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Stop This Ride, I Want to Get Off!!!

One of the many things that tridentantifa – btw, thanks, guys, for all the traffic to my site. It really helps get my work out there — complains about in my work is my support of dowries and marriage contracts. Since I’ve already written about the importance of a dowry and/or a trousseau elsewhere (1), this article is going to tackle, very much in brief, marriage contracts. It came up today in a conversation within my household after we saw an interview in which the subject of a pre-nup arose.

There is so little available beyond 101 material that discusses how to build a functioning, sustainable community (2). The key building block of a community is the household, which ideally in a traditional community begins with the married couple (3). A marriage contract is a legally binding document, signed by all parties prior to the actual marriage, that protects the interest of each party in the event of death or divorce. It goes beyond the boundaries of a pre-nup, which usually only deals with distribution of assets between spouses in the event of a break-up, and versions of the marriage contract date back at least to the early medieval (if not farther back, because really, these things varied considerably country to country, culture to culture, class to class). One thing that it emphasizes is that marriage is not just about the individuals, but is a matter of, at its best, uniting households and families. It ensures that both parties and their assets are protected, but also extends that protection to any children too. 

Now, when I got married, my husband insisted adamantly on having a pre-nup – not for his benefit, but for my own. He never wanted it to be said, as a certain nithling in the community has hinted, that he married me solely for his own material gain (4). Our marriage contract almost made his lawyer cry, because Sannion was insistent that in the event we divorce, he leave with only the goods with which he had entered our marriage and nothing more. Despite the existential pain this caused his attorney, he got his way but had we intended to have children, it would have been far more complicated. A good marriage contract carefully lays out in legally binding terms the following:

* The property, wealth, and assets with which each partner enters the marriage

* who gets what in the event of a divorce

* each partner’s will and testament (I suggest updating these every five years)

* each partner’s health care proxy and instructions in the event this is needed (do you want a DNR, do you want all life saving measures, etc.)

* who gets custody of any future children in the event of the parents’ death, and how do you want those children raised (i.e. polytheist)

* in the event of death, how are one’s assets to be divided vis-à-vis the children?

* what financial arrangements are you both making for any children’s future education, etc.?

* wergild in the event of adultery (and the right to pursue but not the obligation to do so).

Now, looking at this, you’ll see it combines a marriage contract with end of life issues, and some of the latter will be necessarily updated in an ongoing fashion. I think that the contract should partly be worked out by the couple themselves – when they are in love and want the best for each other, not later when there may be disagreements – but each family or representatives thereof should have a strong hand in working out the boundaries too (because when we are in love we are idiots and hopefully elders from one’s family will have one’s own interests at heart more than a love struck fool), and then finally it should be evaluated and witnessed by an objective party – and in the type of community we want to see, that would be a priest, elder, diviner, or some other specialist. I can’t help thinking of ancient Rome where wills and other contracts were maintained in the temple of Vesta. 

As an aside, I also think a lot can be said about a person and perhaps about the marriage’s future chance of success by the care one takes in the contract. If one partner is arguing vociferously over taking care of the other partner (or future children) in event of a break up, well, maybe think twice. Also, it can highlight potential points of fracture and discord, giving the couple a chance to discuss these things and start working them out (raising future children, for instance, or how one manages one’s finances. Priorities and values become significantly highlighted during the process of writing a contract like this). Of course, I also think clear provisions should be laid out in the event of a violation of one’s marital vows (adultery) too. Better to do it all before animosity threatens and colors one’s sense of right and wrong, then at the height of justified fury (5).

The important thing to take away here is that the purpose of a marriage contract is fair protection and care of each party, and any children. Each contract is customized to the parties involved. There is no single all-encompassing format. It’s flexible, and each household is able to choose what matters to them. In the event of adultery or other violations of one’s marriage vows, having pre-set penalties may help limit violence and unchecked vindictiveness. One could even include the option to leave in the contract in the event of XYZ. This also ensures that one places a priority on maintaining one’s tradition and clean transmission of that to one’s children. 

