Yet another blog for spewing. This one may end up with a lot of religious and social content.


Pagans and Fat Shaming

A Wiccan BNP and Blogger named Peter Dybing went there (A Pagan Taboo, Obesity), complete with masking it as "concern" for the health of his fellow pagans, including crocodile tears for those who were *gasp* fat when they died, but then proceeded to say 'Do you know?' and quote some sketchy statistics that have only marginal peer review, starting with the phony "Obesity is the #2 cause of preventable death in the United States". First, obesity isn't the cause of death - it's often the side effect of the real killers - heart disease, stroke, hormonal imbalance due to excess medication and contaminated food supplies, etc. Second, it's a fancy way of saying "All you fatties gonna die!!1!!"

I saw red. The comments were even worse, in their own way, as he dug his hole deeper. Sneering at people who were heavy and had to walk with canes - never think ing that the reason they are heavy is *because* they have to use a cane.

The greatest causes of weight gain in our society are stress, sedentary occupations, prepared food loaded with HFCS and medication side effects. Not one of those things involves sloth or not caring about your weight health.

The skinny say "Oh, eat less, exercise, join a gym", not caring that gym memberships are often hundreds of dollars a month, outside the reach of many of the vanishing middle class, and not friendly to the disabled, for the most part. (I'm not going to take some bouncy, able-bodied, never been fat, youth seriously when they talk about aerobic excercise.)

Paganism was one of the few places where fat shaming was taboo. Now this athletic, jocky BNP wants to go there. OK, lets talk about fat, which is what your couching of it in the medical perjorative "obese" means.

I'll even raise your grief points by one:

I had a roommate who died while obese. She didn't die of fat. She died of medical neglect. They kept pushing off all her problems with "exercise, eat less, lose weight, it'll fix your problems." She ate significantly less than I do, but was mobility impaired, severely depressed, had been on a whole raft of medications for misdiagnosed conditions that screwed up her metabolism, had chronic migraines, and had severe food and drug allergies. She died of a heart condition that had been presenting primarily as migraine, just a "drug seeking hypochondriac woman" type thing. She finally got a bit of medical attention when she had a severe heart attack in a different doctor's office. The fat didn't kill her, the doctors that assumed for at least ten or more years that the fat was the root of her problem, and that her not magically losing the weight absolved them of looking any deeper, were what killed her. She was 39.

So, yes, fat shaming, and fat blaming, kills people.

Then there are the self-righteous vegans - you know the ones - that join orgs like PETA and actually care more for food animals than people. They of course jump on the fat shaming bandwagon, even though I have known some pretty fat veggies. I read an interesting article on how many people who get sucked in this cult are severely malnourished, and eventually have to go back to eating meat, including many of the leading veggie book authors. Unfortunately, the western biosystem has to have some meat, fish and eggs type proteins. Even the "Eastern" diets have a small amount from food contaminants like insects. But don't confuse an evangelical vegan with the facts - they believe.

Are there unhealthy pagans? Well, yes, since most pagans abjure money making occupations and thus can't afford the more expensive organic, non-GMO, non-soy, non-HFCS food. I know my food bill went up when I started buying healthier alternatives because the regular stuff was making me sick. Still some of the most expensive food in the grocery store are packaged meals marketed to the weight concious: "lean cuisine, healthy choice", etc.

Now you know part of why I call it a racket: The ones who sell you the food are in league with the people who make money off of the diet and exercise business. It's like a drug dealer who owns a rehab clinic.

Now, you might ask, what does all this have to do with paganism?

Well, the implication is that if you can't control your weight, or have *gasp* disordered eating or other psychological issues arising from fatness, you don't "know yourself" and thus can't be a good, proper, together or whole magician. If you can't "control your fatness health", you can't "control your magic". That's bullshit, but the skinnies and able bodied believe it - it helps them assure themselves that they are "Doing It Right™". Would they say the same "self control" BS to a person who had PTSD from rape or war? Do they think that fat shaming and the relentless pushing of diets can't cause PTSD?

You see, knowing yourself and self control are not the same as conformity to the norm, and denial of your past and what has shaped you. Everyone has to pick their battles, even fat folks. The struggle for true self knowldege is lifelong, you don't have all your shit together for once and for all. So you chose - what things that I don't like about my self and life do I want to work on first?

Do I chose the thing that prevents me from conforming to an external standard of beauty and "fitness", or do I work on things that are more important, like fears and emotions, that make living in my own skin uncomfortable without society's help? The fat thing is waaaay far down on my list, because it's an externally driven conformist push, and I chose to resist being pressured to conform like that. I don't want to be just like everyone else. If I did, I'd go be a Baptist again.

