Sexual Equality in the Craft Can Exist . . .
Article ID: 10938
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: October 1st. 2006
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…if you get your head out of your rear.
I am personally opposed to the opinion that Wicca/the Craft/Paganism has been “de-masculinized,” as I have heard or seen it called. I will go through a few points as to why I think so, but this is - of course - one Craft-woman’s opinion.
It is common thought (to my knowledge) that the Craft appears to be a “woman’s trade”, that it is a “She-gal Man-Hater’s Club.” But that is only to some people, including those who don’t want to acknowledge that some of us do recognize the male aspect of the Craft. I, for one, was introduced to the Craft with a feminine view because 1) I am a woman, and 2) most of the literature that exists stresses the Goddess, as opposed to the One God of Christianity. But truthfully, isn’t the Craft open for anyone who wants to practice as s/he wills?
Maybe not so “freely, ” though. I don’t mean in the sense that “Hey, I’ll make up my own religion and screw you all, I’m pagan.” No, I mean in the sense that we have religious freedom enough to follow our Goddess or God or non-deity, or magic(k) beer can or tampon. Whatever. The point is that the Craft is (at least to me) an open religion that accepts.
And the Craft accepts men.
Why call others bigots when we all have our own biases? But I am now aware of a very useful piece of information. I have breasts. A crime? No. What if I did have a penis? I don’t think I’d care that way, either. But since I don’t (and I am not claiming to speak for all women, much less a feminist’s view of the Craft), this is/can be a distinguishing feature of my body that makes me misunderstood. (To myself, too...)
If a man wants to cry about being unrecognized, try being a female Dungeon Master for Dungeons and Dragons for a night. Practically unheard of, isn’t it? Yet I love that game and have had “men” laugh me out of the room in the past for having these breasts of mine. (Hey, I like them.) But I don’t go around crying about it. I go and find people with more open minds and I befriend them instead.
It is also commonly understood that men in the Pagan community are a minority. Boo-hoo. Surely it is true that some women gravitate to the Craft because this is true. But I think it is more common that we (as a whole) gravitate to that which sings truest to our most inner selves. It happens that the Craft was my song of choice.
Perhaps it is the way a man carries and presents himself to others in the Craft that makes them believe that he is sexually discriminatory against women; this would, of course, also apply to women who act the same way to men. It is certainly an uncalled-for reaction, to discriminate (based on sex), but I believe we are creatures of experience and we live up to our pasts. Sure, Dianic Wicca (being only women, right?) is a reality, but why? All-male Druidism (or what have you) is for men only, but why?
Because these things are the way they are. Maybe it is a matter of tradition and historical context and “rules.” Perhaps it is a matter of those collective experiences I mentioned, in which it could be possible that there is a Dianic Wicca group out there that is composed of women who are all lesbians, or who were all sexually assaulted at one point or another in their lives, or who were wronged by men in some fashion. It could be that there is an all-male group of Pagans out there because they are gay, or because they all had bad experiences with or were wronged by women. Or it could just be a matter of choice, that a group of women or men are just more comfortable with one another of the same sex only. We all have freedom to practice as we wish, do we not? We all have our own Paths to choose and follow and the freedom to decide how we do so.
It is essential that both aspects of Deity be recognized (my opinion, yet again). This is the matter of the Balance that the Craft promotes. There are living and dying seasons. Living and dying ritual practices and acknowledgements (think of Beltane and the Autumnal season, for example). There is man and woman, sun and moon. There is up and down, left and right – seed and womb. I don’t think the male aspect is being left out of the Craft at all; it is just a matter of the degree to which one recognizes and acknowledges it.
No, a man cannot know a woman’s point of view – neither can a woman know a man’s point of view. This is a matter of how we as a species operate. We are male and female, we mate, and we die. In the middle of that, we must strive to communicate and understand one another. This is often a problem that everyday relationships encounter.
Men are as powerful as they believe themselves to be, as are women. It is a matter of perception, as are our individual Paths and religions. Men are just as powerful as women in the Craft. Yes, women can give birth, but who supplicates the means to do so? Yes, men have semen and a penis, but don’t women have the means to fashion that potential life? (Even if the case is that the result is achieved by test tube… Hm.) The God is the Green Man, the Goddess the Great Mother. That is, there exists the Great Father and the Three-faced female deity. The Lord and Lady; the Lady and Lord. (Then again, they both have their three faces, don’t they?)
In the case of female or male gender-oriented objects, such as tarot decks, I believe it is our choice to buy them or not. Whatever Tool one desires to use is up to oneself, and store-bought objects are the most subject to choice. If one were to end up with an “unsatisfactory” deck, perhaps – ask why this is so. What is to be learned from such a “mistake”? Asking oneself “Why?” is very important. It helps us suss out the lessons from our experiences. And there’s always a lesson to be found; it remains a matter of acknowledging and comprehending and finally, ultimately, learning the lesson.
Sexism in the Pagan community is a matter of whom you ask. You may ask my neighbor and they might tell you everything you’ve heard so far that suggests bigotry, but you might also end up receiving an answer from somebody like me who thinks differently. No, Pagans do not reject all things masculine (Just how many of us use athames? Or wands?) No, it is not okay to oppress one or the other sex in the Craft community to "achieve" sexual equality, etcetera. Those who wish to listen hear both voices.
I make a call to ALL Pagans: retain your respect in the face of such arguments. We are all valid in this “race” to find out what man and woman or woman and man is “right” and “wrong” and how we practice.
Sexism In Modern Paganism, Author: Draoi, D.G. Cleveland (other witchvox article)
Location: St. James, Missouri
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