Archive for the LGBTQ Category

12 Month Challenge-via M.Shaffer: War of the Sexes

Posted in Feminism, LGBTQ, Ritual with tags , , on June 28, 2012 by theredlass

I am a proud feminist. Allow me to explain for a moment.

I think that women are currently second class citizens in America. I think that though great strides have been made within the last hundred years towards women being viewed equally, there is still a very long way to go towards true equality between the sexes. To me it has very little to do with pay scale or position and a great deal to do with perception and self limitation. I think women today are as much to blame with how we are seen and treated as they way any man treats us. We have allowed ourselves to believe that feminine power is all wrapped up in sexuality and bitchiness instead of simply having some pride and honor in our dealings. I know I’m generalizing here but every time I see a girl wearing a pair of pants that say Bitch in ghetto typography with a shirt that loudly proclaims they are “Too Cute for Math.”, all I can think about is how Susan B. Anthony must be rolling in her grave. We are our own worst enemy, and that is true of MANY different groups in America.

Okay now that I have ranted for a moment, allow me to get into this from a pagan perspective. I think part of the reason that women and men have fallen so far from a path of honor and pride is due to our lack of social recognition for what makes a man or a woman thus. We all watch National Geographic & Discovery, we’ve all seen the Taboo episodes where they discuss initiation rituals where men and women have to prove their adulthood through some trial. And while yes we all flinch at the blood rituals of Africa where a boys skin is made to ripple like a crocodile or the whipping of a new wife as she goes to her husbands house, there is something to these rituals that makes them significant.

Recognition.

Yes they are painful, brutal even, but within this is the recognition by ones family and peers that the initiate is significant. That they have achieved something that makes them worthy of note. In America we simply tend to take advantage of the concept that 18 years old means you are legally an adult. It’s an age, once you hit it you are an adult and that is that. You don’t have to achieve anything beyond breathing to accomplish it. It simply happens.

I read this story once where young men were undergoing their man making. In order to accomplish this, they have to remain awake all night long, holding their spears,  at attention without leaning or resting, no water or food, standing towards the horizon. It was the last in a series of tests including fasting, hunting, leaping over a burning pit, all to prove they were ready for the responsibilities of manhood. In another, the women had to undergo the breaking of their hymen in a ritual in order to ensure their first lovemaking would be pleasurable and their children would be conceived in joy rather than pain. It was painted as terrifying and intimidating, but in the end the girl (now woman) was praised and painted and rewarded especially well if she didn’t cry out or whimper during the ritual. She showed endurance and was treated as a woman from then on, allowed to choose who she wanted to wed.

Now I’m not suggesting these things. They would be inappropriate for our day and age just as would animal/human sacrifice. What I am saying, is that within witchcraft, we have the unique ability to organize some form of recognition for those growing up in our path. While in general I think it’s a good ideal for covens and groves to be unisex, I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong with gender specific covens. I think for some people they offer a desperately needed refuge from a very stereotyped culture. And this is not exclusive to women either. In our time we are seeing the shift of gender orientation and conception become more and more open. Male and female is not as cut and dry as we have always seen it to be. So my question becomes, are gender oriented covens limited by genitalia or personal perception? Could a person, born a man but who sees themselves and lives as a woman join a Dianic Wiccan group? Could a woman who identify herself as a warrior personality participate in “Warrior Games” (which are held at some events). Mind you I am not saying that I have seen any evidence that they can’t. Pagans pride themselves on being forward thinking, open minded and tolerant. So I see little reason for this to be an issue.

What I am saying is that when you form a gender oriented group you need to be aware of the ramifications and perceptions people (both within and without) are going to develop. You need to be clear about the purpose and intention of such a group? I have heard of some women’s wiccan groups that are specifically for victims of rape. Does that mean only female victims or could men find support there as well? Does that mean Male on female, female on female, male on male, female on male or all inclusive?

Yes I know it’s a very wife berth to consider thoroughly. But at the same time I think gender oriented groups have a lot to offer in solidarity and actualizing ones self. Something I have been wanting to do for a while now is to host a Red Tent event, just for a day. Talk about issues facing women today, health care (especially now that Obamacare is remaining in tact WOOT!!), life goals, self perception and body image. (I think I just now realized that the Red Tent is a sleepover for adults.) But a lot of my friends are gay and bi sexual males. Does that mean they get excluded? Does that mean their brand of feminine energy (some of which is more powerful than mine) should be cut out because they happened to be born with a dangle rather than a cleft?

It’s not an easy task. But I think when we talk about gender and sexuality in paganism, it is something we need to seriously consider.

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Second Class Citizen

Posted in Experience, LGBTQ with tags , on February 29, 2012 by theredlass

*sigh*

There are those of us who remain unsurprised by the reality of the world at large. I am one of those who is constantly dissapointed by it none the less. For those who do not know, i live in Springfield, OH. For those who do not know, I am a lesbian.

For those who have watched the video and read the previous statement, prepare for Rant Ignition.

I spoke on behalf of the LGBTQ community at one of their previous meetings regarding the general public opinion on an ordinance which would have created protection against LGBTQ discrimination in housing and work in Clark County. While federal law prevents discrimination from refusing to HIRE and HOUSE an LGBTQ person based on said identity, it does not prevent firing or evicition based on the aformentioned. I believe in not fixing something till it is broken, but I have faced discrimination in the past both on the job and home front with this issue and I went as a representitive of a local organization to support the LGBTQ rights.

I was not the only one by far. The room was (like this night) standing room only and many people held strong opinions on this issue. Most of which I am greatful to say were in SUPPORT of this ordinance, hoping to bring a better state of acceptance and tolerance to Springfield’s darkening image as Amercia’s most depressing town.

I am profoundly depressed and resentful at the moment. A mood which I am sure will eventually pass or at the very least smoulder into a deep brooding anger that violates the laws of time and space to create a hole of black energy which will consume this universe as we know it.

To put it succinctly ladies and gentlemen, I am miffed.