If You Poke the Nest, Expect Some Buzzing

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

Kids are playing in the park. Other kids come along and want to take their sandbox away, so they start taunting and threatening them. When the kids, who at first tried to include them in their games and then ignore them when it was clear that is not what they wanted, are finally goaded into responding the bullies then accuse them of being angry and violent and not understanding what was said.

Now that some polytheists are coming forward to express hurt and anger at the things Rhyd said in his article his buddies are jumping in to tell us to chill out and shut up and that what everyone saw in that piece wasn’t actually there.

Here are some snippets from one of the many, many places where this despicable gaslighting and tone-policing is going on:

Alley Valkyrie:
Its about the ‘New Right’ article that was published on G&R the other day. Some folks apparently can’t read without inserting their own narrative into things.

Peter Dybing:
As to the community hyperbole, grains of truth always cause discomfort.

Yvonne Aburrow:
It’s a case of “if the cap fits, wear it” – and if it doesn’t, then calm down.

Jan Zoll:
Amen! This is going to be a looooong year. The ugly rhetoric is triggered by the most innocuous posts. Getting very old already.

Syren Nagakyrie:
Is it bad to say that I am really glad I have actually important things to worry about and work to tend to, given the circumstances, so I give no fucks for the bullshit spewing from every direction on this one.

These people could really benefit from taking a page from the book of Emily Carlin, one of the organizers of Many Gods West, who wrote:

Enough of this “boys will be boys,” “but I said I was sorry” bullshit. Take responsibility for your actions people. Just because you didn’t mean to hurt/trigger/threaten/offend someone doesn’t take away from the fact that you did so. Harm is not something a perpetrator gets to decide on. Harm is a subjective experience determined by the person experiencing it. Sometimes that harm is obvious and understandable, sometimes you have to squint and twist yourself like the Gordian Knot to figure out what the hell happened. Regardless, if someone says you violated their safe space then you did so and need to accept the consequences. That means genuinely admitting wrongdoing (or genuinely working to understand why your victim felt harmed and then sincerely apologizing for that harm) and working on making sure it doesn’t happen again. Safe space has to be maintained with sincerity by everyone in it or it falls apart.

You do not get to decide whether our anger at your bullying smear campaign is justified or not and we sure as Hel will not be silenced because you find it inconvenient to consider the consequences of your words.

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Posted on March 27, 2016, in community, Polytheism, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Huh. Maybe these people didn’t read Rhyd’s Facebook posts before the article where he talked about setting out to target “someone”, standing against people, and deliberately making others uncomfortable. Or maybe they did and think that we didn’t.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I guess what also concerns me is that I am really not a devotional polytheist, I’m not kidding when I say that I’m not good at this religion thing. I remember to pour out a libation to Dionysus maybe once a month. When I am feeling particularly anxious, I might pray (which doesn’t help, because then I just feel like I’m whining at the Gods and they probably have more important things to be paying attention to).

    But I spend a lot of time parsing Polytheism. I spend a lot of time thinking about how I think, and re-examining how I understand myself in the world. My life’s work thus far has been learning how to think Polytheistically. For me, the power of Polytheism is as a structure of thought. It’s not just a theological position, it’s an ontological position. It’s a total worldview. If I worship, and I maintain the conditional tense, it is as a total act, the work of my life.

    Whatever I may be, this small polytheist community has been the closest to something that has felt right for me, and so maybe I’m just a bit overprotective. But seriously. I feel like I could not possibly be more disappointed in someone that I had once considered a friend and compatriot.

    Liked by 5 people

    • To clarify my disappointment, this is the sort of behavior that Rhyd and I would both often decry. To see him engaging in the equivocation and reductionism that he at one time would be appalled by is really unsettling.

      Further, I am very amenable to the idea that Contemporary American Paganism is closely linked to politics. Just given the demographics, and the way that being Pagan positions you in regards to the larger culture, that there should be some political bleed-over makes perfect sense to me. Further, I think that a fully integrated person will incorporate, quite legitimately, their religious feeling into their political motivations, as well.

      However, the idea that there is only one correct political position for a Pagan to hold is ludicrous. Paganism in general and Polytheism more specifically can produce a wide range of political positions that are completely in line with the discrete theologies at play. Pagans and Polytheists can be liberal, conservative, libertarian, or whatever. It is simply unreasonable to raise the specter of Fascism to dismiss everything but the narrow range of positions that G&R approves of.

      Liked by 5 people

  3. Bullies ALWAYS try to make their victims the fault of their victimization. These so-called people disgust me no end. And I do mean ” so-called.” They are no better than Greed, Inc. which has lowered world security to almost nothing for a few more denarii. If you see one of them. spit on him/her for me — they are just a piece of oily sludge.

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