Feminist Life Lessons from the Sanderson Sisters

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Alright witches, stand at attention! It’s time to get spooky. Halloween is without a doubt my favorite holiday. I’m that friend that plans costumes months in advanced and busts out the decorations in September. I’ve got a very long list of scary movies I’ve got to see before October 31st. Of course one of those movies is Hocus Pocus. I know,I know it’s past Halloween we are a bit late, but this movie is just so good GOOD! We had to share❤️

The Sanderson sisters—Winifred (Bette Midler), Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker), and Mary (Kathy Najimy)—were hanged for practicing witchcraft in 1693 in Salem, Massachusetts. Now three hundred years later, high school student Max (Omri Katz) has accidentally brought them back to life by lighting the infamous black flame candle. Before the break of dawn on Halloween night, they must cast a deadly spell on a child, taking his or her life in order to extend their own.

The Sanderson sisters are girl power icons. The sisters are comfortable in their identities. They’re confident, powerful (literally), and will not conform to society (they didn’t stop being themselves during the witch trials, they aren’t going to stop during the 21st century).

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Hocus Pocus doesn’t follow that traditional sexist horror movie trope: how many horror movies have you seen where the “virginal” girl finds herself on the receiving end of unwanted, undead attention? The answer is probably “too many”. Hocus Pocus puts the male on the receiving end, while his sister stands in the corner telling him not to light the black-flame candle and unknowingly summon the Sanderson sisters. I bet he wished he listened to his sister in the end.

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Then there’s Sarah Sanderson, a woman who seeks out her own sexual pleasure (and no one else’s) and has no problem demanding what she wants. And she proves that of course women can, and should, make the first move.

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But above all, no matter what happens in the film the Sanderson sisters always have each others backs. When one of them is stressed, they form a “calming circle” around the other. When one of them spontaneously bursts into song mid-plot, the others give killer back up vocals and dance moves. The fight like any group of sisters would, but their fights don’t drive them apart. They enlighten, inspire, and support one another. Just how all women should be doing to each other IRL❤️

Hocus Pocus
Starring Bette Midler, Thora Birch, Kathy Najimy, Sarah Jessica Parker, Stephanie Faracy
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