Please feel free to post questions or comments below. 

Notes: 

  1. Namely, having a trousseau, if not a dowry, helps prepare the young person for eventually setting up a functional household. See my article here
  2. My husband pointed out that one notable exception to this is Amber K’s book “Covencraft.” This book is really a must read for anyone who is running a religious group, even if we do disagree with her theology.
  3. Personally, I think the healthiest households are multi-generational and extended, but each healthy marriage is a further link in the chain of properly transmitted religious tradition and cultural norms. 
  4. Yes, dear, I know who you are, and I’m aware of the foul, untruthful shit that you spew. Having seen your dysfunctional relationships, and the utterly disgusting way you treat your partners, despite touting yourself as some sort of super feminist, I don’t think you have any room to talk. Kindly eat a dick. 
  5. This is, by the way, the ONLY legal document that I think should come into play with a marriage – if one has more than one spouse, work it into the contract (I don’t think polyamory is ideal, but like anything else, it can be done well or poorly, and while there is a standard norm, there are always functional exceptions to that norm). Frankly, I don’t think the government has any right at all to determine how consenting adults structure their households, so long as everyone is consenting and of legal age. Pedophiles should be burned alive. A marriage contract and later a marriage license that, in a perfect community, would be notarized at the appropriate temple are all that should be required. 

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Movie Monday: Captain Fantastic

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I waited a long time to watch this movie and I really, really wanted to like it. I thought initially it was about a father homeschooling his children (and to some degree it is) and I very much support homeschooling. These days, I think as polytheists, if it’s at all possible given one’s family circumstances, to do anything other than homeschooling one’s children is unfortunate. Turning children over to public schools is turning them over for indoctrination into a modern, secular culture that is actively hostile to religion, to the development of virtue (in the classical sense), to common sense, not to mention just terrible from an educational perspective.

More and more families of all class, racial, and religious backgrounds are choosing to homeschool – and were well before Covid. I recently learned that the biggest reason people homeschool isn’t actually either of those things (Covid or religion), surprisingly, but rather because of bullying in schools (that, I might add, is rarely dealt with effectively by administrators). There are two main worries I hear constantly about homeschooling, that as an educator myself, I want to put to rest and then I’ll get into the movie. The first is that it’s more difficult for homeschooled children to get into college. That actually is not true at all and I work with several successful Phds who were homeschooled right up to their first year of undergrad. They took the SATs, the GREs and had no problem at all. Statistically, homeschooled children tend to score higher than average on these tests. The second concern is socialization. One does have to take care to provide opportunities for socialization for one’s child when homeschooling but there are homeschooling leagues and afterschool programs, hobbies, and activities (just like with any other regularly schooled child), and like anything else, it takes proper time and care. For those wanting more information, here is a link to the HSLDA, which gives state by state guidelines on homeschooling and requirements. Now, onto the movie.

So, this movie starts with a father and a passel of children (I think six – a lot). For the first half of the movie, I loved 90% of how he was raising them. They learned survival skills, self-reliance, languages, math, science, music, literature all at very high levels (at one point, we learn his kids speak six languages fluently)—his eldest son gets into like half a dozen ivy league colleges. The parents taught them how to hunt, live off the land, fight hand to hand and with weapons, and plan strategically. They lived well away from civilization. They also lived well off the grid and sans social media. There is a wholesomeness to their lifestyle. The father even did a sort of initiation rite into adulthood when the eldest boy killed his first deer (with a knife). At one point, he gifted all his children with weapons. It was beautiful and absolutely how I think children in a proper community should, in part, be raised.

As the movie progresses though, we see the downside. They aren’t as disciplined as they should be and freely argue with their father far more than I find appropriate. They’re being raised without religion, (and in fact, the father at least articulates opinions that are openly hostile to religion,) which I personally consider a step away from abuse. They’re being raised in a way that allows the children to explore Marxism and communism (though at least the father points out that genocide is as likely to happen under communism as under any other system. Historically, we know under communism genocide is even MORE likely). Most concerning of all, they aren’t socialized and we really see that as the movie progresses with the eldest son and especially with the father’s response to learning the son has applied to college. We also see the Buddhist wife’s Christian parents violating her wishes and behaving in ways that would have had me personally sending the one of them to the ICU. This is not an easy film to watch.

