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."
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
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. "