Chapter 7: Love and Lack: Media, Witches, and Normative Gender Roles

by Victoria L. Godwin

Films such as The CraftPractical Magic, and similar productions rob female practitioners of Wicca of their own agency, replace it with a reliance on outside male forces, and discipline the women into standard patriarchal positions.

The Craft: Invocation Ritual
The Craft: Only after a dramatic ritual invocation of Manon do the girls gain some semblance of magical power and control (image courtesy of Columbia Pictures Corporation).

The Craft: Punishment
The Craft: Manon punishes disobedient Nancy with insanity and a loss of magical power (image courtesy of Columbia Pictures Corporation).

Practical Magic: Spell Book
In Practical Magic, the Owens family also has a spell book. The aunts have to consult it to cast a love spell and the sisters must read it to resurrect Jimmy. Although the Owens women are able to cast some minor spells (such as stirring coffee or lighting candles) without reading them from the book, once again the real power is not in the woman but in the book (image courtesy of DiNovi Pictures).

Practical Magic: Resurrection
When the sisters resurrect Jimmy in Practical Magic, they practice the words to the spell repeatedly, obsessing on reciting them correctly (image courtesy of DiNovi Pictures).

Witches of Eastwick with Patriarch
The Witches of Eastwick: Apparently what these women really want is devilish, controlling patriarch Daryl Van Horne (image courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures).

Witches of Eastwick Finale
The Witches of Eastwick: Unless the witches switch off every screen for the rest of their sons’ lives, Daryl’s influence remains a threat (image courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures).


The Craft at IMDB
Practical Magic at IMDB
Charmed at IMDB
Buffy the Vampire Slayer at IMDB
The Witches of Eastwick at IMDB
Sabrina, the Teenage Witch at IMDB
Teen Witch at IMDB
Poltergeist: The Legacy at IMDB