I won’t give away too much of the plot. I will say that I was sick, physically sick at the end of the movie because it ends with the father betraying his children by sending them to school. It angered and sickened me. My husband pointed out that it really highlights how necessary it is to have a focused, committed community when raising healthy children, that a single parent can’t do it all him or herself and that once the mother was no longer in the picture, the family’s way of raising the children wasn’t sustainable. I can see that but I disagree. I think the father caved. I think there were plenty of other ways to engage with the world and socialize his children than subjecting them to what is inevitably a subpar education. I don’t think one should compromise on the quality of education for one’s children, and it seemed by the end of the movie that the two youngest weren’t going to receive the type of focused life and survival training of which the eldest four had benefit and it made me nearly vomit. The public-school system in this country is designed to create mediocrity, not nurture excellence. It’s a travesty. The viewer is given a clear comparison of the more or less healthy (minus the points I noted above) way the father is raising his kids versus a typical American middle class upbringing when the six homeschooled children encounter their two soft, “normal” (and poorly educated and shallowly brought up) cousins. The contrast is really quite something to see:

Obviously, I have strong feelings about this movie. It evoked quite a bit of conversation in our home. I will say that the comments on homeschooling made in the movie are not accurate, at least not in the states in which I have lived and I encourage people who are interested to do their own research.

The Lowest Bar Possible

Today my household cancelled its Netflix subscription. They are promoting a French film “Cuties,” apparently, a movie about the dangers of oversexualizing children.  The movie isn’t the problem. Netflix, however, chose to promote it in ways that grossly oversexualize children (and by children, I’m talking eleven year olds). When called on this by customers on twitter, email, and elsewhere, they doubled down, refusing to condemn pedophilia, refusing to condemn the hyper-sexualization of children, and saying only that they “respect all religions and cultures.” Bullshit, Netflix. Bullshit. Child abuse isn’t culture.

In addition to the over-sexualization of children, they also advertised this movie as one in which the heroic child “defies her family’s traditions” (not something I find admirable. In this case, it’s clear that Netflix meant defying religious protocols and morality). Maybe they meant the tradition of not prostituting their kids. The movie itself is condemning exactly this type of thing. It’s the story of a young Senegalese girl age eleven who finds something she likes (hip hop) and then sinks further and further into inappropriate, sexualized behavior when she starts getting online attention for this, and pimping herself out on social media. It’s intended to expose the societal dangers inherent in such over-sexualization of kids and inherent in unsupervised social media access. Thanks to Netflix’s marketing strategy the movie is now under fire, and there are calls for boycotts. Don’t boycott the movie. Boycott Netflix.

This type of thing matters. The media we expose ourselves to matters. It conditions our behavior. It slowly shifts our moral center. It influences what we consider appropriate and acceptable even when we don’t realize it. It inures us to things that should be considered, at best, inappropriate.

A friend told me today that in “Pagan” circles, he was routinely called “reactionary” for insisting that where sex was concerned, “consenting” and “adult” were non-negotiable.  He recounted an incident on facebook wherein someone posted a meme, showing a disgusted kid staring at a naked guy in a cowboy hat. The overwhelming response from “Pagans?” They didn’t understand why a child shouldn’t be exposed to nudity. “It’s non-sexual after all,” was repeated again and again.  What they were really saying, as my friend so eloquently articulated was this: “Why should a ten-year-old be disgusted when I give him an uninvited view of my dick?” Well, right thinking people consider this borderline sexual abuse of a child. THIS right here is precisely the type of degeneracy – there is no other word that I can find that is quite so appropriate as this—that fills so much of the “Pagan” community, and it’s precisely the reason so many Polytheists eschew them.

It’s a really, really low bar, people: don’t fuck children. Apparently, it’s a bit too high for some.

