or brown. Therefore, claiming to be able to equate being a person of color to being a woman is something she can’t do, and that right goes to our mixed race ladies who may pass in either direction.
The quote is from the 1972 Yoko Ono/John Lennon song titled with the phrase uncensored, and can be rooted back to the book Their Eyes Were Watching God, when protagonist Janie’s grandmother says, “De ni***r woman is de mule uh de world so fur as Ah can see.” However, Lennon claims the quote is inspired by John Connolly, who is quoted as saying “The female worker is the slave of the slave,” even further off-base than BM.
Midler’s tweet sparked controversy and received attention from other celebrities, calling out the ignorance shown in the message. The plight of women will never be comparable to the history of people of color. Full stop.
The issues are intersectional, not two lanes on the same highway or two stripes on the same sweater. Systemic oppression in its various forms exists as waves of different lengths and magnitudes crossing and intertwining then separating, only to meet again further down the line. No two waves are the same, no two intersections happen at exactly the same angle or height. And that’s something feminists and social activists have been fighting to explain for some time now.
See all those crosses and shades and how they’re each unique? That’s intersectionality. We’re all on the same visible light spectrum, but we are not all riding the same wave.
But anyway, the point I was trying to make is,
Released October 14, 2005, starring twins Tia and Tamera Mowry, Twitches is the story of sister witches separated at birth, reuniting on their 21st birthday and discovering their glorious magic.
Kristen Wilson plays their mother, with David Ingram as the father, featuring Patrick Fabian as mom’s new husband after their father’s death. It wouldn’t be a Disney movie without a dead parent, and it gets double points for being a great Double Feature with Princess Diaries, as it follows the theme of the girls being royalty from a kingdom they’ve never known, and bonus points for magic.
This Halloween, let’s stick to the good stuff.
Twitches, Halloweentown, and CANDY CORN.
There, I said it.