So, I’m interrupting our fun Photo-A-Day Challenge to talk to you about something very serious. I’ve been turning this discussion over and over in my mind for quite some time and just haven’t been sure how to approach it. And then I read this article this morning. To summarize, the author – Steve Provost – talks about how a woman – Z Budapest, feminist, man-hater, and apparent “founder of the Dianic Tradition” – has written this article that bashes men and was giving a talk at a conference where she put a sign out front “explicitly stating that transgender individuals were not welcome” – according to Mr. Provost, not her first attack on transgender people. She ridicules women who defend males, saying they are confusing males for the male God – but she repeatedly refers to all women as sacred. Because women can do no wrong. Of course, she never actually speaks of “the male God” beyond its connection to the male-centric world as she sees it – so as a bad thing.
Now, I have many problems with the stance she’s taken, as I do with many radical feminists. But my biggest problem? That she is using the Goddess as her excuse for it. The Goddess is feminine and powerful, we are feminine and must be powerful, too. Hell yes! The problem? That so many put the Goddess above the God, so put themselves above men. Seriously? And then to go further by attacking one of the most targeted groups – transgendered people? And doing so in the guise of promoting the Goddess.
Let me tell you about MY Goddess. My Goddess does not see Herself as greater than my God. They are equals. My Goddess doesn’t put any person above another based on factors that we are unable to control – such as our gender and/or gender identity. She had more control over those factors than any of Her children, so to attack any gender or gender identity is like an attack on the Goddess Herself.
My Goddess is NOT a billy club for you to beat down those who are different than you are.
And unfortunately, this is something that I think is often perpetuated by Dianic traditions, just as often Abrahamic traditions perpetuate the ideal of men over women. I know there are those within both of these traditions who look at the world of people and see just that – people. But it’s heart breaking how often people within these traditions look at the world and see men and women and then perpetuate the belief that one is superior to the other, because their gender-similar Deity is greater. Men teaching their daughters that they are subordinate to men; women teaching their sons that the things that make them boys should be repressed, because women are better. The sexes were made to be equal but different. I can never wrap my mind around why anyone would believe that all creations are made perfectly – except those of the opposite gender of their own species.
This is why it is so important to me that both the Feminine and Masculine Divine get recognition within the Pagan community. It seems that even among those who believe and worship the God, when there are gatherings, the Goddess is put up on Her pedestal and the God is treated almost like a dirty little secret. And most men must be soft and mild, or youthful and boyish to be accepted. Sure, I’ve seen my share of Heathens – those brash and loud followers of Astaru who revel in their Gods of war and strength – but often I’ve seen the others give sideways glances and heard many a whispered comment of “here we go again”. Boys, who invoke the Mother in us women, or men who embrace their femininity and reject their most masculine traits and tendencies are the most prevalent at gatherings – probably because those are the most accepted at gatherings.
But the God is masculine. He is powerful. He is brash and loud when it suits Him. He is wonderful. He is the yang to the Goddess’s yin and one cannot be without the other. And They are both within us – so while men should be willing to embrace the Goddess within them, they shouldn’t lose the God of them; and women need to accept and embrace the God within themselves, including the warrior that leads us to defend what we believe and stand against what we don’t.
Now, I understand that there are those to whom only the God or Goddess speaks. I do. But rather than seeing those of the opposite gender from your acknowledged face of Deity, see Deity within them. See the God within the women in your life. See the Goddess within the men in your life. All without minimizing the amazing way they were created specifically – by your own Deity – to be different from yourself.
To our community at large, though, if you worship the God, be as willing to stand for Him as you are to stand for the Goddess. And be willing to embrace the men who celebrate their masculinity, for they are reveling in their connection to the God!
And, for all that is holy, if you cannot, please stop using my Goddess as the weapon of your bigotry.