Random Cat Post lol

This majestic fellow regularly comes to investigate our garden. He is not a stray, rather he belongs to our neighbors across the street. (They’re in the process of moving and we are stressing about their cat, hoping they don’t forget him. If they do, we plan to marry him to our tortie Elena. LOL. She is not impressed with this plan). He never wants to play, but is always very focused on the important cat business to which he must attend. He also likes to nap under our porch where it is cool.

Orange tom 1

He lives mostly outside, wandering round and keeping the birds on their toes. 

orangetom 2

He’s welcome in our garden any time.

Statues of Mary Vandalized and Desecrated

This just makes me so sad. At this stage in the game, an attack on any Deity is an attack on all Deities. I”ll be dedicating quite a bit of time tonight to prayer.

 

I bind myself today to the Holy Powers:
Their hands to guide me,
Their wisdom to teach me,
Their ears to hear me,
Their words to give me speech,
my heart always to love Them.

On Watching “Cinderella” – A Few Thoughts

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“Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.”

–G. K. Chesterton

cinderella

I don’t often write about movies but I watched this one recently with my housemate (my husband having fled to his office the moment we put it on, ha ha) and it led to a rather extensive discussion about how elements of pre-Christian religious belief, ancestor veneration, and proper protocol for engaging with all manner of spirits are often embedded in fairy tales. Cinderella is no exception to that. Now I’m not a Disney fan. I’m definitely not a live action Disney princess movie fan but my friend Tatyana talked me into watching this one against my better judgment and I actually found it quite lovely. Then Tat. read me a couple of the negative reviews and I thought, ‘God damn it. Now I have to write something.’ So, here you go.

Our stories are important. They tell us who we are. They distill the most essential qualities of our lived experience, the best of who we are as a people. Fairy tales are even more a condensation of certain eternal and essential truths, all wrapped up in magic, beauty, and sometimes terror. They inspire us to be and do better. A story like Cinderella is, under its many, many layers, the story of the power of our ancestors to see us through the most difficult and challenging of times, and a story about the importance of remembrance (1).  

I never liked the Disney cartoon of Cinderella (except for the cat, Lucifer. He was awesome. In fact, my only complaint about the live action movie with Lily James is that Lucifer the cat didn’t have a larger part). She always seemed like such a doormat. Having read several of the reviews of the recent movie, I know I’m not the only one to feel that way in general about this story. But, also having read several versions of the story (I like the most gruesome ones the best, no surprise there), and now having watched the live action movie, I’ve revised that opinion (2).

Please note, there will be spoilers below.

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I think there are qualities of nobility of character, loyalty, and goodness in Cinderella’s nature that are really highlighted in the Lily James movie (hereafter whenever I refer to “the movie,” I will be referring to this version alone). Cinderella’s mother dies when Cinderella is a child and her last words to the girl are “have courage and be kind.” Several reviews of the movie criticized this, but it’s excellent advice for developing character and personal virtue, especially because the two complement and balance each other. An excess of one or the other isn’t good, but if you balance them true strength can take root. Cinderella lives by this rubric as best she can and in the movie, articulates why she chooses to remain in the home later, after the death of her father, when her stepmother and stepsisters behave so foully to her. It is her home. She feels a connection to the land, a responsibility, and wants to honor that, and the memory of her parents in their home. She makes a conscious choice to stay – maybe not the choice I might make (definitely not) but it’s her choice, made from a position of strength and integrity. She could, after all, have left and found work anywhere given her kind nature and domestic skills, and this is evident throughout the movie. In fact, a friend urges her to do just that. She chooses to stay for her own reasons, and the dismal treatment doesn’t touch who she is inside. This is also an important lesson.

In one review that my friend read, the writer complained vociferously about what a poor example this was setting for her daughter but I do not think ‘have courage and be kind’ is a bad example, nor is the hospitality and courtesy that Cinderella maintains throughout the movie. It’s tested several times too: when she receives news of her father’s death and again when her step mother tears up her mother’s dress the night of the ball and the fairy godmother comes to help. Cinderella doesn’t take her pain out on those around her, but does her duty (hospitality and courtesy, kindness) as she perceives it to those outside the family first. There is nobility of demeanor, which has nothing to do with blood or wealth, but in the world of fairy tales like life, everything to do with character.