So what do you think fat shaming does with me, or many other pagans? Does it make us conform to your wishes? Do you manage to convert us to the cult of the thin, or of the vegan? Not by your false "concerns" and handwringing recitation of dubious statistics. I have to fight against my baser instincts not to grab a fatty, greasy bacon cheeseburger and a bag of candy whenever I have to deal with that type of people, and enjoy it in front of them. (I do fight it, because the fat levels in that food trigger my IBS.)

But that's my quirk. The fact is, fat shaming is not useful, or constructive. citing dire "statistics" from diet industry studies is no more going to make us "see the light" than quoting the Christian Bible at us will make us Christian. So kindly take your diet evangelism, and stick it where the sun doesn't shine, please.

Or, better yet, eat it yourself.


Oh, Brother!

Here, PantheaCon 2012: Politics and the controversy over women’s rituals Gus DiZerega mansplains away Z Budapests hate speach, and then further down in the comments refuses to use "cis-" - he uses "trans-women" and "women" because he feels that tras-women aren't "real women", and therefore abnormal:
I very deliberately did not use “cis.” I will continue not using “cis.” There is nothing impolite in saying “trans-woman” and “woman” if there are differences. I explained that in my judgment there are. People have considerable latitude in what they call themselves but, for me, they have a lot less in what they call others. Maybe someday if the term catches on I’ll go with “cis,” but I see no value in the term and so will not use it.
He is full of shit on the "nothing impolite" part - it's very impolite, but I guess it's good to know who is a bigot and who is not.

From a person responding to Gus:
“hvars þú böl kannt
kveðu þat bölvi at
ok gefat þínum fjándum frið”
(“when you come upon misdeeds
speak out about those misdeeds,
and give your enemies no peace.”) Havamal 127

To remain silent in the face of this kind of bigotry and knee-jerk trans-bashing in the pagan community, along with the side of sexist and misogyny that accompanies it, is impossible for me.

The comments to Gus's post are at best fawning, and many are rage-inducing pseudo-feminist claptrap. The same old "trans-women are really men invading wombyn's spaaaace" gets trotted out, along with one twit claiming that "cis-men" isn't used, because cis- and trans- are just used to "oppress" real women, blah, blah. More horse-shit, because cis-{male,man,men} and trans-{maile,man,men} are terms in use.

Seriously, I couldn't read through more than half of the comments, my eyes were too busy rolling back into my head so much.

So, it's proved that several of the BNPs out there are bigots, sexist, and engage in all the stuff the Right Wing Christians do. They either bleat "can't we all just get aloooong" and stand up for nothing, compromising their souls away, or they are banging the drums of sexism and bigotry against anyone they don't consider "normal". So much like high school shit.

I'm glad I'm solitary, these people disgust me.


PantheaCon 2012 and Bigotry

Note: I swear and am angry in this post. If you can't deal with that, go somewhere else. I don't want your craven tone arguments.

I'll reiterate something here that I've said elsewhere: Riddle me this - Why do statements and stances that we would immediately howl in outrage about and repudiate if they came from the religious right suddenly become “understandable”, “negotiable”, or “trivial” as I have seen more than one leader espouse? Why do we need to be soothing over stances within the community that we would reject out of hand if they came from outside? If you don’t believe me, put some of Z’s remarks over Ann Coulter’s or Rush Limbaugh’s byline and see how you feel about them. (Z being Z Budapest.)

Those in the Asatru community have dealt with this sort of thing for years - when somewhat folkish ("european ancestry") becomes raving white supremacist or racist. Guess who doesn't try to put on rituals "for whites only" at public pagan gatherings? It doesn't get far, no matter how polite of a shine they try to put on it.

People to take a real good look at all of the crap that we “tolerate” in our community that we’d never put up with from outside – not just the TG issue. We turn a blind eye to sexual abuse in the name of some "all acts of love and pleasure are her rituals" blitherings and excuses. Yet the same people will think nothing of condemning catholic priests for the same shit.

It used to be a real big problem with cultural appropriation all over the place - most of that has died down, now that people are aware of what that means to the originating culture.

