In case you haven’t noticed I’m something of a controversial figure within our communities because of the uncompromising stances I take on a lot of issues.
For instance, I’m against raping children:
This is not a grey issue. There is no “let us understand why they believe as they do.” No. Just no. It is the duty, the god damned sacred duty of a community to protect and nourish its most vulnerable members: it’s children. A community that can’t do that frankly has no right to exist.
As well as those who defend and cover up such despicable acts:
In pretty much every case, when those victimized attempted to out their abuser to the community, to get help and protection in the past, they were demonized, told it was their fault, told they were creating drama, told to back off and be silent, told they were bitter and had an agenda. Some of that is still happening now as they come forth again to tell their experiences. This doesn’t just happen in cases of abuse, by the way. I”ve seen it happen in various Pagan and Heathen communities when folks objected to bullying. Suddenly they were ‘over-reacting” or “attacking” said bully. Suddenly all such egregiously foul behavior was “justified” and it was the victim who was in the wrong. Furthermore, when I hear – as i have been in this particular case– of priests and priestesses who *were aware* of a person’s proclivity toward abuse, but who chose to do nothing because they didn’t want to have to deal with it, I consider those “clergy” to be every bit as culpable as the abuser him or herself. It is the job, the primary fucking job of a priest to create safe and sacred space. It is a job of a ritual leader to ensure that those least able to defend themselves (children, those new to the community, young people) are protected. you know what isn’t our job? Turning a blind eye to sexual predation.
I have organized fundraisers to benefit the victims of rape:
So I was talking with my friend Elizabeth (who is going to be part of the ground crew for the Polytheist Leadership Conference) the other day about Kenny Klein and the Frosts and how sexual predation and child abuse are still important issues even if folks would rather talk about the latest controversy out of Patheos. I mentioned that I was going to be auctioning off some of my paintings at the end of the month with the proceeds going to benefit RAINN and how I was really looking forward to the panel on sexual ethics that would be happening on Saturday at the Conference since we’ve got a lot of speakers with experience and interesting perspectives on the topic lined up.
I stand against human trafficking:
One of the books I’ve been ploughing through the last couple of days, mentioned an activist nun, a bad-ass woman Sister Joan Dawber. Her ministry involves helping to free women who have been sold into slavery—and in NYC alone, recent estimates point to upwards of twelve thousand people, mostly women who are survivors of human trafficking. That’s only those who have survived. It doesn’t take into account those who are living in degrading, painful, abusive, humiliating, and dehumanizing conditions against their will now.
He’s teaching his daughter to limit her world, to be afraid. He’s teaching her that she can’t get hurt and get up again and conquer. He’s teaching her to not be bold or curious or adventurous, not to push herself to her limits and beyond. He’s teaching her that she needs a man to rely upon in scary situations, that she can’t problem solve, and he’s teaching that boy that the girl is so much more important, that he is expendable in relation to his sister (and if you don’t think that message has a part to play in man on woman violence, think again).
before writing “Please, Master,” Ginsburg had been locked up in a psych ward for being gay and had been subjected, against his will, to electroshock therapy and that perhaps a poem like this was his fucking declaration of independence. I might have asked them how LGBTQI people are treated socially today, and Gods know there are enough news articles about discrimination and death that I could have brought to the table with just a cursory internet search to bolster the discussion. Hell, a comparison of contemporary Russia and the US would have filled a class.
I find myself more aware of those around me when I’m going to the toilet (and I have OAB – I go to the toilet a lot so I have quite a bit of time to contemplate the bathroom insanity in this country). It’s not lost on me that not only are those bathroom laws transphobic, but they also force feminization on women, a very particular 1950s brand presentation. It’s utter bullshit. (And let me tell you, the first person to accost me for using the ladies room is going to get the crudest, grossest, rudest response I can muster – and they’d better hope I’m not menstruating at the time—such bigotry deserves no less and I can be amazingly crude when the situation calls for it). I have been accosted in the past because people have assumed I was gay. The most egregious occasion occurred in Europe. I was walking arm in arm with my mother. We both have short hair and apparently that’s all that’s needed for a certain type of small-minded bigot to make assumptions. We were nearly attacked. I stood my ground against the three attackers while my mother went to get the police and fortunately they backed down but it was very close and I never again went out with her without keeping one eye peeled for potential violence. That changed the way that I look at all of this. These bathroom laws are about forcing a specific gender compliance, nothing more. It’s not only trans folk who are being harassed, but there have also been cases of women with short hair (longer than mine, I might add), and cancer patients having been harassed too. This is about forcing men and women to dress and comport themselves in a certain way, a way that the fundamentalist Christian right finds appropriate. Well, fuck them. THEY are the problem, not trans people who need to pee.
I oppose using threats and other forms of intimidation against women:
Basically, we have a self-styled “elder” (though I can hardly think of anyone who deserves that appellation less and he’s certainly no one of worth, let alone an elder, in any tradition that I practice) Christian Day who recently ‘outed’ a number of witches in an online forum for working under pseudonyms. When one of these women contacted him pointing out that she was being stalked and harassed to particularly dangerous levels and that she used a pseudonym for her safety, he not only dismissed her comments, but went on to say that he hoped her stalker was successful and that she should call out his (Christian’s) name when she was being raped.
(Especially the kind of murder, rape, torture, and imprisonment regularly employed by Marxists.)
And I condemn genital mutilation:
I studied FGM in fair depth when I was doing my first graduate degree (a good deal of my coursework dealt with women, religion, and violence) and i thought seriously about posting photographs of exactly what this entails here, but I”ll spare my readers. It isn’t ‘circumcision’ as it’s so often called but outright mutilation on girls sometimes younger than five. I learned about it when I was six or seven — i accidentally stumbled across a book my aunt was reading, a novel that begins with the female protagonist undergoing this torture at age five. I was disturbed and then later when i really understood what i’d read, horrified. I’m no greater fan of male circumcision. I don’t believe personally that it compares to FGM. Sorry, just no. that doesn’t mean, however, it isn’t also a form of mutilation. I love penises in all shapes and sizes: cut and uncut but I would personally object to having a child circumcised. if a man wants to do so when he is of age, that’s great. that’s his choice, but that’s not my choice to make. it’s irreparable. I have a friend who’s a nurse and she described during training witnessing a circumcision (and almost got kicked out of nursing school for vociferously protesting the lack of anesthesia–oh, you didn’t know? Doctors then and quite often now don’t anesthetize babies undergoing male circumcision, the attitude being that children don’t feel pain like adults. let’s just think about the dehumanization of that for a moment, not to mention that the boy’s first experience of his genitals is going to be one of aggravated violence). She said the newborn was taken a few days after birth and strapped down to a cold metal table, with his legs strapped apart and the doctor came in with a clamp and would cut him, sans anesthesia. I was nauseated. As I said, no problem if a man wants this done as an adult but I don’t think we should be cutting bits off our children as a matter of course.
You know what? I’m going to keep doing this no matter how unpopular these views are or the lengths people go to try and shut me up.
If you don’t like my beliefs or how I express them – too fucking bad.