What we see is that no matter what one’s circumstances, even if those circumstances are terrible and outside of one’s control, one may still choose how to respond. It doesn’t have to make one cruel or bitter, or twist one out of true. That’s an important lesson, I think. We have a choice in how we respond to hardship. That means we have agency and control, maybe not over externals, but certainly over ourselves.

I think this is something fairy tales really bring home: personal agency and responsibility. Yes, Cinderella is couched in the story of a sappy romance, but the real story is what happens before and around all that. The romance is just part of the social trapping to make it palatable to children and childlike adults. Hospitality and courtesy recur repeatedly as important themes and life lessons and inevitably in these stories are rewarded in some way by non-human forces. There is duty and protocol, right action and right relationship external and immutable to anything happening in one’s life. Doing those things under duress is a sign of good character in the world of fairy tales and fairy godmothers.

We can learn from these stories if we’re willing to take them as they are. Too often when modern writers decide to twist them out of true to accommodate modern “values” and mores, they lose the essential wisdom embedded in these tales. Like so many of the stories we read, there are doorways to very sacred things contained in some of these children’s stories. They’re meant to imprint an awareness of what is right behavior in those listening or reading, to help us learn to choose wisely that which will shape us as adults. That’s not a bad thing. In fact, that’s a very, very good thing. We need those stories, now more than ever.

What are your favorite fairy tales and why?

 

Notes:

  1. In the original version of the story, Cinderella plants a tree on her mother’s grave and goes there, making offerings and praying every day to the spirit of her dead mother. It’s her mother that helps her, not a fairy godmother. It’s really interesting how often ancestors and the fair folk are elided, especially in Northern European lore, but that’s an article perhaps for another day.
  2. It’s been a while since I’ve read the original Grimm version of the story but I believe the stepsisters cut off toes and mutilate their heels to fit into the slipper and at the end, ravens peck out their eyes.

This is Proof We’re Living in Bizarro-World

jesusI woke up this morning to find this article on my facebook feed. It’s something I never, ever, ever, ever, ever imagined I would see the fucking pope saying. First, go here and read the article. Watch the video there too, so you can make up your own mind.

Apparently Catholics no longer believe that Jesus is the unique redeemer – you know, like the New Testament says (it’s somewhere in John)  not to mention the entirety of their tradition. Now, all roads lead to the same goal. Now, I don’t believe squat about Jesus. I’m a sensible, educated, devout polytheist. I’m not deluded. They are and have been for two thousand years. That’s been the single defining characteristic of their tradition. Well, their Marxist pope just tossed that all to hell now, possibly by their theology, literally. I think this is the guy who abolished limbo after all. Not too many places for them left to go. 

Now, he has pretty much declared that there is no difference between any religion (except of course, for indigenous or polytheistic religions. We’re still fair game for evangelization). I was suspicious of this guy for a long time, especially when he kept making these social justice statements, that all of my Pagan and Polytheist friends were applauding. I wasn’t, because I saw this is just incipient Marxism and that inevitably leads to the subjugation of traditions. When it comes down to it, they’re always going to have to make a choice: which is more important, the religion or the politics and politics inevitably wins (when you’re a Marxist). That may be ok for a freshman in college, but maybe not the head of a world religion. The uniqueness or exclusivity of a tradition is part of the tradition (a lesson we as polytheists really need reminding of on occasion).

If this Pope decides to further water down Catholicism – you know, the tradition he is tasked with protecting and defending—into further nothingness, we are going to be left with the Protestant crackpots. Catholics, once they got over the whole inquisition thing, have pretty much been preservers of Western tradition, art, and values – all of which they stole from polytheism granted. Anglicans likewise have held this position. That’s not the case with the crazy Protestantisms: dominionists, end times fatalists, bible thumpers, etc. They want to bring down the world and remake it in the image of their repressive, life-hating pseudo-theology. Just like Muslims and SJWS. Oh hey, look: a new alliance is formed. Always mistrust the radical.