But the language of appeasement flourishes, both within the community and without:
  • "Oh, you should listen to what Lady FluffyBunny has to say, she puiblished a booook, it's just as valid or more so, as what you've worked years to understand and/or discover."
  • "Oh, you need to take into account that they have a bad background, hard life, rough childhood, blah, blah, and forgive them for crapping in your face, they didn't really mean it."
  • "Oh, it's just they really believe it's murder, they don't really mean to control your life and body to stop what they believe is wrong, you have to understand where they're coming from, it isn't about you and the fact that being pregnant can kill you."
  • "Oh, they're just concerned for your soul, they aren't trying to force you into anything, they have a right to preach at you everwhere you go."
All of this is bullshit.

Let's get into brass tacks: I don't have to stand by, meekly mouthing platitudes about understanding and conciliation when another person or group is trying to fuck with my life, or fuck over my friends. I don't have to meekly submit to some mealy mouthed pagan tone argument when people are taking a dump on my people, and/or acting like bullies. The "just ignore them" and "try to understaaaaand them" crap doesn't work with bullies.

One person prattled on about how the "genetic women only" thing was "we just get to define who our peers are". When I heard this, at the Pagans in Media panel, my gut reaction was "Well, bitch, you're not one of mine. I don't consider bigots to be peers." The next was "Sounds like 'whites only' lunch counters based on 'freedom of association'". It's a good thing that I have regained the governor on my mouth, as it was not my panel so it wasn't mine to get into that fight. That panel, BTW, softpedaled around the whole thing in a very craven manner. The only person who had really solid stuff to say was Margot Adler.

I admit, I spent the majority of the con in the vendor room, working. I consider the appeasers and bullies to be yet more reason why I don't seek to be anything other than solitary any more: I have no patience for the level of idiotic and fluffified drama that the community can throw.

We are supposed to be enlightened - but this whole shit, and this year and last year's response is anything but. Shame on PCon for even accepting the panel. It's like they were fishing for controversy and drama so they could get more publicity.

There are some things that doesn't belong at gatherings and conferences: Skyclad rituals with strangers in public areas (nudist retreats don't count), and rituals whose big thing is exclusion of a minority are a couple of them. Rituals involving full on sex is another.

I wonder how Z and the con organizers would feel if an African Diasporic tradition had a "non-whites only" ritual to celebrate their lives as a persecuted minority, blah, blah, free of the prevailing white culture. It's perfectly reasonable under the ideal of "it's ok to exclude people if you're polite about it", right?

One disgusting piece of claptrap on the "transwomen aren't women" side is this tripe:
Coyle's shallow reaction to Z's movement created only hatred and division. It was not helpful to those who should be developing their own spiritual tradition as Z did with women. It was a bully tactic to shame women and demand they sacrifice their own interests to the interest of the "more oppressed". It is a Mother Teresa theology rejected long ago by feminists. It was an ever so politically correct defense of the patriarchal (male) right to determine what women can and cannot do in their own interests. This is what your highly regarded "response" was all about in reality.
What a crock of pure, steaming horseshit. This clown ignores one very real fact: transwomen are not men, are not agents of "the patriarchy", nor are they obliged to develop "their own spiritual tradition" and leave the pure, holy, uterus worshipping ciswomen in their little walled garden. This is not feminism, this is just pseudo-feminists mimicking the patriarchy exclusions on a more vulnerable group. Transwomen are women - not men with boobs, not wannabe-women with penises. (The person whose blog this steaming comment was left in just replied with stuff like "I appreciate your expression of your view." Hello, Neville Chamberlain.

Most of these idiots don't even consider what a trans-woman goes through and risks, at the hands of the "patriarchy" that they get lumped in with by these Dianic wannabes:
  • Humiliation if they can't pass
  • Death if the guy they meet finds out that they "aren't 'really' a woman"
  • Giving up male privilege, and all that our society bundles with it.
  • A second puberty with all of the angst that goes with it
  • Workplace discrimination and bullying
  • Rejection by the major religions for going against "God's will"
  • ... and the list goes on
Now these Dianics want to add "Rejection by feminists and other women" into the mix too. Disgusting. What's next? Separate lunch counters, maybe a yellow triangle so the Dianics and guys on the prowl can know who's "really" born a genetic woman?

Let's face it, all the noise about "civil discourse" with people who are blatant bigots makes me want to throw things.

You don't appease bullies just because they hide behind your religion, or feminism, and use the language of those standing up to oppression to excuse their own oppressing and bigotry.

You call them on their bullshit, in no uncertain terms.

As another person said, in their private blog about another subject: "This culture of allowing both sides to be heard because I'm not fair otherwise? Is fucking bullshit. Some sides of the story ARE WRONG AND SHOULD SIT THE FUCK DOWN AND SHUT THE FUCK UP, GROWN FOLK IS TALKING. "