She is more than just a teenage witch, how Sabrina Spellman and the townsfolk of Greendale hold a (sometimes unflattering) mirror to the current state of world events…
Just like Sabrina, I took a bite of an apple and saw a future in which I binged watched all ten episodes of the first season of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina in less than a week!
November 6th, 2018 is upon us, so it is hard to think of anything other than our current state of the union. So when I decided to partake in some escapism and travel to the town of Greendale to get to know the Spellman family, I was not expecting to find so many parallels between the Church of Night and the current state of events happening in the U. S. of A.
I am not the first and will not be the last to state that CAOS is filled with feminist undertones, rebellion, and the questioning of authority but the series also highlights themes and feels that currently fill the 24-hour news cycle and our Twitter feed. Some of these themes that literally slapped me in the face while watching were; the power of female rage, the fear that men have to lose their power, and how the whole series is drenched in the concept of tribalism.
Hold on to your butt cheeks, cause your girl is about to get political!
The Power of Female Rage
Since the 45 has been nominated, women have been channeling the strength of the witches that were hunted in this country. Making cheeky signs and creating modern day covens, to say that women are feeling rage would be an understatement. And the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is FILLED with female rage.
The series starts off with Sabrina and her high school best friend Roz feeling all types of anger over the fact that their other bestie, Susie, is being bullied for her refusal to define her sexuality. This leads the girls to start WICCA (Women’s Intersectional Cultural and Creative Association) for women to band together and protect one another. And while there is rage in the mortal world, how amazing was the sequence when Sabrina and the Weird Sisters used their wicked powers to mess with the Baxter High bullies, it seemed that the most female rage came from the witch side of the series.
The whole concept that the only way that a witch could get her full powers is to sign over her will/freedom to the Dark Lord is pretty f*!ked up, which Sabrina challenges from the beginning. Like really, how has no witch been able to find a loophole in this? The deeper we got into the series, the more we see the women of the coven question their loyalty to the Church of Night and the Dark Lord. While the older generation of witches seem to acknowledge that the basic concept of their religion is submissive to their power, there is nothing they can do about it. But Sabrina is ready to fight, she wants to have it all – power and freedom. She channels her rage – lets it out when needed – and decides to make a plan to destroy the Dark Lord from the inside out. Now we can only hope that after the events of the final episode she has not lost her direction…
Much like the ladies of Greendale and the Church of Night, women are channeling their rage and making a difference. Letting the world hear our voices and know we will no longer stand by while our basic rights are being taken away. There is more power in rage when we use it to take action, to enforce longterm change, and when we make a plan.
Though we may not be actually battling the Dark Lord, some days it does feel like it!
Men Gripping Hold of Their Power
On January 21, 2017, the day after the inauguration of 45, women and their allies took to the streets of cities and neighborhoods around the world to protest. Though, I would like to think that women have been making men scared for years – I do believe over the course of almost two years with women coming together to take down the patriarchy – men have felt fear and with that fear, they are trying to put a tighter grip on the power they still have. There was no greater example of powerful men trying to hold onto their power than in the hearings of a possible Supreme Court judge.
Chilling Adventures gives us the perfect look at a powerful man very desperately trying to hold onto his power even when it seems that literally everyone is questioning him with the character of Father Blackwood. A High Priest who seems to have everything together until Sabrina Spellman questions the tradition of signing the Book of the Beast. The moment Sabrina flees the woods is when Blackwood can feel his power slipping, even the Dark Lord himself sends another agent in to get the job done because he also does not trust Blackwood.
Father Blackwood decides to use the power he still has and retreat back into even more traditional practices of the Church of Night, having his followers believe that this is the Dark Lords will and not his desire to control his coven.
Though the most chilling scene that featured Father Blackwood would have to be in the final episode of season one when Blackwood has all the Brothers of the Church of Night meet in his office to introduce them to his new son and heir. At this moment, Blackwood thinks that his son is a sign that the Church of Night is now theirs and even more creepy “that we are in the right.”
Oh, how stupid men can be…
…sure they may put up a fight but powerful and determined women are not going anywhere. See you all at the 2019 Women’s March(s)!
Over the past two years, the state of the union has been mixed up in an awful case of tribalism. A division that has caused us to fight more than to work together to fix all the messes that we have created to truly make things better. Tribalism is all around us, just take note during your Thanksgiving dinners coming up in the next couple of weeks.
While the Us vs Them is a bit different in reality than in Chilling Adventures, it is still there and poor Sabrina is stuck in the middle being told she has to decide between the mortal world and the witch world.
Let’s take the concept of a “witch hunt” or “witch hunting” as an example for both the Greendale world and reality. In reality, both sides have claimed that they have been the center point for the other side conducting a witch hunt which is not a lie but just a way to call each other out and not actually get to the god damn point! This term both in the past and in the present automatically creates a defined division. You are either the witch and/or witches being hunted or the hunter and/or hunting party doing the hunting. There is really a grey area. Now let’s look at the world of Greendale where there literally was a witch hunt where both the mortal world and the witch world watched 13 witches die and then all tried to forget about it. After that their worlds were divided until the half-witch half-mortal girl came along. The witch that fell in love with a witch hunter, though let’s be real Harvey wouldn’t kill a fly (well besides his zombie brother – too soon?).
Now am I saying that we need to just wait for a little blond savior to come along a cure tribalism? HA! No! But I think we can learn something from Sabrina when it comes to bridging the gap between two worlds. In the end, it is better to work together to respect both worlds and try to understand they have different but good qualities. One world can not exist without the other. For if we don’t work together we will end up going to war with one another.
Well thanks, CAOS for teaching us some stuff and being wickedly entertaining, I am off to rewatch you! Here’s to hoping that it will all get better soon, both in Greendale and here in reality!
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina season one is now streaming on Netflix!
Feature Image and Post Images via Netflix