It’s taken me a few days to collect my thoughts on this and put some word together. This is important and I don’t like to rush when things are important. I’m still not sure these are the right words, but they’re the word I have.
Last week, OnlyFans announced that they will begin banning sexually explicit content. Shocking right? Why would a platform ban the thing that makes them money?
Because the people who handle the money stepped in and told them to cut that shit out. Their payment processor is implementing new rules for processing payments for adult content. These rules (and OnlyFans’ compliance to these rules) is rooted in pearl clutching, anti-sex sentiment that puts sex workers in danger.
This situation mirrors something that every single one of the professional witches doing biz here on the internet has to deal with: having their account frozen by payment processors for being ‘fortune tellers’. Every biz witch you know has to worry about getting flagged as high-risk business and losing their ability to take credit cards.
These payment processors enforce who can access money and banking, who can create a stable and independent career for themselves, on the basis of patriarchal morality that labels these sex work and professional witching as dangerous and unacceptable. And they’re doing their damnedest to keep the (mostly marginalized) folks within these careers out of the systems required for career and monetary success. Which therefore means just general success in a world where are career that pays the bills is required for most of us.
The contempt for magic, witchcraft, and the occult. The oppression and marginalization of women, queer folks, marginalized races. The fear and demonization of sex. Colonialism.
The roots of these long-standing tendencies in our culture are intertwined with capitalism’s origins.
So it should be no surprise to find that we find ourselves with a common enemy still. You can see this plainly at play with OnlyFans dumping SWers with pressure from their payment processor and the flagging and freezing accounts of witches, astrologers, and tarot readers by their payment processors.
In Caliban and the Witch, Silvia Federici discusses the way that the capitalism and today’s systems of marginalization have their roots in the demonization of women, sex, and witchcraft. It was done in order to accumulate the power and capital to create the conditions for the way our world is currently organized.
Ultimately, witchcraft is about power. When we work to reconnect with our magic, we are connecting to our own inherent power to get exactly what we fucking want without having to work for it. And in a world where work makes the world run, that’s radical as fuck.
The demonization of witches, of sex and sex workers, of women, queer folks, and marginalized races in our current society share the same root. We can’t pull up that root, we can’t reclaim that power, without reclaiming it for all of us. Reclaiming it only for one group and ignoring the others who are affected is like pulling up the aerial part of a weed, but leaving the root beneath the ground to sprout once more.
Sex is magic. Sex work is work. Magic-making is work. And folks deserve to get paid for it.
Check out Caliban and the Witch for more on this! Be in solidarity with sex workers. Call your lawmakers and complain about SESTA/FOSTA. Donate to SWOP Behind Bars. Hex payment processors. Legalize sex work.
SWers – in need of tarot reading right now? Reach out for a PWYC tarot sesh!