But on the plus side maybe all the SJWs in Paganism and Polytheism will flee into the Catholic Church and we won’t have to deal with them damaging our traditions anymore. Or, maybe we should start evangelizing these displaced Catholics. They already have the basics of piety and cultus down and their own Church has abandoned them. We just have to teach them to count beyond three.

Miscellaneous Round-Up

I haven’t done one of these in awhile but just the past couple of days I’ve been reading too many thought provoking pieces to ignore, so I figured I’d share them all wit you here in one go.

  1. First we have Kenaz Filan’s brilliant analysis of Ryan Smith’s most recent assed up piece at Patheos. I know for the Marxist zealots in our midst this is a difficult thing to understand, but we really should be making ourselves relevant to the Gods, not the other way around.
  1. Next, there is a nice article on Gaulish ideas of sin and miasma by Segomaros Widugeni. I may have to write something similar about Heathen practices.

 

  1. Here is a rather thought-provoking piece on Islamic Apologetics that looks to Hindu scripture to explore the rationale for opposition. I don’t agree with everything in this article (especially the nonsense about sacrifice) but it still provides a different perspective to what I’ve seen coming out of the Pagan blogosphere.
  1. This article touches on the use of ‘religious freedom’ statues by secularists as an insidious means of forcing conversion from one’s indigenous polytheisms. Worth considering here, and yet again highlights why I think proselytizing and missionary work should be classed as a human rights violation and punished accordingly. This is an important piece and shows just how the attack on polytheisms has not in the least ceased with the advent of the modern state. It’s just gone underground: if monotheists can’t force the destruction by violence, they’ll do it by legislation and claim religious freedom as they do.

 

  1. Finally, my favorite site of all of these, an article devoted to the Skull cultus in Naples. It showcases pictures and describes the cultus (and Catholic oppression of it). I’m not quite sure if one can visit this site, but if so, I would just love to go and make offerings. We need more of this.

 

Edit:

Here’s another piece a friend just sent me. Apparently a druidic woman at a pagan festival had her hair cut while she slept, without her permission. This, is assault, folks. This is a complete lack of respect and boundaries. This is disgusting and…not surprising in the least, unfortunately, at a pagan gathering. I could say more on this, but I think y’all know my feelings.

 

Just in case you haven’t noticed…

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.

And sexism:

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).

And homophobia:

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.

And transphobia:

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.

Misc. Musings

I’ve been on the road most of today with my friend Allen. (My husband is cheerfully holding down the home front. I told him to enjoy the quiet. I return Saturday lol). We just got into MA where I will be teaching a series of workshops tomorrow and Saturday morning. There’s been a nice uptick in work lately and I”m looking forward to meeting all the students with whom I’ll be working over the next two days. 

We had a bit of luck too on the way up. I’d forgotten about the Traveller’s Book Cafe in  Union, Ct…you can eat (very good food) and buy used books. I love this place. Every time I visit my friends in MA, it’s the highlight of the road journey. I just happened to remember it and mention it to Allen as we hit Union and we were able to stop there for lunch and i found *treasure*. Oh my Gods, I love books. I have since I was a child. They bring me such satisfaction and joy. Inner peace for me is a library. (well, my library. I”m not so much into giving books back. heh). I even found two new books by an author I used to read years ago, whom I thought had stopped writing. As i said: treasure. 

The hotel is better than I remember it (it’s been taken over by Hilton) and I have plenty of time to prepare. I made a quick update in my patreon supporter posts and I’ll have a few hours to work on the Eir novena booklet. It’s strange being here. So many important milestones in my spiritual life involved me straggling back to this hotel in various states of shock and awe. It feels, as these things so often do, like a lifetime ago. Maybe, in some weird way it was. 

I know I owe a pacel of you emails…I’m afraid I have to ask for a bit of patience. It was a rather rough week pain wise and I fell behind again. I shall, however, be catching up this weekend….and so it goes.