Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Feminist Icon

If you haven’t watched The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina yet, you should. I love all things Sabrina, and used to watch Sabrina the Teenage Witch in high school and even plan to own a black cat named Salem in my adult life in tribute to the original Salem.

Sabrina Spellman played by Kiernan Shipka, is not only a super cool half witch, but she is also a powerhouse feminist! Sabrina is shown as a modern day teen, on the brink of her “dark baptism”. She is portrayed however like an everyday high schooler. She has her best friends, Rosalind and Susie, and of course her boyfriend Harvey Kinkle, constantly oblivious of Sabrina’s double life.

 

 

The show takes a political turn which is not present in the original Sabrina the Teenage Witch, when Sabrina stands up for Susie after Susie is bullied repeatedly by boys in their school, Baxter High. Susie experiences horrors of the boys trying to see her chest because they do not believe she is a girl. This is a topical problem today with so many controversies of sexual assault. Sabrina and her friends then take it upon themselves to be the change in their school since their principal refuses to support them. They create a feminist club in order to prevent future incidents like what Susie experienced, and to protect women throughout the school.

There is also a great amount of female empowerment in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina outside of the formation of the club. They show the aunts Hilda and Zelda Spellman as role models in Sabrina’s life since her parents are dead, which follows the original sitcom, however they provide more of an example in this new version. Strong female role models are important in a young girl’s life, let alone a young witch. Hilda provides her with plentiful kindness and leads by example, showing constant compassion to everyone she comes in contact with. Hilda is smart, funny, and shows Sabrina that success is within herself. Zelda is more of a strong hand, unapologetically herself and does not take no for an answer. Zelda is firm with Sabrina and is not the most comforting presence, however she also shows Sabrina that she cannot be of weak will. Zelda has her own ideals and is deeply devout with her religion of the Dark Lord, but when the time comes, she is also willing to stand up for her family and Sabrina.

 

 

With both compassion, and strong will, Sabrina becomes a perfect mix of her aunts while also going on her own path. Sabrina is someone who stands up for what she believes in, no matter the cost, which is something I greatly admire about her character. She takes advice, but also follows her gut because she realizes it's her life and nobody else's.

Sabrina is not the only feminist character circulating pop culture right now, with June Osborne in The Handmaid’s Tale, and Mrs. Maisel in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel to name just a couple. Feminism is spreading in mainstream culture, giving women more powerful roles and showing young girls just what it can mean to be a woman. Unapologetically powerful.

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